I.I.I. Partnering with University of Pennsylvania At Annual Tech Gathering

Students Challenged to Make Society More Resilient Against Natural Disasters


For immediate release
New York Press Office: (212) 346-5500; media@iii.org  

NEW YORK, September 4, 2019—The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) is for the second straight year co-sponsoring with a University of Pennsylvania research center a competition for college students aimed at developing innovative solutions to real-world disaster resilience problems.

To be held during the PennAppsXX hackathon, which starts on Friday, Sept. 6, and concludes on Sunday, Sept. 8, the I.I.I.’s and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center joint 2019 Hack-for-Resilience competition will give student teams 36 hours (Sept. 7-8) to compete while at Penn’s campus in Philadelphia. The word “hack,” in the context of a hackathon, describes how multiple technologies can be used together in a new and innovative way. 

During the Hack-for-Resilience, teams of up to four students conceive, test, and deliver working apps while others develop hardware solutions, Internet of things (IoT) protocols, and data tools which may save lives and reduce property damage in the wake of a natural disaster. The first-place finisher in 2018’s Hack-for-Resilience competition went to the creators of Babble, a messaging platform for people without access to the Internet.

“Co-hosting this competition at the nation’s original and largest hackathon helps our institution and the I.I.I. to put the critical topic of disaster resilience before a wide range of audiences in a context that both informs and engages real solutions,” said Dr. Carolyn Kousky, Executive Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center.

The Hack-for-Resilience judges will award two prizes. One will go to the creators of the best overall hack. The other will go to those who employ the most outstanding application of Insurtech. Insurtech is defined broadly as any product or service which provides insurance in a customer-friendly manner. Winners will be announced on Sunday evening, Sept. 8, thereby earning them an opportunity to bring their hacks to larger academic and business audiences.

“Co-presenting the 2019 Hack-for-Resilience helps us to bring together insurers and student innovators by offering expert guidance, feedback and the possibility of support and funding to help significantly shorten the chain from concept to breakthrough product,” stated Dr. Michel Léonard, Vice President & Senior Economist at the Insurance Information Institute. 

About the I.I.I.: 
Established in 1960, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) is the premier independent resource on Property/Casualty and Life insurance. Created to educate consumers about the benefits and economic value insurance provides, the Institute supports its audiences with timely and objective news, research, and thought leadership to make insurance more accessible and useful.

About Wharton’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center:
For more than three decades, the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has been at the forefront of basic and applied research to promote effective corporate and public policies for low-probability events with potentially catastrophic consequences.

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