The Hackation Experiment

February 17, 2016
Julia Mossbridge, IONS Fellow

In December, the call went out across Silicon Valley. “Anyone with tech skills who is interested in consciousness exploration, fill out this application for the Innovation Lab’s experimental collaboration with Consciousness Hacking – a ‘Hackation’ (hackathon + vacation) – in which we will build a smartphone application to assess psi (or ‘psychic’) skills worldwide.”

Mikey Siegel, the founder of Consciousness Hacking and myself, IONS’ Innovation Lab Director, were sure there was a broad interest in consciousness in Silicon Valley. What we weren’t sure about was whether IT professionals would devote an entire weekend to building something that couldn’t be “monetized” or built into a business, and whether they would think we were nuts for being interested in psychic abilities.

Wow, were we blown away. We got applications from the best and the brightest in Silicon Valley – we had to turn many well-qualified people away. We ended up with a team of 16 bright minds with complementary skills: design, project planning, database management and design, mobile app coding, and more. Not only were these people with the skills and willingness to build what we were asking them to create, they all seemed to get along, collaborating in a flow state that rarely seemed to be interrupted. On the rare occasions when the flow was interrupted, it was repaired by the insight and wisdom of the Hackation participations.

Of course, it helped that we were in the beautiful IONS EarthRise setting, with wonderful food, yoga, massage, chanting, and more. One of the Hackation participants, IONS Innovation Lab Intern Gareth Gwyn, wrote this inspirational piece about the app we built at the event:

“What if launching this app marked the unique beginning of a grassroots movement in expanding awareness? Psi is now often referred to as ‘having superpowers’ because so few have owned up to this self-actualized state of being, yet it is possible that every single human has the potential to be ignited on a path to this world of less suffering. And we could help them. What if psychic abilities ceased to be referred to as ‘super’ or ‘magical’ anymore because it was allowed to be expressed as part of our being in everyday culture, rather than ostracized out of fear? What an interesting measurement of success to consider psychic one day becoming completely normal, especially because it would ultimately mean we’d all have more direct access to deeper love and be more authentic versions of ourselves. Well, what then would the new ‘magic’ be?”

In short, we all had a transformative weekend.

This inaugural Hackation weekend was sponsored by the Bial Foundation and the members of IONS. If you or your company are interested in sponsoring future Hackation events, please contact IONS Research.

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