- Interdisciplinary Investigation
- Museums, Technology, Law
- Governance & Blockchain
- Over70 students formed teams to tackle “new solutions for old problems” proof-of-concept during a 24-hour Hackathon
AABC collaborated with Wake Forest University to create a research project focused on the use of blockchain technology for new cultural property ownership solutions. Together with the Office of the Provost and Wake Forest Law, AABC designed a pioneering interdisciplinary course with the Anthropology, Computer Science and Art History departments that culminated in a 24-hour hackathon. Professor Raina Haque, Law Professor of Practice of Technology was the academic lead on the project.
The interdisciplinary endeavor established an understanding of cultural heritage fundamentals, blockchain technology’s guiding principles, and museum practices while engaging in scholarly study of specific objects in the Lam Museum of Anthropology. The culmination of the yearlong project was a hackathon. Over70 students formed teams to tackle “new solutions for old problems” proof-of-concept during a 24-hour Hackathon that was sponsored by Microsoft, Blockchain for Social Impact, ConsenSys, and TD Bank.
Participants at Wake Hacks 2021 were presented with a hypothetical situation: The Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University could have a group of objects in their collection that were removed from Mexico. In the scenario, the museum contacted the Mexican government to repatriate the objects and open a dialogue. The history of the objects was acknowledged by the governmental representative; however, they did not wish to repatriate the objects due to the burden of storage and conservation. How can a solution for this type of situation be assisted by new technologies, and benefit all stakeholders?
Will Caulkins (‘22), Caitlin Kelly (‘22), and Kristen Kovach (‘21) built the winning prototype, which is currently being incubated with Blockchain for Social Impact. Their solution could pave the way for repatriation solutions around the globe.