thingQbator EcoHack: Building a Sustainable Future

thingQbator EcoHack: Building a Sustainable Future
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From Fri 8 March 2019 to Sat 9 March 2019
From Friday 8 March 2019 to Saturday 9 March 2019
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

What's happening on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th March?

Join the Cisco ‘thingQbator’ learning programme at MMU. Delivered by the Foundation for Digital Creativity, you will be part of a worldwide community of innovators who are ‘learning by making’.  

Friday: 10:00 am until 16:30

Saturday: 10:30 am until 15:00  

What's an EcoHack?

We’ll help you to explore both wicked and local problems as you work in teams to address urban challenges around the Greater Manchester region.  Once you’ve found a problem, each group will take their design from ideation to a working prototype stage over the course of the EcoHack.

There'll be 3 key questions to address throughout your project:

  1. How can technology help us to live a more sustainable lifestyle?

  2. How can we support you to develop an IoT prototype that improves the quality of life for people in Manchester?

  3. How will use the internet of things to create the building blocks for a sustainable future?

Throughout your time in the thingQbator Manchester space, you’ll be supported by the team with the knowledge, skills and hardware needed to build and showcase your IoT solution.  

Examples of EcoHack themes might include:

  1. Leisure and tourism

  2. Sustainable energy and a connected era for social housing

  3. Sustainable living and food chain

  4. Health and wellbeing

  5. Transport and mobility

  6. Collaborative communities


'Cisco thingQbator' is a network of makerspaces in partner Universities where students can learn about digital technologies in a hands on environment, turn their ideas into working prototypes and in the process come up with local solutions to local problems.

Do I need to be a student at MMU to take part and do I need to register for both days?

Not at all.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students from across every faculty will be invited to sign up to the 2-day thingQbator Make-A-Thon event.

Register for a general ticket (for either/both days) if you're connected with a local organisation (public, private or third sector) that would like to share current issues/problems, as an individual or small group looking to explore digital collaborations with an interest in IoT and innovation.

Can I come along with a family member or two on the Saturday?


We ask that everyone under 18 years of age registers as part of a team with an adult who will supervise at all times during the day. Take a look at the next question below to understand the format of the event and prior learning needed to participate.  

Do I need to be able to code already?

thingQbator activities are designed for university students from every discipline and every level of technical knowledge.

Whether you're an undergrad or postgrad student in History, French, Computer Science, Art or Architecture or any other course, a complete beginner or tech expert, there'll be mentoring opportunities and support for you every step of the way across the 2-day event.

If you're joining us for the Saturday only, we ask that at least one member of your team has some prior experience with programming, so that you're able to build a working prototype on the day.  The hack format of the day means that there won't be a formal workshop session to introduce projects and model each step of the build.

What should I bring into the event?

If you've got a laptop, bring it along. 

There will be access to a small number of computers along with enough sensors and boards within thingQbator for you to incorporate into your connected projects.  We're thinking that you might be like us and prefer your own laptop set up, but don't let that be a barrier to joining the programme :)

Bring along your own refreshments/drinks/snacks/lunch.

How and what can I learn?


What time does each day start and finish?

Friday: 10:00 am until 16:30

Saturday: 10:30 am until 15:00  

Photography at the event

As an organised event we'll be taking photographs of group activities to share through the university and on social media.  In line with MMU's policy we'll share this message verbally during the introduction to the workshop and it'll be displayed on signs around the space. Let us know if you'd rather not be included in photographs.  For images of individuals we'll use the MMU consent form on the day of the event.

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Nearest train station is Oxford Road and great connections with public transport via bus and tram links.  If you are travelling by car, search for the closest car park using The Shed's postcode of M1 5GD.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Email us on and the Twitter account is @thingQbatorMCR.

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