Encyclopedia Thursday, September 23, 2021 2769 hits
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Hacking Hekla: Developing entrepreneurship and innovation in practice – barriers and ways forwards

Authors: Magdalena Falter, Gunnar Þór Jóhannesson, and Carina Ren 
 
Affiliation: University of Iceland, University of Aalborg 
 
HOW TO CITE:
 
<insert-authors> (2021). <insert-abstract-title>. 29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research Shaping mobile futures: Challenges and possibilities in precarious times, 21-23 September 2021. Online. Retrieved: <insert-date>, from http://www.airth.global
 
This article explores entrepreneurship and innovation in rural communities in Iceland based on the case study of Hacking Hekla - a rural hackathon with focus on entrepreneurs in rural Iceland.  
 
Digitalization is often proposed as a new all-purpose method in regional development to respond in an innovative way to the challenges of rurality.  However, when turning to the fine-grained practices of development and implementation, the role of the digital often becomes less clear. This paper seeks to add understanding to how digitalization is understood and worked with in practice in regional development.  
 
By focusing on the motivation of the various actors involved in this activity, we seek to crack open the black box of “innovation, digitalization and entrepreneurship” and shed more light on how these actors describe and work with innovation and entrepreneurship in the context of regional development. 
 
Using action research (Lewin, 1946) as a methodology, this research actively uses the hackathon as a tool towards research as well as development. Data has been collected through participant observations, questionnaires and qualitative semi-structured interviews.  
 
Hackathons are often applied in order to reach instant economic and societal change. The application of innovative tools in regional development processes are hyped as miracle solutions. The case study about the intervention of Hacking Hekla, however, showed that innovation comes about in rather subtle than drastic and smooth ways. Hence the study shows that strengthening entrepreneurship in rural communities is a complex process that might only show effects in the long-term.  

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