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Our planning efforts also aim to create and foster a free and open source documentation on building and running a conference. Everything is accessible and documented within a wiki, mailing list, pads, and other free and open source tools, provided voluntary and in a decentralized manner for and by the community.

Therefore we try to track some “happenings” in the following timeline. Twitter also serves most of the times as a very good timeline, in general.

Please be aware that a lot ongoing things will not be covered here: things that are all-timers for this year, e.g. watching out for venues, learn about shipping and customs, include and contact people, design, and sooo many things more!

As usual this documentation might not be covering the very latest happenings, as documentation always comes at last…. Check our mailinglist and the @hillhacks twitter account for ongoing activities. Also, there are huge gaps in between. But it can still give an idea, whats going on :)

Some text / Introduction

The seeds for hillhacks started out from a discussion with Ritu and Tenzing, the organizers for the Dharamsala International Film Festival and Akiba, an open source hardware developer from Japan. They were discussing the possibility of doing an art&technology event in Dharamsala that centered on hands-on workshops. The main purpose would be to expose local residents and children to digital fabrication and many of the things that are possible today. Since Dharamsala is remotely located in the Himalayan foothills, digital fabrication seems an ideal skill to have since people could fab hard-to-find/get tools or fixtures on demand. One focus of the event at that time would be to get some digital fabrication equipment to the area such as a laser cutter that could stay in Dharamsala and be put to use. Since then the scope of the event has become much broader, although this is still included and the fabrication tools have already been purchased and are on their way to Dharamsala.

At the time of the discussion, Ritu and Tenzing's website was also under attack by malicious hackers. Dharamsala is one of the most hacked places on earth due to the political significance of the Tibetan community-in-exile. We discussed the possibility of having a network security side to the event as well.

Half a year later sva met Ritu and Tenzing when she was living in the local hackbase in Rakkar near Dharamshala: It was at the end of a six month period in India, wherein she had explored this place as a country of amazingly skilled technologists, whereas those techies seldom play around with technology just for curiousity and the joy of it. Seen from the perspective of the Indian society, doing “work” without getting money, learning and gathering knowledge without any certificate is not appreciated much. Sva's background is with the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) in Germany, where it could be seen as the opposite. By giving talks, organizing cryptoparties and attending other events across India she got the feeling, that there are plenty of people who would like to contribute to an open information society, but often feel alone, not confident or just don't know where to begin. She was asked: “Why don't we have something like CCC in India?” Her answer was: “Just get together and start!”, and the idea of an hacking and making event was born.

On meeting sva the two filmmakers promptly connected her to Akiba, and soon the two ideas merged into this happening in the foothills of the Himalayas. Meanwhile many people and organizations started to donate time, money and effort to help flesh the event out.


  • July 2013: sva is coming to Rakkar as a tourist (and also holds a cryptoparty there together with her friend Pranesh Prakash). Also loving this place in the mountains, and came back mid/end August.
  • (when? 2006 or so?): Akiba is part of wireless workshop via Airjaldi and teaching kids of Tibetan Childrens Village some creative use of technology. He is fascinated by the place and wants to come back.


autumm/winter 2013

  • Mindgrep/Ghoomakad is conducting the congress everywhere
  • December and January:
  • 17th November: First conference call, find minutes here
  • 13th November: First Mailinglist hillhackers@ is set up via Infrastructure of Cherry. Also much thanks to Cherry for giving us this name (without knowing that it will be the name back then).
  • 29th October: sva is going back to Germany
  • In the meantime included additionally: Tseten, Daniel Goldman, David Huang, Arun Ganesh, Cherry Matthew, Krishan, (hope haven't forgotten someone?)
  • 8th October: Etherpad conversation at started (check the timeslider-button there to get more details an how, what and when - also its funny to see other typing ;))
  • 7th October 2013: start of email exchange between Akiba and sva; also included as CC: Ritu&Tenzing, Mickey@airjaldi, Ayush and Pratyush @mindgrep/Ghoomakad
  • 5th October 2013: sva meets Ritu and Tenzing at a small staff event of the DIFF


  • End March / beginning April: First budget and content/programme overview.
  • 18th March: conference call with the help of mumble, worked fine.
  • 12th/13th March:
    • Domains (and some more) are bought by mindgrep and Akiba. Thanks!
    • sva and alice meanwhile set up the dokuwiki on those domains. Thanks to alice for providing!
  • 12th March: conference call (which happened not to be a call but a chat instead).
  • 8th/9th March: David, sva and Ayush checking out possible venues in McLoedGanj.
  • 2nd March: sva creates sub-pads to have the information easier readable and accessible, also more focused working on different topics (also as drafts for the upcoming wiki). Also she starts the discussion on what website/wiki/cms.
  • 28th February: new mailinglist with mailman, thanks to Moritz for providing!
  • 27th February: Ritu&Tenzing (DIFF) offer to sponsor the clubhouse as a venue for a weekend workshop. Thanks!
  • 24th February: Akiba is initializing the new drive with writing an email to the list
  • 21th February: sva is reaching back to Rakkar again
  • 14th February: is publishing their call for showing some love (it's Valentines day). sva is having first contact with them after arrival in Mumbai around 16th.



  • (here is a big part missing… e.g. the whole pre-event-tour, see pre-events, the main preparations, etc)
  • mid-august:
    • Venue fixed, advance paid
    • publishing Call for papers and participation
    • huge wiki-rework done
  • 9th August:
    • Open-Street-map-mapping day with the crowd in rakkar (10th anniversary of OSM)
    • got covered in make-zine
      • results in a lot re-tweets and many new ppl subscribing the ML
  • beginning of August:
    • Haseeb joins the orga-team in rakkar
    • sign-up published
    • publishing pre-event dates
  • end july / beginning August: finding finally a venue, negotiating ongoing
  • end july: sva is coming back to rakkar, debanjum is joining in
  • mid july: offer for internship published
    • results in a lot retweets and many ppl subscribing the ML
  • Behinning of July:
    • Got again grant! Thank you!
    • Geekroom McLeod (local hackerspace) moves into a new room! yay!



  • sometimes after october: gets a nice and shiny landing page
  • December: everyone is busy with its own thing. Even no “congress-everywhere” happened :(
  • November second half: Some of us roaming around in Kovalam, to prepare first ideas for the HackBeach
  • November 14th: kickstart hillhacks 2015 event at hasgeeks office in bangalore. Many things noted in a pad:
  • November first half: DIFF supporting and running a stall there. Last tear-downs and clean-ups of hillhacks
  • October: Running hillhacks itself! See twitter-timeline from 10th October onwards, to get an idea.


  • some traffic on the ML, some private threads.
  • Big wiki rework
  • publishing sign up
  • Venue is found and gets paid
  • a pre-event in BLR and one in AMD, hackathons at infinity hackbase, see twitter to get more.



  • April: visiting the venue, signing contract
  • reworking wiki a lot
  • contacting finally ppl that have signed up (some of them already months back)
  • publishing CFP


  • 5th May we move to Shiv Shakti and start CodeCamp, later Hillhacks starts
  • In November we have as a sibling of hillhacks
    • (btw, when did anthillhacks happen?)
  • Mid/End November we have some meetings in Bangalore, to sort the future out



  • We have weekly mumble-meetings, works great!
  • May4 : Codecamp started
  • People learned JavaScript, Android ,Full Stack Development
  • Baths at river
  • Practised yoga everyday with Freeman
  • hillhacks starts at 21st May, we are in Rakkar this time, at the hackbase directly.
  • New things at HH 2016
    • We had a custom electronics badge and soldering workshops
    • Our school program continued this year, adding more schools to the list
    • We had slacklining, yoga, unicycling, and hula-hooping

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