Participants at Wake Hacks 2021 were presented with a hypothetical situation: The Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University could have a group of archeological objects in their collection that were looted from Mexico. In the scenario, the museum contacted the Mexican government in an effort 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?
The Art & Antiquities Blockchain Consortium (AABC) approached Wake Forest University for action-oriented research about the use of blockchain technologies for new cultural property ownership solutions. Over 70 students from across the country formed teams to tackle the project over a 24-hour Hackathon hosted by Wake University.
Professor Raina Haque, Law Professor of Practice of Technology, led the design of the project. She has long been passionate about the necessity of interdisciplinary approaches for the coming generation of jurists, and organized the Hackathon as a way to bring these disciplines together. She is currently teaching one of the first in-depth law courses in blockchain technology.
"It is important to bring groups with perceived differing expertise so they can sort of reset their notions of expertise and approach a real problem with a mindset that takes into consideration how reality truly exists... not neatly in the silos of enumerated disciplines," Professor Haque affirms. "With technology advancing at rapid pace, we want our future leaders to be pluripotent—ready and able to dive into frontiers with humble curiosity and vigorous holistic inquiry."