Diamond Hackathon blends new approach with traditional sector


From Friday, May 4 to Sunday, May 6 the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) hosted the world’s first Hack4Diamonds event at the Antwerp Expo. Callebaut Collective was represented by Prof. dr. Sarah Steenhaut.

With this event, the traditional diamond sector has taken a step towards more interaction with other sectors in Antwerp. The very first ‘hackathon’ for the global diamond industry delivered some very useful ideas. “Blending new approaches and traditional sectors is absolutely necessary,” says Prof. Dr. Sarah Steenhaut, Managing Partner at Callebaut Collective, who participated in the hackathon. “The strength of such an event is the blending of refreshing outside-in perspectives and inside-out knowledge and experience. It is absolutely necessary to keep an open mind on what is and allowing innovation.”

The main focus in a hackathon is obviously driven by technology. But there is more to it. The hackathon responds to HR trends such as coworking. This is essential to make a traditionally closed sector more open and future-proof. “Diamond dealers who work on the same corridor in an office building often do not know each other. We propose an innovative co-working space in one of the diamond fairs. With diamond dealers, start-ups and jewelers, for example,” says Ayelet Lerner, a member of Gem Hive, one of the 3 winning teams.

Ari Epstein, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, is very pleased with the result of Hack4Diamonds and is looking forward to the next edition. “By focusing on new technologies, we want to secure our leading position as a world center for diamonds.”