Catherine Bracy discusses what it means to be a hacker and the importance of hacking in society in her activism keynote. She explains that while most people would define hacking as shady or illegal online behavior and hackers as teenagers huddled with their computers, hacking is actually any activity that results in an amateur innovation put towards an existing system. Hacking includes everything from the Underground Railroad to new apps to help people in varying capacities.
In her activism keynote, Bracy describes Benjamin Franklin as one of the greatest hackers, having invented many things, including bifocals and the lightening rod, but didn't believe in patents and thought that all human knowledge should be freely available and accessible. She emphasizes the importance of hacking in creating new innovations and solving problems around the world.