While recent research suggests collaboration isn’t ideal for creativity, there is no denying that multiple minds, attacking a problem from different angles, can come up with solutions that would not have been realized in solitude. Bringing smart people from different backgrounds together is the point of Science Hack Day and similar events that share the same format.
Beginning as a Yahoo event in 2005, Science Hack Days have been held all over the world and bring engineers, programmers and science enthusiasts of all sorts together to brainstorm new ideas. A Hack Day is usually a two-day event. The first day is spent gathering ideas and information, the second on making those ideas into a reality. At the end of the second day, judges choose the best ideas from the bunch and award prizes to the winners.