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Hack The Crisis – My first hackathon

Kirjoittanut: Caroliina Sievers - tiimistä Apaja.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.

The Lean Way to Create
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

As I have been participating in the RBA I was lucky enough to meet Joe Pacal on one workshop session. There I made a connection that lead me to participate in several hackathons with Joe and others. This Hack the Crisis movement came from the universal need of helping all people to cope with the COVID19. Hackathons mostly are tech-oriented happenings and are held physically in one place. The typical time for the hackathon is 48 hours but there can be longer ones. The basic idea is to gather a team into one place and then work with the problem given with as long as possible and with high intensity. That means there isn’t much sleeping and to have just the mandatory breaks. It is super intense and rewarding to be able to test the limit of a person and the team in so many different ways.

Normally hackathons are held in one place, not online. But because of the circumstances for the first time, these hackathons in different countries where hold remotely. That also meant that all the teamwork, ideations, and building would happen without able to see each other on live.

Joe is a design thinking master, so he was the one who facilitated us through the weekend. Finland’s Hack The Crisis movement had three different categories to attend: Save lives, save communities, and save businesses. We took part for save lives- and safe communities challenges.

The safe life category was about: “Healthcare officials together with the whole medical industry are racing against the virus, trying to find new and better solutions to response to the virus. What could they do next? Or could there be another, indirect solution to help individuals stay safe?”

We didn’t aim to participate in that, because we felt that we didn’t have the right team to tackle that challenge. So, we had our focus on this: Different communities are struggling to keep their operations and communications running now that physical distancing is the new normal. How could the communities improve their online communication and promote social solidarity? Maybe a new way to host online activities? But in the end, we actually ended up to the top5 in the safe live -category.

How to find the problem

We started the work at the miro platform. There we had canvases to help with our thinking. We started defining the right problem with post-it notes. Discussions about the problem started. We asked: “What are all the things stopping our communities from responding to the virus?” “What are all the things that will stop our communities from recovering from the virus in 3-6 months’ time?” “Why our communities will not be any more resilient in the wake of this in the future?”

Then we had the circle exercise to discuss and write about the challenges which came to our mind. The main idea with the exercise was to have the flow going on and also to be able to cluster different things together.

Thinking about the factors

From there we were able to start the discussion about the factors linked to the social distancing. We grouped the factors into the human-, information-, technological-, governance-, cultural-, solution- and operational factors.


With that discussion, we were able to start talking about human behavior more deeply. We started to build knowledge about the users. We had exercises to find out what type of people we would want to allure. We ended up talking about the early adaptors since they are the ones you normally want to try new things and when the early adopters are using the product, the majority follows at some point. After selecting one group we were able to ask questions about their aches etc.

Finally, we were ready to start the conversation about the solution. We used the same circle technique as mentioned before and used icons to vote online for the best idea to start work with. At this point, we had already started with the validation process about our users. With those answers, we were able to start building a product for their needs. And that is how Clans Of Cause started.


Futurice. The Lean Way to Create



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