Today is special for more than a few reasons. One, you came to engage with the People Helping People podcast! Two, it’s a new year! Three, this is the 50th episode! I always have great discussions with impact-focused individuals on impact-driven initiatives. This episode was no different.
Suzy Bureau and Louisa Lee flex their social impact muscles with Give Back Hack. At this event, ideas are put through a weekend of organizing, assessing, and presenting to establish a better vision for the idea’s relevance to the community. Here, you’ll find the tech and startup community being brought together. You can think of Give Back Hack as the launchpad for social innovation.
You don’t need to be a full-on entrepreneur with years of experience. All ideas creating impact are welcomed. Give Back Hack is empowering the people who have a bit of knowledge regarding a problem they observed and gathering a set of resources to move solutions forward.
“Connecting folks who have ideas with a team of people who can help work through that first design thinking cycle to create a business model and impact model is a really big piece.” – Suzy
Actually, the event starts with pitching the idea to the fellow participants. Then, teams are formed for the top voted ideas. From there, the teams organize, plan, and validate the idea to create a minimally viable product. On Sunday, all ideas are presented to judges and community members to decide which great ideas will receive funding.
Most focus is on building the solution and user validation. However, Suzy does mention that empathy comes first. Even after the initial idea stage, the event process gives the chance to look back and reevaluate before prototyping.
Give Back Hack is placing more weight on understanding the problem. The event does encourage for ideas to be partially-vetted. Similarly, Give Back Hack started wondering if participants plan to take ideas to the next stage beyond the event. Suzy says they are constantly thinking of how to host an even better event.
The entire event is built on collaboration. Everyone brings their best skills, questions, and suggestions forward! Reliving the six years of Give Back Hack, Suzy and Louisa discussed participant experiences and were not shy to express their reflection of past events. They flipped the script and even had me share an update about Wild Tiger Tees.
“If you’re coming just to see what it’s all about, come with an open mind and be willing and ready to jump in to help out.” – Louisa
Everything we discussed can’t be compacted into show notes, but there is one more thing I will share. Give Back Hack discovered that people who participated felt more comfortable with imperfect presentations after the event. That realization is tremendous for anyone, as “imperfection” can deter most people with ideas from ever sharing.