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EmpowerMEnt Matters12-Hour Social Innovation Hackathon


2 months ago

50 students in grades 6-11 in Niagara got a crash course in tackling challenges in their community earlier this month with help from ihub, ncTakeOff, DSBN Educators & community leaders!

On Saturday, May 12, we hosted a free 12-hour social innovation hackathon to kick off Empowerment Matters, a movement to empower students to become active citizens who are engaged in their community. The hackathon allowed students to select a social problem evident in their community based on the Living in Niagara Report and worked together in groups to brainstorm solutions. The areas that participants chose to focus on were: Environment, Work & Employment, Housing & Shelter, Arts, Culture & Heritage, Health and Wellness, Transportation & Mobility, Crime, Safety & Security and Community Belonging. Within these areas teams chose to focus their efforts on finding solutions with assistance from team leaders and community mentors who helped teams develop and define their solutions & pitches before presenting to their peers & judges, including our event Sponsor, Healthy Kids Community Challenge Niagara.

The morning kicked off with an inspirational Keynote from the Founder of Cheekbone Beauty, Jenn Harper. Her Keynote truly set the tone for the day encouraging students to re-frame the way they look at mistakes, ask as many questions as possible and not to let anyone stop you from doing something you’re passionate about! “You have all the power within YOU”, she told participants. Students had a series of learning sessions as well including a lunch-and-learn & live podcast with Wolfgang Guembel of the Wolf of Locke Street and a session on Marketing & Personal Branding with Kate Carnegie of KC Media.

Stay tuned, we will be putting together a report of the day including all of the ideas that students came up with over the course of the day & thoughts posted on our Empowerment Matters sticky note wall (check out @EmpowermentMM and @ihubNiagara for a preview)

In the meantime, you can check out the YourTV coverage of the event here: https://yourtv.tv/node/90616?c=niagara.