Hack the crisis hackathon

Hack for Sweden is on the 3 – 6th of April hosting an online hacktahon themed “Hack the crisis”.

Hack for Sweden is on the 3 – 6th of April hosting an online hackathon themed “Hack the crisis“. Focusing on three main areas of the Covid-19, or corona crisis the hackathon explores civic solutions within three main challenges:

  1. Save lives
  2. Save communities
  3. Save businesses

Hack the Crisisis online hackathon is organised by DIGGHack for SwedenOpenhack and The Swedish Government. As a previous judge at the hackathon I encourage all creatives, problem-solvers and latteral thinkers to participate.

From the homepage:

What:
We are looking for and will award ideas, prototypes, and solutions in each of these three challenges that can make peoples’ lives easier during the time of a pandemic. 

Who:
This hackathon is a context for all parts of society to contribute – public sector, private sector, academia, non-profit organizations and citizens, who want to join in the fight.

How:
To participate, you can register either as an individual or as a team, and submit your solution in one of the challenges. Gather your friends, colleagues, and family to register and contribute with your ideas.

The hackathon will be carried out 100% digitally. It will start on April 3rd at 15:00. A more detailed schedule will be released continuously – thank you for your patience.

Data & API’s:
Supplied datasets and / or other resources:
More information about resources, tools, and data to make your solutions come alive will be given closer to the hackathon. In the meanwhile, explore 

Software tools for working from home.

Software tools for working from home

The global pandemic of Covid-19 requires us to be extra diligent when connecting and communicating for work and private conversations to a greater extent than before.

Having worked remotely for large parts of my professional life with developing remote tools at GeekGirlMeetup, Scrive and Lookback I want to share my favourite tools for connection and conversations. I hope you find the list helpful, and that it helps you connect well, communicate better and stay safe from home.

To learn more about the best practices for leaders as well as remote and distributed teamwork, benefits and challenges I suggest a listen to the chat with WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg in the episode  “New Future of Work” from the podcast ‘Making Sense’ by Sam Harris.

Communication tools for connection in remote times: 

  • Slack:  For teams already using slack as a closed chat channel, their video functionality is excellent, allowing users to share their screen and draw on their own screen. Great for sharing sketches and ideas, during technical production. My own personal favourite across work and private projects.
    Requires: account and login, free.

  • Zoom: A great video tool that allows participants to share their screen, and extra good for recording a video session or instruction and sometimes even shorter UX research.
    Requires: download and login.

  • Hangouts: A great tool for simpler video chats with lower technical requirements, allows sharing screens of participants. Great for a simple meeting or a lunch chat.
    Requires: a google account and login, downloads optional on desktop, requires mobile app download on phone, owned by Google.

  • Whereby A personal favourite for meetings and sharing your screen, where on desktop the level of entering the service is low. The user who receives the link to a call on desktop and does not need to login. The simple “open-link-to-enter-video-chat” lowers the threshold of complexity speaking with people who are less likely comfortable taking time and effort to prepare for a meeting, downloading software. Whereby was formerly known as Appear.in.
    Requires: Does not require user account login on desktop. The mobile usage requires a mobile app download.

  • Skype: An old favourite and possibly the longest standing Voip (Voice over IP) service, sold to Microsoft. Probably the most widely adapted tool in the world for simple meetings across work and family calls.
    Requires: user account downloads and login, owned by Microsoft.

  • Whats app. A mobile app that allows free phone and video calls across operating systems iOS (iPhone) and Android. For example, you are on an iPhone and your dad is on Android, FaceTime won’t work, What’s app does! Several users can participate in a call. Great for family calls. Owned by Facebook.

  • FaceTime. A phone and operating system dependent app, thats is embedded for free on every iPhone. No need for downloading anything, just click “FaceTime” when calling any other iPhone user. Several users can participate in a call. Great for family calls.

Included Works sponsors diversity tickets Swift & Fika

included.works, swift, swiftandfika, stockholm, sweden
Included.works sponsors diversity tickets for Swift and Fika in Stockholm on the 9-10th of September.

For the past year I have been working on my new startup, Included.works – a crowdsourced hiring for tech with focus on diversity hiring. We firmly believe that developers personally recommending other developers for jobs is the new new and the best thing since CSS. So this autumn we are supporting diversity tickets for Swift & Fika, the Swift conference in Stockholm on the 9-10th of September in Stockholm, Sweden.

Having been sponsored by many other great companies when working on GeekGirlMeetup we are super happy to give back to the community when we can. We hope you all have an amazing event and encourage many future bright minds of tomorrow to create iPhone apps audaciously #swift

Apply for tickets at http://www.swiftandfika.com/#Diversity–121466

If you want to check out our service in very early beta with no design and bugs, please sign up and recommend a friend to tech job at www.included.works and get €2000 if the person gets the job.

Dancing robots workshop for children at Tekla and Music Tech Fest

For the past 2 years I have been involved teaching girls how to build robots that dance at Tekla in affiliation with the Royal institute of Technology (KTH) and GeekGirlMeetup. In 2018 Tekla continues with the tradition during Music Tech Fest in the lead and we facilitate a dancing robot workshop.

The focus of this workshop is understanding basics of how to bild a robotic creatures as well at trying something new that you haven’t tried before and what it means to be brave.

If you want to hear about future robotics workshops for kids, sign up to my newsletter.

Subscribe to our mailing list



The role of role models

Last month the organisation My dream Now asked me to speak about finding my path from youth to adulthood and I accepted with pleasure even when finding my path was not always so pleasurable. Being honest about it, accepting it and exploring is the valuable part to share. Meeting, speaking with and answering questions with the 9th graders at Bäcka skolans in Stockholms was a heartwarming experience I’d recommend.

Role-models have been central and meaningful in my life, showing me that everything is possible. Role models can come at any point in life but they were extra meaningful to me when I was young. The role models that lead the way before me lead by example boosted my curiosity and creative confidence, and that is exactly what was behind the creation of GeekGirlMeetup, my work with user experience and my startups.

In general it is hard to serve up a one-answer-fits all type version with this type of engagements, all one can do is speak about ones truth. I was happy the young adults had questions about how I chose my education, how to use a possibility mindset (use your possibility glasses). We ended up making a spontaneous idea development workshop to challenge their boundries of what is possible hopefully widening both my own and their mental models. I dearly hope I managed to spark the importance of doing what you love independently of your background or where you come from just as my role models once did for me for at least one of them.

Make a difference by inspiring the future bright minds of tomorrow
If you too want to make a difference, contribute by signing up to speak about your job at the “My dream Now” link or Transfer that is another organisation I have done talks with to promote the connection between working life and everyday life at school.

 

Learnings from a Meerkat interview

Last week I did an AMA at the Slack-based UX community Designerhangout as the UX research at Lookback.io with Meerkat. Meerkat, similarly to Periscope allows you to live streaming app that allows you to take questions and re-posts your interview to Youtube later which, very neat and practical. Here is a short description of the experience and the findings.

The founder of Designerhangout Jacob Rogelberg and I scheduled the AMA (Ask me anything) a week in advance so I had time to do a test recording with Meerkat before going live on @designerhangout  with their entire community and not bugging them with tech details etc. I would do this again just out of curtesy, you don’t want people waiting while you get yourself together.

I also emptied my phone for excess materials. For example i synced all my photos externally and then deleted them so I had more than 200 MB to play with, that makes it a nice experience. Mainly I do this at any point in time when you are using video on your camera over 10 minutes of recorded material. My interview was 33 minutes. That takes some overhead, clean out some space on your device.

I signed in to Meerkat with our Lookback Twitter account as I have hade major difficulties with twitter password support after adding SMS verification, that has gone awry and won’t let me back in. Twitter customer service has a lot left to wish for but thats another story.

By tagging the video #katch Meerkat allows it to catch the video on Youtube later, so its documented. I named it appropriately so if people RT it it makes sense if its of for them on not “AMA with @lookbacks UX research @heidiharman”. This way when the tweets from your Twitter and Meerkat happens, it’s clear what the clip is about.

Once you are on Meerkat, people will show up in little round circles on your Meerkat screen, thats filming you if you flip to selfie mode (frontal camera). You will also get questions thru the Meerkat app. I got most of my questions thru our UX forum (designers hangout). My thoughts this, it being a new experience for both the founder and me, was that we could have prepped up with some questions in advance. And the forum could have directed the question to be done via Meerkat, this way I as the interviewee would not have to go between 2 screens.

Things I did in the beginning were:
1. Introduce myself, name, role, company and why I’m here – for the AMA.
2. I spoke briefly about what Lookback does.
3. I started answering questions.

It seemed as if more questions started popping towards the end of the 33 minute conversation in 2 different chat-rooms, Twitter and Meerkat. If advise to keep it one Channel.

I might even set up a tripod, so I don’t have to do handhold the recording at the same time I’m looking for questions on my desktop screen, ultimately i would only be working on the Meerkat screen.

All in all, it was a neat experience with people asking great questions and it was a lot of fun teasing out new stuff. Id definitely do it again and recommend it as a great tool for this type of interviews and makes it simpler to gather the material and publish it. Best of luck with your recording, AMA, Q&A or whatever creative use you find for it. Hope this helps your future Meerkat or Periscope interview in the future.

The actual stream:

Space Apps Challenge 2015- Stockholm by NASA

The sky is not the limit! Come and explore Space to improve life on Earth at Spaceport Swedens´s Innovation competition Space Apps Challenge 2015- Stockholm by NASA on April 11-12th at SUP46, Start-Up People of Sweden who welcomes designers, programmers, artists, scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs from all ages and backgrounds.
The challenges this year is divided into the four themes Outer Space, Earth, Humans or Robotics. Read them all here: https://2015.spaceappschallenge.org/challenge/

The final program and more information about our partners will be posted at the website: https://2015.spaceappschallenge.org/location/stockholm/
We have a limited number of spots this year so be sure to apply fast to become our first testpilots !

YOU NEED TO REGISTER HERE: https://2015.spaceappschallenge.org/register

Hybrid Conf – a once in a Stockholm event

Every now and then wonderful spaces are created, #hybridconf in Stockholm was one of them. The last event was in Cardiff (UK) hosting this 2-day batch of blissful international code/entrepreneurial startup/leadership/philosophy/organisation talks.

With speakers like Scott Hanselman @shanselman, Natasha Irizarry @NatashaIrizarry on UI/UX+life,  SASS designer Hampton Catlin, Tobias Ahlin from GitHub to NASA’s Tom Söderström speaking on robotics it was two amazing days of JavaScript, Sass, lego robots, hacking stuff together(Andrew Nesbitt) and other shenanigans. Oh, did we mention bowling might be the new (ping-pong) friendly sport of startups?

Related:
UI/UX Podcast by @axbom and @beantin covered several speakers:

Image above by me, of Tom Söderström, NASA. Image below by me, Andrew Nesbitt’s talk. Thnx @zachinglis @teawithlemon for putting this together, who are also working on this wonderful new project for youth employment, “Everyone Welcome – the Book”.

Footnote on Sass:

Future Perfect – on involment in growth regions

Open Dialogues future perfect
I spent a delightful second weekend of August speaking at Future Perfect, a festival for cross-disciplinary dialogue on sustainable future(s) located at the island of Grinda in the Stockholm archipelago. At the roundtable discussion I was invited to in the pre-dialogue, I was in with Therese Engstöm  (Sime Non-Profit) Shawn Westcott (Impact Invest), Bill Peduto (Mayor of Pittsburgh), and John Manoochehri (Future Perfect’s founder) on how to build a sustainable growth region and thinking on what can be done for Pittsburgh to attract and maintain talent.

My suggestions were as follows in an extended version:

• Coding is the new literacy (enabling).
Adapt code as a language in school from class 1. Everyone should have the chance to learn  the very basic functions of a practical (coding) language, a knowledge need for whatever you pursue later in life. Everything will have elements being built and created by code, just look and think of the internet of things, and of the things you use daily; they all contain tech. Everyone should be given the privilege to have the choice to pursue coding as a language.

Even though there are brilliant initiatives such as Kiddshackday.com it’s still a private initiative that (only) benefits the children with enthusiastic parents. On the national level of every country the government should step in and make sure that every kid has the possibility to learn,  as we don’t know where the next Einstein will come from – a privileged area or not. Conclusion: coding is the new literacy for the decades to come.

The US GeekGirlMeetup is looking froward to do a joint venture GeekGirlMeetup event in Pittsburgh later this year or in the following spring.

• Involving everyone – (diversity involvement on grassroots levels)
To maintain a nation’s innovation strength that leads to growth, we need to have a diverse uptake of ideas. Having women’s ideas being a contributor to the industry is of crucial importance. Increasing the numbers of women working within tech, development and entrepreneurial roles (the STEM area) is first and foremost accomplished by elevating role-models that already exist. There is of course no easy fix, or a single answer on how to go about it, but rather a collaborative effort over boundaries of education leadership, governmental efforts, and non-profit and private actors.

I was once told that a culture takes 30 years to change. It seems clear to me that if we are dependent on this change to happen, and we really want results, we need to commit and take the challenge into a long term perspective.

Why coding is so important that it should be seen as a school subject like a language, is for inclusion of everyone, like stated in the paragraph above, involving kids from all areas of a city, and including women – especially women. 

• The UI of Growth – citizen (user) involvement
As a UI/UX-designer my job is to think about people’s behavior and  about how to make people feel smart. When people ask me what that means I try to describe to people that when they are using their  ____ (insert internet service of choice) and they get angry or confused because they don’t understand what to do, then I have failed in my profession. When a service works seamlessly and makes you feel like it’s a piece of cake, then I’ve done a good job as an interaction designer or user experience designer.

If we are to apply the same thinking to our surroundings: in a society the users are called citizens, and social-innovation is the impact that we’re looking for instead of a fancy new site or app. If the user or citizen is to be empowered, the result is benefits that all citizens can use.

When technology provides an arena (previously less accessible due to cost or availability) to act and create possibilities where feedback loops between government and citizens exist this opens up for an amazing dialogue.

That’s how politicians/governments have the possibility to think too: “How can we make this easier for people to live amazing lives, build growth businesses, and create sustainable and growth regions, and live happy and healthy lives”.

Due to having lived in many countries where systems function differently and with different perks and quirks, I have learned to see that there are no perfect systems. However, there exist smooth ways to including citizens in social innovation, for example Sweden has Vinnova (Sweden’s innovation Agency) similar to the UK’s NESTA who are both governmental organs supporting the nations to include and make it possible for entrepreneurs and organizations to innovate. Spending time in the US, this works a bit differently as the private sector often pushes money into the innovation sector. But we need to remember that the base of Silicon Valley was not built on only private investors’ investment. Silicon Valley was supported by the government in the early 1950s as the US was racing Russia to the moon with great enthusiasm for the future. I’m not quite sure where that went; do we need an enemy to keep up our enthusiasm?  (If you haven’t read Peter Thiel’s excellent book “From Zero to One” that is out in September, pre-order a copy here. Thank you Dinelle for the gift!).

“What we know Silicon Valley to be today, a land of startups didn’t just magically appear out of no where, the region has had so much money pushed in to it, beyond belief.”
– Paula Graham, Flossie. (This quote was picked up at a talk we both did at G.Hack Thursdays Club at Goldsmith University, London)

Setting up an innovation and co-creation process starts with including a wide variety of people representing society and anyone who wants to participate in the value chain. When many have a possibility to participate, we create a society where citizens take responsibility as they know that they can impact their everyday life and surroundings. 

PhD Eric von Hippel describes this well in his book “Democratizing Innovation” even if from a more commercial perspective. It all starts by understanding the user and that starts with  a communication unafraid of being wrong and with out accusation towards any of the parties. It starts with an open dialogue, where both parties are trying to understand the expert user and their aim for making thing better and discovering how to do this together.

What I take with me from the event where Future Perfect set the frame for creating an arena (both in smaller pro-dialogues and open dialogues) for dialogue on future sustainability very well during is that it doesn’t start from one actor in only the environment or the government. It takes strong  leaders unafraid to collaborate who are unafraid of potentially being wrong, looking beyond failures and quick wins for new answers and possibilities who are yet unknown to us. It should be possible, after all, we have sent people to the moon.

(Please note, I’m trilingual if not more, however, Im not a native english speaker. Excuse any blurs.)

Related:

•  Peter Thiel’s excellent book “From Zero to One” that is out in September, pre-order a copy here)
• Eric von Hippel’s book “Democratising Innovation”. A free PDF of it from MIT.

Hello autumn in Stockholm 2014

Stockholm provides a selection of newsworthy tech-fests and crossover festivals/conferences this autumn in Stockholm. The list might be updated.

Future Perfect, 14-17 Augusti 2014 at Grinda, Stockholm Archipelago
Sustainability conference that also incorporates the tech perspective of the future for new creative regions etc. Discount tickets via @heidiharman

Hybrid Conf 21-22nd of August 2014, Rigoletto, Stockholm
Say hello to design and code in a merry combo for two days of bliss. A few tickets left.

Stockholm Tech Fest 4-5 Sept 2014, Waterfront Congress,  Stockholm
Startup and tech conference with some of Sweden’s and international leading names. Come meet the people and companies behind what many are calling ‘The World’s Next Hot Tech City’. 2 stages, 100+ startups, 30+ speakers, in 1 amazing place. Free tickets available via GeekGirlMeetups FB page.

Nordic.JS 18-19th of September 2014, Artipellag, Stockholm Archipelago.
Nordic.js is a two-day conference all about Javascript aiming to inspire and to get inspired, to meet and learn from others and to to bring our community closer together. The conference will take place on an island in the middle of the beautiful archipelago of Stockholm. Tickets have sold out, volunteer tickets might still be available.