• Nyla Spooner

And the #atdTK2021 hackathon winner is...

DESIGNxHUMANITY (DxH) was chosen as the featured organization for ATD's TechKnowledge Conference Hackathon! Thank you so much to Alexandria Clapp and Sarah Mercier for their support during this process.


"TechKnowledge is excited to bring back the hackathon! Inspired by developer hackathons where programmers work collaboratively on a software project, you'll have the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and work alongside fellow conference participants to solve a sticky, real-world challenge", via the Techknowledge conference platform.


Even hackathons have to pivot during COVID and the 2021 format saw teams meeting virtually over the course of a couple of months to present their solution to our problem statement.


The Challenge


At the Hackathon kickoff, DxH presented a problem statement to participants (thank you to DxH members Damon Patterson, Kim Scott, Emily Wood, Alex Kiernan, Tristia Hennessey, Ameena Kadree, and everyone else who contributed):


DESIGNxHUMANITY teams feel lost at times, and not mentored through the process.

  1. Want teams to feel supported throughout process (have answers to their questions - the are frequently asked, so they can be canned).

  2. Need more operational support that is in some way automated (doesn't require waiting on a live person for answers).

  3. Need a way to provide fast training on how DxH approaches these projects (a way for participants to conceptualize what an end-to-end process looks like).




The Goal


As we prepare to launch our next cohort, DxH's goal is to provide performance support and training to those looking for mentorship through the organization. We want to provide semi-automated, operational support to participants throughout the process, including training on DxH's overall approach to learning in the flow of work.




The Process


Teams, hackathon coaches and DxH members met after kickoff to further dissect the problem statement and conduct interviews. We shared current processes, solutions in progress, and requirements for implementation. We also shared the desired outcomes for the organization. Then teams were off to the races!




The Showcase


The best part of it all: The Hackathon Showcase! Where we get to see the culmination of everyone's hard work. I was not surprised to receive such great work from this team of professionals, but I was excited to see how they approached our problem.


Two teams submitted solutions:

  • Team Triple Threat: Katie Ryan Fotiadis, Carrie Gauthier, Jessica Warmoth, and Juan Mavo-Navarro

  • Team Nyla: Brian Dusablon, Simon Blair, Kate Cleary, Michele Miner, Richard Oppenheim, Michael T. Sanders



Our team reviewed both solutions and loved both of them for similar and different reasons! We used a hackathon scorecard template to rate the following:

  • Does the solution address the problem?

  • Is the solution scalable?

  • Can the solution be implemented this year?

  • What will the overall impact be to the organization?

  • How creative is the solution?

  • How well was the solution presented?

We asked ATD if we could declare a tie, but in the spirit of competition we went ahead and selected a winner. However, DxH is looking forward to implementing suggestions from BOTH teams.


All in all, Team Triple Threat pulled ahead slightly with their solution and were declared the WINNERS of this year's hackathon!! Want to check out the showcase? Check out ATD's writeup to watch the replay and click on the links here to view each solution on its own.


The DesignxHumanity team is excited to work with volunteers, our admin teams, and hackathon members to help implement these solutions!


I'd like to give a special thank you again to Team ATD and Sarah Mercier of Learning Ninjas for all of their help. Thank you to both teams and to everyone who participated in the hackathon. Stay tuned to see how these solutions help DxH continue to grow and meet our strategic goals for 2021.

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