Ten.ten. Ten to ten. A full dozen! Usco Hackathon

We were told about USCO Hackathon event and a change to participate in it. I had no idea what it was or what could be my role in it. But it’s always good to try new things, so I decided to join and I’m not regretting. It was an excellent experience.!


USCO Hackathon was held at Laurea Leppävaara campus on 10th of October from 10 am to 10 pm. Full 12 hours of innovation. There are so many things I could write about. I could write about hackathons or this specific event. I could tell you how great the whole event was, how well it was organized, food, premises, everything – because it was! I could tell you how good our facilitator was and how important her role was – but I won’t tell about that. I could tell you about the evening gala and all the interesting talks we heard – but I’m not going to tell about those either.

I want to write something that opened my eyes and what I learned about myself, team work and the dynamic and power of the team.

I have started my studies at Laurea this autumn and our firs course was Design Thinking. Really very interesting but it left me wondering: what just happened? I was amazed by the new things. Attending to the hackathon opened my eyes about those earlier things too. Why do we tackle the problems or situations in multidisciplinary teams? Why don’t we work alone or sit on our ideas until they are finished? Why do we need the input from so many when one person could do the job?

We were seven team members plus our facilitator. Our team wasn’t the most heterogeneous. We only had one man versus 6 women. Our age gap wasn’t huge, our study back ground was on the same side of the ball and still we were so different. While we were working and using different service design tools I was amazed how different our viewpoints were. Of course, I thought that I had a superpower to observe things from different angles and come up with ideas that no one could, but how wrong was I. I think this was really something I had to experience. Innovation process is most efficient when rolling ideas around and everyone gives it a spin. You don’t know where it leads.

Another thing is the group energy. Now that I’m trying to write this I notice I’m thinking about coffee and if I should pay the bills or do the dishes. Same thing happened with the group. Somebody got stuck or lost focus but others continued and if we all got stuck our facilitator pushed us forward. There is more will and energy in a group when well facilitated than in just one person.

Third thing where I got a lesson as a team member is that don’t fall in love with your own ideas. Don’t try to force them and don’t cling on to them. It’s not healthy relationship and it only slows down your group if you are stuck with one idea. First get as many ideas as possible, introduce yours, listen everybody else’s but when it’s time to narrow it down, leave the unpopular ones behind and look forward. You have to honestly commit to common goal and not to solo fly. When it’s time to move on you need to move on and give your best!

I haven’t always been big fan of teamwork but this changed my mind. I could never have been so productive or come up with so many ideas by myself. As a part of our group I was economist, project manager, team leader, family guy, mother, student and who knows what. I think there is more to learn about the team work and how to get the best out of it. I hope I learned my lessons and improve myself as a productive team member!

Now I could start telling you about the event and how our facilitators and organizers made it possible for the teams to perform at their best but I’m not going to do that. You have to read it from the source!

You can find more info about those things I decided not to write from the links below.



Big thanks to all organizers. It really was time well spent!

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