BUILDING PARTNERSHIP IN INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Constructive engagement and networking with partners are among the key strengths of the AHA Centre.
A strong example of this can be found in the recent staging of the AHAckathon app design and programming competition in October, a component of the Humanitarian Emergency Logistics Innovation Expo (HELiX) held in May this year, organised by the AHA Centre and the Viet Nam Disaster Management Agency.The AHAckathon united more than 50 participants in seven teams from 11 countries from ASEAN and beyond in fostering new innovative ideas and solving contemporary challenges in the field of humanitarian logistics and disaster management. Key to the success of this competition was the partnership between the AHA Centre and Impact Week, a non-profit organisation and programme dedicated to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship through the concept of Design Thinking.
Impact Week has been running similar events to the AHAckathon since 2015 with over 2,000 students involved in the past, and Impact Week’s latest partnership with the AHA Centre was brought about through mutual partnership with HELP Logistics, another longtime network of the AHA Centre and sponsor of Impact Week Jordan 2019.
As has been the case with many organisations, the pandemic in 2020 necessitated transition to virtual events, including HELiX itself and the AHAckathon. Impact Week’s expertise was crucial in this successful transition and the execution of the AHAckathon as a fully virtual event. Furthermore, the AHAckathon was special both because of its focus as an app programming competition, and the next-level integration of the Discord messaging software and MURAL collaborative design board as the platform for the competition – an aspect consistently praised by the participants, alongside the learning experience with humanitarian-logistics and disaster-management experts. In this regard, the execution of the AHAckathon as a fully-online event was also further enhanced by the usage of launchlabs’ Berlin virtual studio and green screen, a key technical implementation by Impact Week and launchlabs, which resulted in the online event’s top-class professional quality streaming and recording.
Another key contribution and support from Impact Week in the AHAckathon’s execution was the steadfast and circumspect guidance of the coaches in guiding the participant teams through the Design Thinking approach to systematically reframe and conceptualise the challenges in the competition, enabling them to truly develop and implement their innovative ideas into working app prototypes aimed at solving the relevant issues and needs present in the field of humanitarian logistics.
In conclusion, with its fruitful discussions, ideas and engagement with partners, the AHAckathon has been a constructive experience and example of the strengths of innovation and cooperation; key aspects that will certainly shape the next steps of the AHA Centre especially as it entered its 10th anniversary in November this year.
Written by : Yohanes Paulus, DELSA Programme Assistant | Photo Credits: AHA Centre and Michael Koegel