Before the need for a cultural hackathon has been articulated, communities of stakeholders have experienced and identified a set of problems that affect their lives. These stakeholders may include community leaders and administration, but often also includes parents and children. In order to formally being this process, then, the researcher must facilitate a meeting with these stakeholders to gather and record asset of community problems.
Once these problems have been identified, the researcher will assist the community in organizing these problems in terms of their similarities. For example, grouping problems related to education separately from problems related to janitorial needs of the community. Once these problems have been grouped, researchers will facilitate a discussion that iteratively prioritizes these larger groups in terms of priorities relevant to the community. The set of priorities and their categories generated serve as the starting point for the design workshop.
Thus far in the intervention, researchers and community members have been the only players involved. Such exclusivity was intended to solidify ownership of the process with the community members. The next phase of the process, the design workshop, begins the problem solving process and involves the stakeholders NAMEPA intends to involve: engineering students and company representatives.
Part 1 of the Design Workshop begins with a community presentation of the problems they have identified and their associated priorities to the engineering students and company representatives that have agreed to participate. These participants will listen to the set of problems identified and engage in a group dialogue with the community around their understanding of the problem and the way their skills, talents, hobbies and passions may come to play in possible solutions. In this conversation, community members will consider the perspectives of the engineering students and company representatives and determine which problem they would like to solve with this group.
Next, the community will be given time to reflect on the resources/stakeholder perspectives that may not already be present in the room. For example, the problem they may have chosen may involve local politics and outside perspectives. This stage of the design workshop allows community members to add to the design teams those resources/stakeholders that they feel may be important to the actual implementation of whatever solution is generated. Once the extra personnel have been identified, the community members will participate in a concept generation activity with the engineering students and company representatives. Once concepts have been generated, the community members will reflect on their initial priorities and select their top ideas. These top ideas serve as the starting point for the next part of the design workshop: concept reduction and prototyping.
Part 2 of the Design Workshop begins with the top 5 concepts identified in Part 1. To begin Part 2, small teams composed of equal parts community members and engineering students and company representatives iteratively design, build, and test each concept until they have a prototype they are satisfied with. Next, each prototype is presented to the larger team of community members, who then reflect on the initial project priorities and select their top 3 ideas. These three ideas are then prioritized by the community and serve as the beginning of the next round of design workshops. Community members will present the prototypes and their priorities to another team of engineering students and company representatives and this presentation would begin the process again with goals of designing the implementation of the suggested prototype.
The process continues to iterate through the initial list of problems generated by the first process Design Workshop 1. Such an iteration makes it possible for community members to give influential feedback throughout the process. Beyond this built in feedback, however, each completed phase of the process and each rotation of engineering students and company representatives will be finalized with reflection survey tools. These tools will vary by level of participation.