STEPS TO PREPARING THE TEAM TO LAUNCH AN IMPACTATHON
These are the general steps to launching your own impactathon. These steps can happen concurrently and some may overlap, adjust them so they work for you
Recruit a stellar team of 4+ people and have them choose their roles. Establish clear division of labor
Set your Impactathon date and format. Decide if this Impactathon is online or in-person and whether it’s a 1 day, 2 day, or multi-day event.
Together, choose a social justice issue that you would all feel passionate focusing on
As a team, select an appropriate tech tool to learn and use to engage with the chosen social justice issue
Create a work plan detailing the different stages of Impactathon development with necessary tasks and their due dates – we recommend using an agile project management method that can be easily adapted week by week. Checkout our work plan templates below
Reach out to organizations and allies in the community working on the chosen social justice issue and ask if they can help lead or collaborate on critical workshops/discussions for the Impactathon. Maybe they can offer alternative resources like hosting the space or providing unique tools like 3-D printers or a Makerspace
Execute the work plan and support your team in making sure all tasks are being carried out when they need to be. Schedule check ins and weekly meetings with your team.
As your Impactathon develops and curriculum is made, create an Impactathon agenda overviewing the: introduction, social justice workshop, tech workshop and closing for each day or session.
For the day of the Impactathon step into a “Host” , “Firefighter” or if needed a “Facilitator” role and help carry out an amazing Impactathon!
BEST PRACTICES FOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Take an agile management approach where you adapt your tasks and focus each week to get things done
Resist power hierarchies and opt for a horizontal structure
Come up with community agreements
How to “work with me” manuals
Build explicit expectations around work, work protocols → for example: let’s agree to put all of work into google docs, don't text me after 9 on weekends etc.
Set a google calendar schedule to easily schedule things
Consistently check in with your team
Use meetings for brainstorming and not for general updates. General updates should be stated beforehand
Ask your team to help you create the meeting agenda beforehand
Keep a roster of everyone who has participants in or facilitated Impactathons
Rotate between check-in questions for meetings and testing out icebreaker or leadership activities
4 WAYS TO IDENTIFY A GOOD COMMUNITY PARTNER
Community partner provides insight into the chosen social justice issue and is able to facilitate discussions or activities around it
Community partner provides resources for Impactathon use. This could look like laptops, a makerspace for screenprinting or 3-D printing
Community partner provides perspective on using technology for social good, particularly around the chosen tech tool. Can host discussions or activities around tech learning & usage
Community partner provides a unique organizational connection that could strengthen your networks