During the first week of November, members of the global HATCH Network and Mexican thought leaders converged in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico for a design thinking lab focused on select local challenges, curated by local influences. The inaugural Oaxaca Challenge is the first of what HATCH intends to be the beginning of an experience that will inspire possibility and change for region – and ultimately a better world.
The Oaxaca Challenge, modeled on HATCH Labs, focused on two primary areas:
“Daylight” the tools & resources that exists in a community.
“Daylight” challenges that need to be overcome on a daily basis.
The day before the Challenge was dedicated to making the personal connections between participants that set HATCH apart from other conferences or business/industry-specific events. Laying out the framework for the Challenge prepared everyone to arrive ready to challenge assumptions and define solutions the next day.
Facilitator Chris Forrest is the co-founder of Doblin, an innovation unit of Deloitte. He specializes in leading large scale innovation transformation programs, working with clients to define their innovation strategy, build capabilities and conceive their breakthrough innovation concepts. He delighted in the long odds:
“Challenges like this is the reason I get out of bed. I have never liked solving problems that are easy, or that have a clear answer. I thrive in the unknown and am nourished by problems and solutions that only true curiosity and creativity can unlock. Our days in Oaxaca were eye opening. The possibility that exists for this dynamic city, with historic, systemic obstacles make innovation understandably challenging. That said, the local leaders we met, made me believe that anything is possible. We will not be able to change the system overnight but we will be able to make real impact and build momentum, and we sparked real change at the HATCH Lab.”
Local leadership included Luis Jesús Torres Ruiz, Founder of La Calera, Mario Guzman Gardeazabal, state council of BANAMEX and a successful businessman, Philippe Martinez who is on the State Council and President of National Development Bank and HATCHer Adriana Pavon, a successful artist and entrepreneur.
Adriana had this reflection on the experience:
“When HATCH decided to activate a Lab in Oaxaca my heart was fill with hope for humanity. The vision everyone brought to the group dynamic was contagious and the communities I serve in Oaxaca benefited from the experience because of all the amazing humans who are part of HATCH, cross cultural collaboration is what is needed to solve global problems. Everyone was so generous, The doors of my creative space are ALWAYS OPEN TO HATCH.
The full-day Challenge was divided into three phases:
PHASE 1: CONTEXT
This segment was dedicated to giving a clear picture of the brain power and creative resources available for problem solving and developing a sustainable mentorship centered on local challenges. At the end of the first phase HATCHer and Innovation Project Manager Chris Forrest introduced the concept of Flipping Orthodoxies , the focus for the rest of the day’s concept development and solution prototyping. In the photo below we see Production Designer Mark Goerner (Avatar, Minority Report, X-Men) work with local Oaxacan thought leaders to conceptualize the “Tequiosk” a new way of exchanging ideas, experience, and knowledge.
PHASE 2: CONCEPT GENERATION
The second phase focused on defining local orthodoxy and refining strategies for challenging ingrained behavior in order for innovation to take hold.
PHASE 3: CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT
The third phase of the Challenge was focused on implementation and follow-up/accountability. Clearly defined tasks were assigned so the great ideas generated weren’t lost in the routine of everyday life.
PHASE 4: There is significant momentum, in the hands of on the ground locals, and there is also discussion of a Phase 2 lab in March or April 2017.
HATCH team members defined the following one-year goals for the Oaxaca Challenge:
Yarrow Kraner – A mentorship development program that dramatically strengthens the possibility of an ongoing, locally-owned, replicable, methodology to connect
Chris Forrest – A clear project that people will invest on that issue with local involvement and global support so we can tell the story and build the momentum.
Mark Goerner – For Mexican entrepreneurs – we offer mentorship and help to a number of individuals
Adriana Pavon – Open the door to the incubator that houses these conversations and entrepreneurs
Elias Cattan– To have enough momentum built, that we can go into solving water related issues
Rebecca Carvalho – To see and present stories to people that raise awareness that connects this culture.