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#becauseofhatch: Reflecting on the impact of HATCH Experience//Big Sky 2016

“I prefer the absurdity in believing that this very moment matters, and that what we do can actually change the world.” – Pete Strom, HATCH facilitator

In its thirteenth year the HATCH summit gathered together 150 of the greatest minds in the world, all striving to “HATCH a better world” through creativity and innovation. They call it The HATCH Experience. But to those who attend, it is so much more than an experience; it is the lasting impact. The workshops, networking opportunities, ideas generated, and solutions hatched will impact peer circles and communities around the world, long after the weekend has come to a close.

The ripples of ingenuity have already begun to spread globally, from the high school student connecting with a new writing mentor, to the filmmaker giving business advice to the startup tech director. HATCH is more than a summit. It is more than workshops and networking opportunities. HATCH creates a space for people to find commonality between one another and truly connect over the basic tenets of what it means to be human.

#becauseofhatch

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In between his service as a US Marine, Quentin Robinson has danced professionally for seventeen years. He was invited to HATCH as a performer and an innovative artist, and on his first day he happened to meet Alan Macy, founder of BIOPAC systems, a data collection and analysis company. They both realized their interest in studying the physical body’s movements connected to music. Quentin has had an idea for awhile to attach electrodes to a dancer and allow them to create sounds through muscle movement. His idea originated with a friend who is a ballerina, and also happens to be deaf. In this process, for example, a bicep flex may be a bass drum or a leg lift may be a violin note. Quentin wonders, “What if we could create an entire song with multiple dancers?” After attaching electrodes to Quentin while dancing, Alan is now going to take the data gathered and create musical notes. #becauseofhatch Quentin, in collaboration with Alan, will be able to give his deaf friend, and all people with disabilities, the chance to, literally, ‘feel the music.’

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Emma Bowen, a seventeen year old at Bozeman High School met others in a HATCH breakout group who wanted to address inequality around the world. She wanted to start an equality movement that targeted young people through social media to “bridge the gap” between different racial and social groups. With a handful of other HATCH participants, and about half of those being high school students, they created the Instagram feed, @samediffus, a movement geared towards artistically showing the sameness in people regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Portraits of people are halved and combined with the face of someone who appears to differ from them. Emma says that, while physical differences may be easier to portray, it won’t always be physical. “We want to get to know people’s stories first,” she says, “and so people may be paired up based on different lives instead of just physical differences.” Emma says that her first HATCH experience, and being able to work on the @samediffus project was “truly life changing.”

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Founder of Max Lowe Media and a representative of National Geographic Creative, Max Lowe traverses the world in search of stories through words and images. He understands the adventure-filled world having been raised first by professional climber Alex Lowe, and then climber Conrad Anker, after Alex passed away in a climbing accident in 1999. This past spring two mountaineers discovered Alex’s body, more than sixteen years after the tragic accident, and the Lowe-Anker family made the arduous journey to the mountains of Tibet to retrieve his body. Max spoke at HATCH about the physical and emotional journey and the search for meaning around family, passions, and challenges. Moved by his speech, fellow filmmakers and artists approached Max about collaborating. #Becauseofhatch a project has emerged with Max, the founder/CEO of a video licensing platform, a festival director, a musician, a choreographer, and other filmmakers, that will “bring an idea to fruition inspired by the emotions that came from HATCH,” Max explains. Together they are working on a choreographed film about people opening up and being vulnerable, while gaining a better realization of who they are. “It’s cool to learn how to approach the walls you put around yourself and approach what you believe you can and can’t do.” Whether it’s regarding family, career, or the struggle to define oneself in the world,” Max says, “You take these challenges in life and rise to the occasion.”