Teams, teas and refugees – By @AliciaCliffe

Alicia Cliffe

By Alicia Cliffe



Teams, teas and refugees

Before Christmas I was lucky enough to be invited to a hack day run by James Turner from Greenpeace.


The day was said to be about a group of people coming together to solve a real problem. With the aim of making headway on solutions that we could take out into the real world.


We all came from different backgrounds. From creatives to charities, film makers to planners it was great to have such a range of people in one room.


There were three briefs that we all had the option to choose what one we’d like to work on. I went for brief three, based around Abdul Haroun and his journey as a refugee into the UK.


The day was a lot heavier than my usual Saturday, but full of energy and enthusiasm. Unintentionally, I took away a lot more than I gave so I thought I’d share it with you all.


  1. Talking through a brief with a group of really different people was really helpful for figuring out exactly what we needed to say.


  1. That even when you’ve written the brief it’s good to constantly challenge what it means and what the most important part is.


  1. We tried to gain simple thoughts by asking a question to the group and individually writing down our answers. We then collected them on the wall and grouped them based on themes. Stuff that appeared regularly became a starting point.


  1. That something that feels obvious to you doesn’t mean it’s obvious in general. It’s easy to forget that because you’re aware of something.


  1. Working with old students shows how naturally the processes can come to you and how influential they were to the process.


  1. Even when working in a similar sector, opinions on the world and how it works are so varied. It was crazy to see the difference in how a range of generations valued work etc.


  1. Feeding back to the room over the day was really useful. It forced us to be constantly analyse if we were answering the brief before going down a rabbit hole.


  1. You’re probably always going to doubt your work until someone else supports it.


  1. There’s always time to do something. You can always produce more than you expect to in a day – you just need to do it.


  1. There’s always going to be someone that can help, you just need to ask for it.


So, turn up on the days you take off and to stuff in the real world. You never know what could come of it.

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