February 07, 2017

How do we organize? Experiences from #makezurich

In this short video, you can get a little impression about how people participating at the #makezurich hackathon worked. Both individually as well as in small groups of 2 to x people, they learned / developed / made things - standing up, sitting down in different ways, and moving around.  

Writing about the #makezurich hackathon, Walter Bernet correctly pointed out in his interesting article that hackathon participants shy away from the use of hierarchies. As there are several problems with hierarchies, it is understandable that people try out other ways of organizing to enable that work can be done in more agile ways. It is fascinating to experience how people move to organizational forms through which they can be more productive, work more creatively, and create more value for more people. In this regard, it was, I believe, a wise decision that representatives of several companies participated at the #makezurich hackathon to learn from how the many young hackathon participants work.

Nurses in the Buurtzorg networks / communities / teams have demonstrated that organizing in small, independent teams can make sense, help create more value for people and save money in the process. Listening to what Wienke Giezeman explained at the #makezurich hackathon, I was impressed about how many The Things Network communities around the world have developed within a relatively short period of time. I understood that within and across these global communities, work is done in a network like way - using various Internet tools / media like Twitter, WhatsApp, Slack, Skype as well as a variety of physical locations. During the #makezurich hackathon, I learned that people worked both from their homes, at MechartLab, at Impact Hub Zürich, on streets, and on their way from a to b. 

During the #makezurich hackathon, I also discovered that microteams with just 1 or 2 persons got very far and produced good results in a relatively short period of time. Thomas Amberg, for example, did some fascinating work on developing a tool using which we can measure what people feel about noise happening around them. Also, I discovered that this team of two young people did some great work in developing a solution to measure air quality.

How do you like to work? As you experience it, what are great ways of organizing work?

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