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Social innovation goes back to the lab

Lifehack has opened a five-week innovation lab for social entrepreneurs set for Wellington in August.

Lifehack was created last year from the Prime Minister’s Social Media Innovation Fund and has been running weekend events nationwide, focused on using tech to improve youth wellbeing.

But the organisation now wants to scale the concept. “We found that people around the country were excited to get behind the mission and to use their skills and talents to build digital tools such as mobile apps, responsive websites and social media campaigns to improve the lives of friends and whanau,” says Lifehack Labs programme director Sam Rye.

“We knew that weekend events would never go deep enough to build resilient teams who would be able to do the hard yards to take these technology ideas to scale, and impact the lives of thousands of Kiwis.”

He describes Lifehack Labs as a bootcamp “for people looking to solve problems that matter”.

Lifehack co-lead Chelsea Robinson says its looking for people from a range of backgrounds, from graphic designers, game and mobile developers to anthropologists, UI/UX specialists, entrepreneurs and psychologists. The organisation wants 80 percent of participants to be under 30. 

“We’re looking for the Kiwis who have unreasonable hopes for their own lives and for improving the future of rangatahi / young people in New Zealand,” Robinson says. “Progress comes from unreasonable people – so we’re putting the call out to the doers, the tinkerers and the dreamers.”

There are 20 places available in the lab and applications close on 4 July. 

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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