A Hackalong is best described as a holistic continuous co-creation process where a group of people comes together to share knowledge and passions by giving talks, workshops or by brainstorming on specific subjects. This creates a process where the entirety of our perspectives are valued and expression is encouraged. We enter a process that synchronizes our activity and provides the infrastructure for us to signal, branch, merge and coordinate together to co-create something that resonates with us as a collective without any need for coercion, reward, punishment or manipulation.
During the Hackalong, there are three general spheres of vision which participants are encouraged to balance and focus their attention upon:
- Personal – something you want to learn/change/understand about yourself
- Local – teach/build/do something for the place and for the people around you
- Global – think about anything with global relevance and find potential ways to manifest it. Let us co-create prosocial cultural artifacts which are globally applicable
For preparation, participants are encouraged to meditate on these aspects in order to set intentions and directions before their arrival.
We align our activity to the lunar cycles to synchronize group working patterns around the phases of a lunar month. You can imagine the moon as a planet-wide ‘progress-bar’ whereby simply craning our heads to the night sky, we can check-in with the vibes of other Hackalong participants anywhere on planet Earth. This is a way for very globally distributed teams to harmonize their activities.
Synchronicity – image courtesy of Permalab
The process begins on the New Moon with a ~14 solar day period of Acclimation and Appreciative Inquiry where our group thematically explores areas of interests. Think of it as a conversation over drinks where people come up with strange and weird ideas or an exploratory adventure in the night; the conversation starts, branches, barrels down deep pathways and pops out of rabbit holes, and then the whole group comes together and merges again.
The key here is that nobody is told what to explore… we follow our noses organically, and simply signal our directions to enable the rest of the group to synergise early – coalescing, diverging, coordinating around what speaks to us. A key first element of the onboarding/inquiry stage involves the identification of synergies and opportunities to align.
Full Moon Celebration
After a week of intensifying (waxing) compression, the bright light of the full moon gives us a chance to shake loose and gather together, and to celebrate the transition from exploration energy towards convergence, integration, and sharing.
Groups have a chance to share what we have co-created, find new collaborators, see how our creations click or even merge with others. People take this time to check in with themselves and reformulate dispositions and desires for what to work towards for the coming 14 days.
After the full moon shake-out, we come back together and decide what we as a group can feasibly realize out of the threads from the first 14 days. We have been branching, crisscrossing, exploring. Now is a time to integrate. Instead of ending a hackathon with a distributed mess of creative output, we will spend some time to pull together the creative outputs of the first 14 days and bring them together into something valuable we can share with others. Just like any mastery practice – inspiration tempered by discipline.
We followed our own curiosities and drives, and emergently produced something beautiful that is an expression of the unique energies of the group.
The creative artifacts are packaged and published to the world, and the list of co-creators recorded for posterity. By this time, many people may have departed. The work done together is cast in stone and placed under a bonding curve; dual-licensed such that future use or contributions flow back to the initial co-creators/all contributors.
The harmonization period is not a mad rush for a deadline. This is a time for delivery, decompression and rest – getting back into balance, loose group debriefings (a conversation over drinks), integrating what we have learned and meditating on what aspects might become our focus for the next cycle. We feed our souls and come to the next period with newfound knowledge and enriched perspectives… thereafter, eclipsing, reverting and returning to the beginning of the cycle at the next New Moon.