Solve real problems, right now
Work hands-on on complex problems critical to the city of Oakland and develop technological solutions with a team of engineers, scientists, social scientists, MBAs, and policy experts from the University of California, Berkeley.
Across the country, startups are using the principles of lean to create the next generation of technology companies. Now is the time to solve actual problems that Oakland officials and non-profits are facing at a local level. Startups operate with continual speed and urgency 24/7. Over the last few years they've learned how to be not only fast, but extremely efficient with resources and time using lean startup methodologies. The lean startup methods have been adopted to take on actual problems that are curated and presented either to students taking a class or made broadly available in open challenges to the community.
Hacking4Local: Oakland takes on problems facing Oakland (example - how to improve emergency response times across the community) to problems facing local non-profits (example - changing the nutritional habits of the local community). Some problems might use lean to solve internal process problems (e.g. cut the time it takes to process a homeless inhabitant and get immediate access to healthcare) to large scale problems that have applicability in other cities (e.g. novel solutions to create affordable housing using 3D printing). Students will form teams and choose one problem to work on for the semester from a set of available problems. Each team works on a different problem.
In the Hacking4Local course, student teams develop solutions to help solve important problems faced by the Oakland community. Student teams learn how to apply the Lean Launchpad and Lean Startup principles ("mission model canvas," "beneficiary discovery," and "agile engineering") to solve societal problems. Teams discover and validate sponsor needs and continually build iterative prototypes to test whether the problem and solution are understood. Teams take a hands-on approach requiring close engagement with nonprofits, researchers, and end-users.