Lifehack Labs 2014 Banner v3

We’re delighted to have brought Aotearoa New Zealand’s first social innovation lab to life in 2014.

Read about the Ventures which emerged from Labs here.

Over the coming months, we’ll be sharing more about their journey – you can read more about the Lab here.

You can watch our short documentary about Lifehack Labs here:

You can also download the Lifehack Labs Report here.

The Lab focused on improving youth wellbeing by supporting 20 young people from around the country to delve deep into complex problems, up their skills in entrepreneurship, social innovation and technology, invent new responses and lead the projects into the future.

Social Labs are emerging around the world in response to our growing need to find new processes to support people in the public sector, NGO’s, private sector, and the social enterprise space as they search for step-change solutions to complex social, economic and environmental problems. Our lab brings together entrepreneurs, psychologists, designers and techies, with leading academics and researchers, industry mentors, and social impact investors and funders to build the next generation of social ventures to improve youth wellbeing.

Lifehack Labs - blending diverse disciplines with social, experimental  & systemic  character

Lifehack Labs isn’t an business accelerator or incubator program, it is a catalyst – a place for people to collaborate on complex problems, and work together to work out new paths forward. This Lab combines a deep whanaunatanga process with leading-edge wellbeing research from around the world, and a learning environment where participants can upskill in design thinking, lean startup, and social innovation. The ventures which emerge will be led by teams of young Kiwis who have a broad spectrum understanding and capability of how to develop their ideas into working prototypes and beyond.

We don’t measure success by how many apps we have in the app store, or how much investment a project gets. We know that the kind of social change necessary to tackle the youth mental health challenges we have in Aotearoa will only come from cross-disciplinary teams with a deep commitment to collaboration and social entrepreneurship over an extended period of time.

Lifehack Labs - Key Indicators of SuccessWe also recognise that the kind of challenges we face in New Zealand will not be solved by this cohort of Labs participants alone – which is why we’re committed to capturing as much of the learning from the teams as possible and making it available to access after this Lab finishes. We are also looking to share some of our insights about how to run these sorts of Social Labs – so that more people around the country are able to build on this pilot and tackle a variety of the complex problems we face as a Nation.

We couldn’t have done this without the amazing people and supporters behind it – find out more about them below and read over some of the stories from the Lab, and keep in touch with their journey forward.

Lifehack Labs 2014 - People

We’re very proud of our participants, mentors and support network. Meet our Participants, Mentors and Team.

These are the people putting in the hard yards to make Lifehack Labs 2014 a success, but there’s many others who we can’t acknowledge on this site who have helped us along the way with advice and guidance, pro bono support, and the kind of camaraderie which ensures we keep turning up for more day after day. Thank you to you all.

Lifehack Labs - The Blog

You can read the updates about Lifehack Labs on our blog.

We’ll be bringing you updates from behind the scenes with stories from our Participants, as well as updates on the kind of content and activities the cohort have been involved with week to week.

Lifehack Labs 2014 - Supporters

This social innovation lab couldn’t have happened without our amazing supporters.

Key Supporters of Lifehack Labs 2014


Ministry of Social Development


Trade Me



Young & Well CRC

Queensland University of Technology

Ākina Foundation


Mental Health Foundation

Les Mills

Lifehack Labs 2014 - More Info

If you’d like to learn more about the story of Lifehack Labs – check out the full story about the thinking behind New Zealand’s first social lab focused on youth wellbeing here.

You can also follow the experience on social networks with #LifehackLabs – for example check out our curated tagboard.

You can see the story unfolding on our Facebook Page, and even see some of the images from our first week here.

Do you use Twitter? Join the conversation here:

2 thoughts on “#LifehackLabs – Kickstarting Youth Wellbeing Projects

  1. What I have seen in the video clips has prompted me to contact you.

    I’m a former polytech tutor, radio and television trainer and broadcaster. I can multitask, am known for my wide and general memory, and pride myself on my networking skills. I have fostered teenagers who are now doing well.

    I’ve also been a youth worker and youth mentor, and decided long ago that younger people are particularly interesting, provided they are treated as equals and listened to respectfully and openly.

    The Lifehack programme gives tangible shape to thoughts I’ve been having about how disadvantaged many in my home town (Ashburton) are, and I’d love to see them able to pick up the skills and confidence to think outside the square and realise they can have a positive future.

    Social stratification is a reality which is not even seen by those in the top echelons, and in spite of what the rest of the country may think, we are still getting over the earthquakes, and more recently the WINZ shootings which have rocked the area.

    There is also a nucleus of retired people through the University of the 3rd Age
    who have indicated they are keen to help and to mentor.

    I look forward to hearing from you

    Felicity Stacey-Clark

    112 Creek Road, Ashburton 7700
    ph: O274588286

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