A systems-level intervention from 2013-2017

Lifehack was a systems-level intervention in youth mental health and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand. Over 2013-2017 we grew the capacity of the system to support the wellbeing of young people, with an emphasis on co-design, prevention and capability building.

We have open-sourced everything we learned on our website.

  • The Blog is home to all our reflections on designing for youth wellbeing to help you run your own programmes.
  • The Resources section has all the tools, and methods developed and tested over our four years of experimentation, as well as reports showing how we tracked impact.
  • The Initiatives page gives a summary of each major Lifehack programme.

How Lifehack came about

In 2011, a report from the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor made extensive recommendations about how New Zealand might improve outcomes for young people. It presented a clear message that no single intervention would be sufficient to make a substantive difference for young people. An integrated and consistent approach was needed across a range of new interventions and initiatives.

The (former) Prime Minister's Youth Mental Health Project emerged out of that work, and Lifehack was one of 26 initiatives aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of young New Zealanders.

Lifehack's experimental approach

From 2013-2017, Lifehack has developed, modelled and evaluated a range of approaches to innovation in youth-wellbeing, drawing on existing evidence from wellbeing science, design, social entrepreneurship and technology.

Lifehack worked at a systems level, building the capability of the youth workforce to apply tools and methodologies from these different disciplines to enable them to work in a more cross-sectoral way, better identify local issues and youth vulnerabilities, and co-design more effective and contextual responses with the young people and communities affected.

Lifehack's Impact

Lifehack's goal was to see all young New Zealanders flourish. Lifehack's influence on youth wellbeing can be traced through the actions and interventions of our partners. We measured our success by the changes achieved at a systems level, because this is where conditions for youth wellbeing are set and enabled.

You can learn more about Lifehack's impact in the video below, and in the reports on our resources page.

The Lifehack Network

From 2013-2017, Lifehack experimented with a wide range of initiatives aimed at improving the lives of young New Zealanders. Our network of ventures, change-makers and advocates grew and grew with each new programme or intervention.

In 2016, we created a network map to display the connections between the many people in the Lifehack community.

How to use the map

You can zoom in and out, and move around the map, to explore the connections between Lifehack groups, projects and individuals. You can also use the search field to find specific groups or people.