LIFEHACKING in Christchurch!

Wow, what a weekend! Here in Christchurch, we’ve turned community spirit into an art form, and this was evident during our LIFEHACK Weekend.  Everyone pitched in to make sure the event was a memorable one.

Olivia and I knew we might have a few issues trying to secure a venue in Christchurch, and with good reason!  Space is scarce around this town.  Fortunately for us, Dr. James Smithies came to our rescue and offered to host our event  in association with the College of Arts Digital Humanities Program, and UC Innovators – two exciting new initiatives currently emerging at the University of Canterbury. 

Our next mission was to find participants, and that was easier said than done, what with our LIFEHACK Weekend being on the same weekend as graduation, the last weekend of the uni holidays, the first weekend of the school holidays, during a Crusaders game, and teenage rave!  We were lucky to have RDU, Ministry of Awesome, the Student Volunteer Army, UC, and a bunch of youth organizations putting out the word for us because we got such an awesome group of people participating in our Weekend!

With the venue taken care of, and the word getting out on the street, we turned our attention to food, as you do. :)  These weekend gigs can be pretty intense, so making sure there’s coffee and plenty of food is kind of crucial. We tend to frequent New World in Ilam and have always found it to be one of the most friendly, well organized supermarkets around, so Olivia cruised in to ask owners Phillip and Sarah Blackburn, if they would be interested in helping us out with breakfasts for the Saturday and Sunday mornings.   Phillip and Sarah were delighted to help, providing us with yummy fresh pastries, muffins and savory scones to keep the teams going all weekend!  THANK YOU!!  

Guy and the team at C4 Coffee got on board and supplied us with ESSENTIAL CAFFEINE, filter machines, and cups!   Seriously, I wouldn’t be awake now, if it wasn’t for C4!  I’m sure coffee played an important role in team creativity!  As did all the DELICIOUS fruit prepared for us by Zoe from PureFresh Organic in Christchurch.  I think we’re slowly getting the country addicted to those All Good Bananas!  They’re AMAZING!  If you want to eat fruit that tasted like it did when you were a kid, go for PureFresh Organic!

We’d also like to shout out to Leone, Simon, and the crew at Pita Pit Riccarton, our generous lunch times sponsor!  In fact, we were able to reach out into the wider community  and invited some awesome art students to join us for a Pita Pit sandwich, in exchange for a bit of team mentoring on logo design!

Things could have got real messy, if it weren’t for the Rangiora Voluteer Fire Brigade lending us all their cups and plates!  Definitely made it easier to keep nourished and hydrated during the weekend!

There were a few quiet superheros that really deserve a mention too!  Merinda Wilson and Tim Robert of Hello Lemon picked up our tasty St. Pierres Sushi and Pita Pit sandwiches and delivered them to us throughout the weekend.  Robyn Sutherland, Gateway Coordinator at Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti School, picked up and delivered our breakfasts from New World Ilam, and Sally Hall, Hospitality teacher at Riccarton High School, took some of our young volunteers out for a break.  

Next up, were our student volunteers, Olivia Taylor from Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti who helped to organize the event and local sponsors; Rachel Daly from Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti who helped with photos and social media; Maisie O’Donnell from Rangiruru High School who helped with team consultations and general tasks; Mackenzie Kane from CPiT who helped with general duties; Blair Reed from Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti, who helped with packing in and setting up on Friday evening; and Joshua Paul from Lincoln High School who helped with team consultations, general tasks, and loved the experience so much, he decided to stay and joined the Untold team!

We ended up with 6 amazing teams in Christchurch, and they were:

SuperU (Clare McLennan, Charlie Simmons, Natalie Scott)

Emotion Revolution (Melissa Benson-Chan, Hori Mataki, Rose Lu)

Furthr (Jason Pemberton, Pauli Dietsche, Emily Cooper, Nick Apperley)

Untold (Emilie Hoffman , Marian Dewar, Joshua Paul)

Team Hugz (Bridget White, Hamish Farrant, Vincent Chew)

Bubble 15 (Karly Ryder, Louis Go, Xavier)

Also thanks to Nate Walker and Hannah Wilkins for participating.

Our stunning mentors, Dorenda Britten, Larry Podmore, Julian Carver, Dr. James Smithies, Sam Jarman, and Hugh Mack, worked with the teams on Saturday and some returned on Sunday, to help with pitch coaching.

It was a long, intense, but hugely exciting weekend, and I was blown away by the amount of talent, creativity, dedication, skill, and general awesomeness in the room!  I’m sure as hell glad I wasn’t a judge!  All the teams did a great job, it would’ve been tough to pick a winner!

Finally, on Sunday, our super cool judges, Maia Kaa, Kelly Cheeseman, and Chris Clay, rolled in to tackle the most difficult job – trying to decide winners!  OMG, I’d hate that job!  The teams did so well with their presentations and I could definitely imagine all their ideas in action.

I’m so pleased to congratulate the winners of LIFEHACK Weekend Christchurch – “SuperU” and “Emotion Revolution”.  YAY!  I can’t wait to continue to work with the teams to help see their ideas through to fruition!  SO EXCITING!  I’m also looking forward to staying touch with all the LIFEHACK team members.  It was an amazing weekend and I’m delighted to have met such an incredible bunch of people!  Good vibes, lovely people, great connections, THANK YOU CHRISTCHURCH!

And of course, a huge thanks to the LIFEHACK Crew!  Jason Armishaw, Hilary Robotham, Sam Rye, Thomas Mitchell, the Curative Team, and  Elizabeth Goodwin!

Can’t wait for the next LIFEHACK Christchurch event!  Watch this space…

@renea

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