When you first come up with an idea, it can be difficult to predict what will come of it. Some ideas are toyed with, developed and lead to things beyond your wildest dreams, whilst others can be simply disregarded. That is why you should always embrace those big ideas that you really believe in. That is what Rasmus Stride of Team 20 (affectionately known as Team 2.0) did when he started developing a special collaboration between Kaospilot, Hyper Island and LEGO in April 2014. A deep-rooted desire for personal development and a passion to constantly challenge himself, lead to a 42 hour hackathon with one of Denmark’s biggest companies, where he has certainly begun to lay the blocks of change, if you’ll excuse the pun.

 

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KP. First of all,  what made you want to join Kaospilot in the first place?

 

R. When I was in primary school, we were made to choose a job by our careers advisor and all I wanted to be was a rock star. I didn’t like the obvious options, like policeman or teacher and I wanted to choose something a little wild and crazy. So when I saw Kaospilot, I thought it sounded like being a rock star and they really appealed to me. So from around 14 or 15 I have been visiting the school to try and get to understand their company, their ideas and what they are all about. I loved their practical way of learning and their style really suited me, so in 2013 I joined Team 20. (Or 2.0 as we like to call it!)

 

 


KP. How did you set up the hackathon with LEGO and Hyper Island?

 

R. During our leadership semester, I was in a lecture about ‘talking from the heart’ and this was where the whole project developed from. I went to see Christer and I was really fired up and excited about the prospect of having Kaospilot and Hyper Island meet together. I was so excited I was pretty much going ahead with the idea regardless of Christer’s response. Luckily, he thought it was a cool idea and so I started setting up communication with Hyper Island immediately.

 

I spoke to an old contact at Hyper Island and I got passed on to Simone. It turned put Simone and I shared the same thoughts on getting the two schools to meet to share their ideas. We had a Skype and a few weeks after that I flew to Stockholm and met up to discuss the ideas in a little café and began to work on what ideas would be good for our event. Our first idea was to look internal communications within international corporations. It felt OK, but it just missed the mark and wasn’t crazy enough for two super creative schools. So we went for some fun, big companies who could sponsor the meeting and eventually got a point where LEGO was top of our list. Then we needed to find someone who knew someone at LEGO. After a few lucky emails and realising we had a few shared connections, we had the contact details for LEGO’s Marketing Director, David Gram. David Gram is in charge of LEGO’s future labs unit and was on board from the beginning. He really pushed for us to get the hack set up within a month and provided us with all the necessary resources. They really believed in it and that meant the schools had to perform. As I had previously studied at Hyper Island, I knew their digital skills would be a perfect match with our leadership and social innovation skills at Kaospilot. It was a team with a high creative output that would meet LEGO’s high standards. ‘Change the game’ is a relevant idea to us at Kaospilot and that was what LEGO needed for this brief. LEGO wanted to try new, fresh ideas with individuals that can produce in a different way. They appreciate the creativity we use every day.

 

 

 

KP. What was the reaction from everyone on the day?

 

A. I think everyone really appreciated working with such a big clients and it is not often we get to work with a company of that size. LEGO gave us a huge amount of support and it made a huge impact on the students. When we met the HI students, we clicked straight away. It was kind of like meeting a cousin, we had slightly different perspectives on the same thing and we wanted to produce results in the short time we had and everybody worked really hard. Everyone loved it, it was a great experience.

 

 

 

KP. What did you produce at the hackathon and where are we now? Was it just a cool thing to do or will there be a future for the concepts you devised during the hack?

 

R. There were developments but let’s see. The outcome is also confidential and so whilst I know they definitely liked some of the ideas we worked with on the day, I can’t exactly say how much of the work they want to use. But, hopefully during the next 4/5 years, some of the ideas we generated will be used by LEGO on their new concepts. We would get no credit if any ideas should be used but that wasn’t why I set it up. It was obviously a cool thing to have done but we have also achieved some solid work that LEGO are happy to take away and work on more to develop it into their plans. For the hackathon, we were given a concrete brief from LEGO. They knew what they wanted to gain from the event and they had actually invested a lot of resources into getting it off the ground. Our main brief from LEGO is actually confidential and I have been sworn to secrecy but loosely, our task was to devise a way of using the physical LEGO bricks in a digital format. The individual tasks and briefs we had to solve on the day are as follows:

 

 

  • Brief 1: Free Creativity
  • Brief 2: Social Play
  • Brief 3: Emerging Technologies

 

 

KP. Do you think this project will inspire other students and create new possibilities between Kaospilot and Hyper Island?

 

R. I hope. This education is what you make it and create your own philosophies. This is a building, with resources and a framework to make your own education and development. It is a culture of passionate people, doing passionate projects out of their own passion. It is an ability to create and allow for normal individuals to come together and create things that are awesome or of greater meaning than what individuals could have imagined. Simone really brought something extra to the table that I hadn’t even considered and working together unlocked great possibilities. The shared ownership of the idea created value for more than one person and I hope that other people take value from it like I have. I know it created good connections and that we can use these connections to utilise the passion we have discovered from this hackathon.

 

And yes, I think it would be really cool if that could happen. In the lead up to the hackathon, I was very busy and worked some long hours to make it go ahead, so it would be great to see it taken on by Kaospilot and become a part of the curriculum to work with other schools. I would like to work with Nomads, who are based in The Netherlands, and there are similar schools who want to collaborate. From my experience, it was a great success so it’s definitely something to build on.

 

 

 

KP. Finally, after such a successful hackathon and now you have your first year under your belt, what would you advise for any new students at Kaospilot?

 

R. I would say, just go for it and take it all in as learning. Having a positive mind-set here will get you far and if you are not sure if it is what you want, then really try to involve yourself in everything. This place has great potential.

 

The application process is tough and so I would also say just keep motivated if you are not accepted the first time. I applied the first time when I was 20 and fresh from high school and I thought that I would go to Kaospilot and I would know what to do with my life. If I am honest, I probably wasn’t really ready for the application process. It was tough, really tough and I didn’t get accepted for Team 18. However, I fought to get accepted by Kaospilot and it actually ended up being a great thing for me. Kind of in an act of defiance, I moved to Stockholm and began studying with Hyper Island and I began to strengthen my business knowledge so that I could improve my own abilities and make the most of my time. I then moved to an advertising company in Stockholm before working with Zalando in Berlin. Finally, after all that I got into Kaospilot. I was SO happy that I didn’t get in on my first application because it really allowed me to improve myself before I joined. I knew I wanted to try again and so I got in! So I would definitely advise next year’s students to stay motivated if they don’t get in first time around.

 

 

Kaospilots + Hyper Island + Lego: 42 hour hackathon from Rene Sune Sorensen on Vimeo.