Hackers to Consumers: You Have the Power to Get Greener Gear

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This past Sunday I forewent a gorgeous afternoon in the sun, opting for the headquarters of frog, a global innovation firm (they design/re-design products and experiences for major companies). Frog and LRN, a consultancy, were hosting a weekend "hackathon." Unless you're a computer programmer or a geek of some other stripe, you might not immediately recognize this term, but hackathons are basically brainstorming sessions. People with similar interests and talents come together to re-imagine a product or service—or sometimes something broader—by hacking and rebuilding existing products or services.

This hackathon was, indeed, something much broader. The participants—designers, coders, business leaders, students, filmmakers, and many other thinkers—were handed this task: reinvent business. No big deal. Also, they had just 30 hours to do it.

I arrived just in time to hear about the products and services that the 20 teams at the hackathon came up with. Each team had three minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. And I was pleasantly surprised to see that two of these ideas are tied in an important way to the outdoor/adventure sports gear market.

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