As research partners of Hive NYC, we are invested in linking research to practice in order to address the network goals of supporting youth interest-driven pathways and strengthening Hive as a context for networked innovation. As part of that effect, we aim to regularly experiment with different kinds of knowledge production and sharing with the Hive NYC community. Here, we’re excited to introduce one of these experiments: HRL Jumpstarts, a series of tip sheets that we hope capture “good practices” of interest to the Hive NYC community. In essence, HRL Jumpstarts combine our fieldwork observations of Hive members doing their work and encountering challenges with our understanding of what existing literature recommends in order to come up with “conjectures,” or best guesses, as to what might support the work of the Hive.
Our first Jumpstart, available here and by clicking the image to the right, addresses Hive one-day events, which include Pop-Ups, Hack Jams and Maker Parties, with suggestions for both the host of the event as well as participants who are manning tables or stations. Much appreciation to the über-talented Jess Klein for creating such a playful visual template for us. We hope the community finds the suggestions we pulled together useful — we welcome any and all feedback! Also, as we’ll be releasing other Jumpstarts in the future, please tell us what you think could use a good jump start!
As ‘working open’ is a value that we share with the Hive NYC network overall, below we provide a recap of the process we underwent to create this Jumpstart.
In early November, Rafi Santo and I brainstormed some guidelines for what could be included in Jumpstarts, based on articles we’ve read, things we’ve observed occurring in the Hive and conversations we’ve had with Hive members. The primary guideline was that each suggestion should support our two research strands: Supporting youth interest-driven learning pathways and furthering innovation in the Hive network. Our first brainstorm of potential ways to support day-long events produced far too many candidates, and in the end we decided that 16 suggestions was probably a good target number to shoot for. After several rounds of revisions, we landed on a reasonable first draft for feedback from the Hive community.
At the November Hive community meet-up at WNET, we debuted our “Cheat Sheet” (the original framing we’d come up with) to Hive members and the responses overall seemed to indicate that this would be a useful resource (phew!). We passed out hardcopies and had members meet in small groups to “hack” the cheat sheet for about 10 minutes, then we all came back together for a whole group discussion. The feedback everyone gave was fantastic and helped us see where there were points of confusion. We took notes during the discussion and collected all the sheets people had marked up and any notes people had taken on our behalf (thank you again!)
In early December, we took every piece of feedback from the meet-up notes as well as the “hacked” cheat sheets where people wrote their thoughts and put them all into a google doc, grouping similar points and adding “+1s” to ones we thought were especially valuable. If multiple people seemed to say the same thing, that also signaled us that that was an important issue to pay attention to (for example: changing the “cheat sheet” framing to avoid the perception that this set of tips covered everything about such events; another one was clarifying the two roles, event host and station facilitator, that we were making recommendations for). We then discussed the consolidated and prioritized feedback and tried to come to some sort of consensus around how to change our current version while still keeping it short, sweet and usable.
Come mid-December, we were ready for the fun part — making our content look pretty! Lucky for us, Jess Klein had some spare cycles to work out a template for us, coming up with several great options, including a “recipe”-like format that would allow folks to cut out various tips and use them like a deck of cards, as well as the version we ended up with, which featured an array of colorful hexagons (a Hive visual brand “go-to”). In the end, we really liked the playful and flexible aspect of the hexagon design. Also, because it doesn’t use a ‘bullet-list’ convention, it encouraged us to pare down our sentences as much as possible.
Since we now have a word template, we’ll be able to pump out future Jumpstarts a bit more quickly than this first one. We’re looking forward to sharing more down the line!