photo: Katarzyna Łachajczak, private archive
After #SustainHack ended we’ve had a chance to ask Katarzyna Łachajczak some questions about her participation in the challenge, as well as about her project, AlkoSTOP. She took part in the assignment by Kompania Piwowarska. She’s just 20 years old, and she’s a student of Economy. Let’s see what she had to say.
Could you briefly describe your project?
The project that I have created is my attempt at dialogue with the audience and my invitation for them to take a responsible position in terms of the world around us. The presented idea is a combination of two solutions. First one is the introduction of labels with slogans whose aim is to promote consumers’ responsible behavior. Second one is concerned with use of the inside of the bottle caps as a medium for educational facts.
What caused you to take part in #SustainHack Idea Challenge?
I decided to participate in this contest because of the values it represented and promoted. In addition, I wanted to support the cause of solving important issues such as fighting exclusion of elderly people, or combating alcohol abuse. The second issue was what I was mainly concerned with due to my personal past experiences.
How did the idea for your project came to be? Tell us your story.
I’m a student, and with that I am a part of the young generation. Our social group is characterized by being difficult to interest with something, and changing our beliefs and values is an even bigger challenge. That’s why I began to wonder on a solution that would make an impact on the young adults who happened to be the target group of many social campaigns connected to alcohol consumption.
How did the process of creating the project go? Any unexpected road bumps or unpleasant surprises that you recall?
Every job involves moments of doubt that almost make you give up. I think, however, that it’s always worth to fight them and find the willpower to continue introducing your ideas, because the best results only come with hard work.
What did you learn during your creative process with this project?
I’d say that’s patience, especially when along with developing my project each new idea appeared unsuccessful. I also learned how to take a fresh look at current problems and to perceive them from the perspective of people affected by those.
Were there any possibilities for you to build upon your existing skills?
Every new experience gives us such a possibility. This particular case was no exception as I had the chance to assess and perfect my skills. I learned to look on problems from the perspective of the affected people and the ones who need solutions. I had to take a different viewpoint, focus on empathy and change my way of thinking to match this of the potential addressee of my solution. I expanded upon my creativity and the way of perceiving problems that are a part of our everyday lives and are close to each and every one of us.
How often do you participate in hackathons or idea challenges?
#SustainHack was the first event of this kind that I’ve taken part in. I decided to participate in it because the topic it was concerned with appeared important, especially in the context of being a part of the society. Being aware of diversity and problems connected to alcohol consumption should unite and engage people who want to take action in fighting exclusion and addiction. Such hackathon is a step in the direction of better utilization of human potential, and, at the same time, introduction of changes necessary in making a world based on values and important ideas.
Do you plan on participating in other hackathons or idea challenges in the future?
I believe that’s only a beginning of my journey with hackathons and I will surely seek opportunities to participate in those. Nothing helps one develop themselves like attempting to create new solutions and shaping up the reality in the spirit of competition.
Do you consider hackathons as a helpful factor in your future?
It is my belief that everything we do will influence our future. Even more so if we take up challenges that are seemingly impossible to complete. I think participating in this challenge will not only help me in the future, but will also build it. It is important, aside from following your dream career path, that you find a moment to care for others, and engagement in social challenges that the world forces us to face.
What would you say is that you’ve gained thanks to #SustainHack?
I’d say it’s the possibility of development of my strong sides, good fun, and shaping up my beliefs. It was also the feeling of co-creating innovative solutions that help change the world.
If you could give one piece of advice to other participants, what would it be?
It would be look at even the silliest ideas from the perspective of innovation and source of success. Most importantly, to believe in themselves and their values, because every one of us possesses the means to be creative and for their ideas to be brought to life. A true skill is the ability to discover and utilize those in everyday situations.
Inspiration is everywhere, you just need to know how to find it. When you do, put that spark to use and take part in a similar contest! Visit our list of hackathons and challenges and pick an event for yourself. See you soon?