Goodie Nation took Atlanta’s annual A3C Hip-Hop Festival by storm with another successful design thinking lab to “hack the violence.” Held on on Friday October 6th at the Auburn Avenue Research Library in downtown Atlanta, Goodie Ideation @ A3C brought together a mixed batch of founders: attorneys, authors, stylists, artist managers, and mobile app developers to generate innovative ideas for tech products that reduce violence in under-served communities.
The A3C (All 3 Coasts) Festival & Conference was founded in 2005 with the sole purpose of engaging and inspiring the artists, entrepreneurs, and creatives that shape hip-hop culture. Over time, the festival has grown from a local showcase to one of the most important hip-hop events of the year. With the addition of a conference, A3C brought together artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs to connect and create through music and technology.
So how does Goodie Nation fit into all of this? This year, Goodie Nation joined the Action Summit for Social Justice component of the conference intending to attract talented and passionate people that want to “hack violence” leveraging hip-hop culture. The Friday evening ideation lab presented founders with two unique challenges: (1) to develop a tool to help existing organizations prevent gun violence, and (2) use hip-hop culture in a way that will keep ex-offenders from committing violent crimes.
Goodie Ideation kicked-off with a rousing speech from guest Wallace Peeples, a motivational speaker and ex-offender. Peeples gave his firsthand experience of life after incarceration and touched on the immediate issues ex-offenders face once reentering society. Without adequate resources available, they are at a high risk of recidivism. Peeples spoke of his interest in creating a space or tools that will use hip-hop culture to help those in transition such as connections, documentation, transportation, job leads—a number of resources that they may not be privy to. The culture of hip-hop has become somewhat of a universal vehicle that allows people from various backgrounds to connect on common ground. Using hip-hop would be an effective tool in relating to ex-convicts and subsequently opening a conversation to provide assistance.
Next in this condensed version, the ideators split into groups, joined by mentors, and picked one of the two challenges to tackle. Given an abbreviated timeline, they blazed through the program, picking a user profile, targeting a problem, and brainstorming on a viable solution. Though they weren’t allotted a lengthy period of development, the ideators were able to create pitches for the inventive ideas they concocted.
Finally, the teams pitched their ideas in a Shark Tank-like format to the judging panel of Wallace Peeples, Zacharis Muhammad (Founder at Unite or Die), and Bem Joiner (Community Manager at the Center for Civic Innovation). The ideas ranged from developing a virtual reality simulation of gun-related incidents, to a mobile app connecting inmates with their minor children through video messaging.
Toward the end of the program, the founders spoke briefly on their experience in the ideation. Some cited that the pace made narrowing ideas a bit difficult, while others appreciated the fast-paced curriculum that pushed them to be concise and effective.
Overall, each founder was able to walk away with not only the outline of the amazing projects that are sure to come, but also with the experience of successfully completing their first ideation lab. More importantly, they know that they each have the power to effect change by simply using an art form they know and love.