What do a global fashion brand, social networking site, human rights organization, and investment firm all have in common? Chimehack 3, the third annual hackathon aimed at developing solutions for ending violence against women. That, and a whole lot of influence.
With over 100 hackers at Facebook's HQ in Silicon Valley working around the clock this past weekend to come up with tech-enabled solutions for many of the core problems at play when it comes to the cause, reporting, and aftermath of violence against women, great things were bound to happen. And they certainly did. Check back for our continuing coverage of what hacks were developed over the weekend.
An event brought to life by the joint efforts of Gucci, Global Citizen, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Facebook, and Hearst, Chimehack 3 was all about the power of the collaboration. And how did they all settle on the need to find a new way to solve this age-old problem? True to Facebook form, it was in a whiteboard meeting between Susan Chokachi, the President and CEO of Gucci America, and Naomi Gleit, the VP of Product Management for Social Good for Facebook. "Sparks were flying," explained Chokachi. "People were realizing for the first time how valuable the skill set they have might be in a way that they never imagined it might be." It's no surprise, of course, that these two incredibly influential brands would have a kismet connection.
We've seen what can come out of partnerships between fashion labels and tech companies (from Fossil and Michael Kors' smart watches to the much-anticipated Levis smart jacket powered by Google's Jacquard fabric). But the added element of social change brought this joint venture to a whole new level.
"It's the power of the chorus of voices together and what each one of those individual voices represent," Chokachi says. And with cofounders and supporters like Madonna, Beyoncé, and Salma Hayek, this chorus in particular has some seriously strong lungs.
There's certainly a lesson to be learned from different teams coming together on the playing field. Associations between people and companies who have unconventional resources and varying skills to offer can be incredibly powerful—and can be the way forward for many brands. After all, not everyone can have the same access and power as Gucci, Facebook, or Beyoncé individually—but together, they might be unstoppable. And if this group of people doesn't give you some serious squad goals, it certainly should.