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Cyber Wellbeing Solution Hack

On Saturday 14th October, Creative Fuse, Campus North and Northumbria Police came together to deliver an intensive Solution Hack for Cybercrime challenges. This collaboration was a Creative Fuse North East Innovation Pilot, designed to accelerate fused innovation between the public sector, academia, and start-up business talent, all working together to identify solutions to a pressing social issue associated with the digital age.

The Solution Hack was diversely attended, with teams consisting of local IT and software businesses, designers, university researchers and Northumbria Police Cadets. Many of these people had never met before, but quickly formed dynamic teams with lots of creative energy.

To channel this energy, teams were prompted with some of the difficulties that young people, their teachers and their parents might be faced with when using the internet.  Each team was presented with their own challenge, such as cyber-bullying or online grooming, and tasked with producing 20 solutions by lunchtime. No small feat, but the promise of a Kimchi Planet lunch was a motivating force.

The morning was spent collecting information about each challenge. Drawing upon their unique range of expertise, the teams delved deep into how young people behaved online, their motivations for doing so, and the potential risks associated with these behaviours.

With over 100 potential solutions to Cyber Wellbeing issues produced in the quick-fire morning exercise, the teams were handsomely rewarded with ‘Korritos’ (Korean-style burritos), and were encouraged to browse the other team’s ideas for further inspiration.

Replenished and ready for more creativity, the teams chose their favourite ideas to develop further. The brief for the afternoon was to pitch one detailed idea to the other teams and representatives from Northumbria Police.

The teams worked to flesh out their ideas, prompted at intervals with ‘wildcard’ challenges and questions to consider – for example, teams were encouraged to consider scale by describing how they would involve media and industry experts in their project.

Once, again, hard work was rewarded with refreshment – and teams enjoyed pizza as sustenance for the pitch.

The pitched solutions were well received, with thoughtful and insightful questions from the audience. Ideas centered around ways to deliver effective education about cyber wellbeing to young people which were accurate and empowering, and that could quickly respond to the ever-changing environment of our use of technology.

Looking forward, the Creative Fuse North East Team and the University of Northumbria will look over all of the ideas that resulted from the day and investigate ways to pursue them further in collaboration with our partners. With so many ideas, there is a wealth to choose from, and the project really could make a difference to the safety and wellbeing of young people using the internet.