Our Innovation Weekends represent low-effort, high-impact work that engages community members and builds the blue network.
is a two-day event focused on brainstorming challenges and opportunities offered by the blue economy. We liked to think of it as a precursor – and potentially, feeder – program to OTIS. For the two days, participants work with a facilitator and community partner to think critically about ways to solve community problems and learn processes for creating corresponding business solutions. The program culminates with a community discussion/brainstorm event.
The program piloted in 2018 in Bethel, Alaska. Nigel Sharp, Entrepreneur in Residence at UAA, facilitated the program with Fred Phillip, Bering Sea Fisherman's Association board member, acting as the community partner. Further location-specific versions of this program have yet to be developed. If you want to stay in the loop about future programming or would like to see a BLUEstorm program in your community, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Net Hack Challenge
is a program designed to identify solutions to the problem of waste fishing nets and ropes by developing new products from these "waste" materials. Most of these materials are a valuable resource and this program aims to identify potential economic opportunities for all coastal communities by utilizing this often overlooked but plentiful resource in Alaska. This program is based on Martin Charter’s previous Net Hack Challenges held in the United Kingdom and Iceland. The event is hosted over a weekend, with participants responding to a series of challenges submitted by external experts. Participants include recyclers, designers, artists, makers, students, academics, members of the business community, and engineers.
This program launched in Fall 2018 in Anchorage and Kodiak. A great success, the program anticipates expanding to other sites in the future.