SWARM is excited to be sponsoring season 3 of the podcast Cut Your Learning Curve, a podcast about learning and the intersection of work and technology. In this season Nate Cooper, managing partner at SWARM is joined by Eve MacKnight, Director of Learning to discuss topics pertinent to life and work in our digital age.

In the Industrial Age of the19th and 20th century, the assembly line came to dominate manufacturing. The building of everything from ships to shoes was split among a line of workers, each completing a set of distinct tasks that were repeated, in order, all day long. 

The rise of the Information Age, and the nature of how software is developed, demanded a different approach. 

Hackathons, which were first developed around the year 2000, realize this new way of working. A group of coders, designers and marketers are sequestered in some kind of space, away from the distractions of daily living – laundry, cooking, sleeping and the like.  The team has a common goal to build a new project; work is shared among the group and then hours upon hours are dedicated to designing and coding free from interruptions. Working this way – in an organic, fluid manner in a shared time and space – can empower the individual and the team. It can lead to big creative breakthroughs. Plus, there’s pizza.

Bringing back this creative energy into daily office life is something that many tech companies strive for – in the architecture of the physical space, in the perks they provide, and in the ways they organize their employee teams.  I believe re-capturing this same creative energy, the sharing and the problem solving, will drive a resurgence of in-office work and revitalize our cities in 2021 and beyond. 

Check out more about hackathons – and Nate’s experiences running the hackathon StartupBus – on this week’s podcast:

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