The Value of Hacking
Alexis Roberts–McIntosh, Vice President, R&D Health Wellness at RB, talks about why her company loves creative hacks.
"A good hacking culture is created when you give people the opportunity to take time out of their day jobs and focus on generating ideas in an incredibly short of time and high pressured environment."
CANNES LIONS: "What value does hacking have as an R&D process, and how can you create a ‘good’ hacking culture?"
ALEXIS ROBERTS-McINTOSH: "I believe hacking is an incredibly powerful, motivational and disruptive process, which can inspire and bring together people from different disciplines who wouldn’t normally work together to tackle an R&D-led challenge that creates a solution with real impact.
"A good hacking culture is created when you give people the opportunity to take time out of their day jobs and focus on generating ideas in an incredibly short of time and high pressured environment. They should be highly solutions driven and provide the perfect forum to give participants a global challenge to solve, which not only develops their skills but will also inspire them to make a difference.
"The hacking process is very symbolic of RB, bringing together creative people with the very best of RB’s talent, who are all experts in their respective field, to leverage each other’s genius to make a difference in the world and be a catalyst for change."
"Lions Health ... has helped us to attract some of the brightest and most inspirational creative talent globally to join people from RB."
CL: "Walk us through the background to the RB & Lions Health Innovation Hack. How was the idea developed?"
AR-M: "RB has a purpose-led approach to innovation focusing on its vision to make a difference today, while discovering innovative solutions to create a better, different tomorrow. I believe RB is a bold company and entrepreneurial in its attitudes and behaviours in driving health and wellbeing to make a real difference in people’s lives.
"For RB creativity is key, therefore we were inspired to create a live innovation hack that brings together leading RB R&D and marketing people with external creatives from across the world, challenging them to develop innovative consumer-led product solutions that could have the potential to save the lives of children and families by protecting them from the harmful effects of air pollution.
"As Lions Health is a specialist global event dedicated to life-changing creativity and innovation in the healthcare industry, it was the perfect partner for the hack and has helped us to attract some of the brightest and most inspirational creative talent globally to join people from RB."
CL: "What are the benefits of working with creatives from other disciplines?"
AR-M: "For us there is a huge value in collaborating with creatives at the very early stages of product innovation through the hack. We are always looking for opportunities to partner with like-minded individuals and organisations outside of RB that share our vision and purpose. The challenge allows our R&D and marketing experts to involve external creatives from different markets and disciplines without any limitations and boundaries, which is when truly innovative solutions come to light.
"I also think it’s hugely valuable for those from creative agencies to meet and interact with those that are often behind the scenes working on product development – the scientists, medics, regulators, design experts etc who they normally wouldn’t have access to when working on brand campaigns."
Vinayak Shinde, a member of last year’s winning team and Creative Director at advertising agency Medulla India shared with us the following feedback: “The inaugural RB & Lions Health Innovation Hack was an inspiring and rewarding experience. Working with R&D experts was eye-opening, especially as creatives often are not involved in the early stages of product innovation. To be part of an idea’s conception, collaborating with a team of like-minded people on a serious public health issue like air pollution, was the highlight of the Festival”.
"It’s hugely valuable for those from creative agencies to meet and interact with those that are often behind the scenes working on product development."
CL: "This year was the second year of the RB Hack, how did it build upon the success of its launch?"
AR-M: "We were very proud of what we achieved in year one. The quality of the innovations, passion of the participants and packed session at the Festival was awe-inspiring so the pressure was high to build upon this for a second year. Having a purpose led challenge was key to the success of the hack as giving participants the opportunity to devise a product that can truly make a difference to people’s lives inspired and motivated them. Pollution therefore remained the focus of the challenge for year two however it evolved from India to China which has some of the highest levels of air pollution in the world. We also invited entrepreneurs to this year’s hack, enhancing the diversity and skillset of the teams resulting in the innovations being even bolder and braver than year one."