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  • Hackistan |

    10 Oct Saving the World in (slightly more than) two days

    Holly retreaters, dear curious minds,

    “Trigger germination” was the name of the first ever Hackistan retreat. 12 audacious people gathered, coming from France, from Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels and made their way out to a magic spot in the middle of the woods, nearby Rochefort. This post aims at sketching you the big lines of this moment and updating you about the Hackistan ecosystem.



    Each of the retreaters are special and unique Human beings. Tinkerer, futurologist, open-commoner, bio-architect, distri-politician, symbiotic economist, organization/human designer, micro-explorer, you name them. In their daily lives, some of them build electrical batteries based on bacteria that decompose waste, some build opensouce/openhardware devices to clean rivers, others build new inclusive political parties or symbiotic co-living districts. They all oscillate between the future and the present, with more or less optimism in a truly mission-driven endeavor.


    This is how they understood and described Hackistan, the Land for Smart Solutions they just landed on: A network to make the world a better place, with a strong intention. People enhancing life of other people. A help-hub, a smart beehive. A space for empowerment by and for people. A response to how to glue the pieces of our world. A journey to explore new models together.


    And this is how we usually explain what Hackistan is:

    Open-cooperative of multidisciplinary talents boosting projects with impact on society and the environment. It is a symbiotic and regenerative ecosystem that also includes and interfaces with different stakeholders such as public institutions, companies, universities and foundations. On top of their own projects, Citizens from Hackistan, as professionals, innovators and freelancers perform missions for companies and help cities to become smart, thereby enhancing the pace of transformation of both private/public actors.



    We spent 48 very intense hours. Constructive workshops, nature walks, food, games and parties. People joined with a certain mindset, vulnerable like-nowhere-else, low-judgment, high-empathy, that allowed anyone to feel listened and be who they are. In the workshops, we mainly worked around the practical protocols (opt-in journey, mission distribution, collective decisions) and discussed about expanding our borders, opening other chapters). We discussed about the future of Ethereum at breakfast, 8am and ended up around 3am around a fire talking about death, systemic crises and the big Collapse or transhumanism. We lost ourselves in the woods, faced bulls, climbed mining hills and crossed cornfields to reach our trail-path back. Barefoot, we experienced the elements of Nature and connected around the notion of leadership on ‘top’. We listened to Berlin-hype mix until late in the night. A fireplace became the scene-to-be and discover our kine/telepathic connexions. Pure and quite stamina, involving both mind and body.




    Hackistan has nowadays close to 20 active citizens, start seeing local chapters growing in Ghent, Antwerp, Mons, Lille and Paris. We prototyped the protocol to welcome our first members, to take our first strategic decisions and to distribute the missions in a decentralized manner. Our Citizens indeed received their first missions from companies and public actors. We send them our first skilled emissaries. Keynote about biomimicry, organizing innovation intrapreneurship week-ends, building hardware devices, leverage our network of innovators for a special event, screening and organizing the match between project needs and accessible resources from stakeholders. You could find electromechanical engineers, communication experts, microbiologists, lawyers, organizational shamans, cryptophilosophers, space designers, biomimicry experts, circular economy entrepreneurs, biodiversity doctors.  Whatever crazy profile you might need, we find it.

    Our impactful project database contains more than 60+ crazy startup/initiatives. We support them by leveraging access to investors, offering them infrastructure or sourcing them skilled collaborators. They can relate high-tech electronics, microbiology, social or low-tech. As soon as these projects maximize their impact and can be scaled, we exist to boost them.



    A contributive ecosystem

    One of our major next milestone is the organization of a Civic tech summit. We want to start something new, something that has only seldom been explored and experimented before. To tackle the challenges of our times, we will propel every actor of society to become active stakeholders in the implementation of impactful solutions.

    Automation of work, production, distribution and consumption circuits, healthcare, politics, economics, new models of education, they relate to our common Future and on how Human kind (and Belgians) want to organize in the next years. Citizens, innovators, companies, universities and public institutions (cities, regions), we are all on the same boat.

    This is why, together with other bottom-up movements, we are organizing a Civic tech summit in late 2016. Our vision is to align everyone’s interests and facilitate multi-stakeholder interactions in the long run towards concrete implementation.

    A series of events will happen in the next months. Our goal is to gather, inspire and act together around real issues.We are now looking to reach as much CEOs, ‘innovation department’ representatives from medium-large size company and city/region representatives as possible.

    IT, telecom, banks, food, pharmaceutics, energy, all industries will end up disrupted… or improved. Don’t leave space for a doubt, if you think about someone or an organization, they will definitely have the opportunity to benefit from our events. Let us know (hello@hackistan.be)

    Click on the picture to open it




    Connect and scale together

    We are currently implementing digital tools to have tangible tracking of individuals contribution in missions and projects, we are working on the production of “spotlight capsules” to showcase the impactful projects and in parallel, we keep recruiting new members and opening new geographical antennas.

    We want to avoid redundancy. We know a lot is going around in Belgium, see the #Brusselstogether or the Mycelium initiatives. We want to work together in this new abundance framework, where the global win-win can be found. The main barrier is not geographical or disciplinary but rather internal: what sort of society do we want to build together, how do I relate to the other people, how can I contribute as an individual? We need to constantly refrain our competitive/scarcity habits to unleash trust, collaboration, fairness and transparency.

    If this “vertuous” ecosystem makes sense to you, you want to know more, feel free to get in touch, we would be happy to connect. If you want to know more about it, here is our latest slidedeck. Give us a shout hello@hackistan, on our Facebook group or on our Slack channel.





    Last gift, this video (in French) says how much we will need “collective intelligence” to reinvent the way we were (are?) working. A lot.



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