The Redlines share their insights.

Glasgow’s health challenges are deeply rooted and will not be solved by a single solution. The Future Hack participants knew they wouldn’t find the magic wand to somehow resolve the Glasgow effect that has been puzzling researchers. Instead, they focused on ‘the first step in the right direction’.

For the Redlines, who won the £20,000 cash prize of Future Hack_3, it was literally the first step with a gamified pedometer to get children and young people moving. Team members Lauren Norrie and Peter McArthur share their experience.

How did you join the Future Hack?

FB_IMG_13986308545365463Lauren: “I signed up to the Future Hack with a group of friends but the Friday evening, when participants pitched their ideas, was an opportunity to meet new people so we ended up joining different teams. I’m from a Computing Science background and enjoyed the chance to work with artists and graphic designers. It was a unique chance to learn from them and also think about what they would need from me.”

Peter: “I’m part of a Digital Enterprise Glasgow start up. We weren’t sure whether to participate at first as we already had the skillsets we needed but the Creative Clyde Office manager convinced us to give it a try.”

How did the weekend unfold?

Peter: “We brainstormed ideas ahead of the event, which gave us an advantage during the pitches. Four others joined three people from the company and their input was invaluable. We would have struggled to get the prototype finished without them. On Friday night, we talked through the idea, nailing all the details and making sure that everyone knew what they were doing. The team bonded very quickly and whatever happens next, we’ll stay friends. I think we all learned a lot from each other over the weekend.”

What did you enjoy?

Peter: “I’m a bit of a workaholic so getting a team trapped for 48 hours to build something was exhilarating. I don’t think I got more than half an hour of sleep between Saturday morning and Sunday evening!”

What did you find hard?

Peter: “The competition! All the teams had great ideas and had gone a long way in developing them in just 48 hours.”

What’s different about Future Hacks?

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Lauren: “The events are truly innovative in that they are about ideas and data. They don’t focus on a single challenge or software but leverage the widest range of technology, data and talents to size any opportunity to make things better. One could even win without writing a single line of code.”

Congratulations on winning the £20,000 prize fund. What’s next for the Redlines?

Lauren & Peter: “We have been meeting to discuss how to take our idea forward. The team is getting advice on finding funding and investors. Market research is a priority now to make sure the concept has commercial potential. We have a plan!”

Could you share some advice with future hackathon participants?

Lauren: ‘Team up with people from a diversity of backgrounds and skill sets. You will learn a lot from each other but it will also help you refine and improve your idea.”

Peter: “Sign up for the transport hack. Even if you don’t know anything about transport, sign up. You don’t need any programming skills either. Actually, we need more creatives; we were lucky to have designers in our team who helped us make the solution aesthetically pleasing.”

Could it be you? It all starts by signing up. Share the story with your friends and colleagues. What does transport look like in the future city? Is it drones & driverless cars or cyclists and pedestrians? If you live, work or travel in the city, you are uniquely qualified to take part. The future is in your hands.