In Their Words – Participants’ Reflections about the Silicon Valley Inspiration Tour | Sanitation Hackathon

You are here

In Their Words – Participants’ Reflections about the Silicon Valley Inspiration Tour

Last month, the Winners of the Sanitation Hackathon and App Challenge—Taarifa, mSchool, and SunClean—visited Silicon Valley for a week of workshops and meetings hosted by From rapid prototyping sessions to tours of Silicon Valley giants like Facebook, the participants had much to reflect on. Here are some excerpts from the reactions of one of each team’s two members:

Florian Rathberger, Taarifa

We spent an exciting and inspirational week in the Bay Area with Molly and Matteo and our hosts, the non-profit branch of the global human centered design consultancy. They had a dense program of workshops and company visits lined up for us. We got insight into Zynga, who told us about measuring player engagement in online games, Google, who toured us around their Mountain View campus, The Hub Bay Area, who gave us their take on collaboration and how it’s a core value for the  global Hub movement, Airbnb, who discussed different notions of trust, Indiegogo, who advised us on launching successful crowdfunding campaigns, and Facebook, who discussed how to reach . Airbnb have a large crowd of photographers they send into people’s homes to get high quality, standardized and certified photos for their listings, which makes them more trustworthy and more likely to be rented. This inspired us to reach out to photographers and ask them to take photographs of infrastructure – or the lack thereof – in the communities where we would like to deploy Taarifa in order to get higher visibility and a better feel for the status quo. Wednesday evening we met a number of San Francisco based development organizations at a happy hour at the offices of FSG, a non-profit consultancy, who were  sking how they might use Taarifa in some of their future development projects.

The highlight of the inspiration tour were the workshops IDEO folks led at their offices in San Francisco and Palo Alto. On Tuesday we got an introduction to Human Centered Design and applied it straight away with conducting interviews and prototyping and application to reduce food waste at IDEO and other companies. This made us realize the importance of getting concrete and first hand feedback from users before starting to write any code. We hope we can apply this methodology when redesigning Taarifa to better serve the people in the communities. In another workshop on Thursday on branding we had another opportunity to reflect more on Taarifa’s core mission and values and worked out concrete milestones and areas on which to focus next in the further development of the platform.

Daniel Annerose, mSchool

The visit to the IDEO Lab in Palo Alto was fantastic. They’re breaking the frontier between the concept and the product so quickly and efficiently! Zynga’s data management system is simple, clear and so efficient. Indiegogo has shown us its tremendous knowledge of the psychology behind donors. Facebook and Google are both technology giants, but they’ve took time with us to present to us their business strategy. It was great to write on the real Facebook wall and to see the latest Google tools. The Hub is also another great place with so much energy. We will stay also in contact with the Room for Read team and the FSG friends that we met in a very friendly Happy Hour!

Luqman Sungkar, SunClean

I’m very happy with this Inspirational Tour. We visited a lot of cool offices and learned a lot from them. My favorite site visit was Zynga and IDEO in Palo Alto. At Zynga, I learned a lot about game development. I learned about the importance of keeping track of user data, and I learned about game feedback loosp. At IDEO and, I learned about human centered design,rapid prototyping, interviewing, and branding which is very relevant to the future development of SunClean. I will definitely using HCD for SunClean and other apps I’m planning to make. HCD is a way of thinking about developing something that places the human in the center of it. I’ll be interviewing and meeting a lot of people and do a lot of prototyping—my  apps will be used by humans, after all! 

We are proud that, in different ways, the Inspiration Tour has shaped the Winners’ applications and businesses. But more importantly, our week in Silicon Valley forged bonds of innovation and progress that should help these apps make the large-scale impact they hope to achieve!


By |2022-07-06T12:09:34+00:00July 6, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Go to Top