My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

First collaborative hackathon launches in Wales this week

Current and future leaders from some of Wales’s leading financial, legal and professional services (FLPS) businesses are taking part in a tech-style hackathon in Cardiff this week (July 6th), organised by people and business development consultants, Sweetmans and Partners.

Employees from participating businesses – Acuity Legal, Capital Law, Development Bank of Wales, Hodge Bank, Legal and General, Principality and PwC – will be split into teams, alongside graduates from The Alacrity Foundation and tasked with solving a well-being challenge.

The event will also see them pitch their solutions to a judging panel consisting of Caroline Thomson CEO of bethespark, Tanya Nash, Head of Performance at the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, and Lloyd Powell, head of the hackathon’s principal sponsor, ACCA Cymru Wales.

The winning team will then have the chance to develop their idea further before presenting it to the wider FLPS group in the autumn. The group, convened by Sweetmans and Partners, is made of 25 firms from the region who employ over 10,000 people and exists to futureproof and develop the sector in Wales.

Rosie Sweetman, Director of Sweetmans and Partners, explained that the motivation for the hackathon was to build networks and opportunities for collaboration between FLPS businesses, as well as develop the non-technical skills of current and future leaders:

“The FLPS sector represents a large part of the Welsh economy, employing 60,000 people and contributing 7.5% of GDP.

“A key theme during our group meetings has been the need for current and future leaders to develop non-technical skills, together with broader experience and networks. This reflects a trend in the wider economy, highlighted by organisations such as The World Economic forum, for increasingly important “soft skills” such as critical thinking, creativity and collaboration.”

Rosie added: “As a group, we considered a whole range of ways we could work together to address these needs and the hackathon was a simple concept we all felt could make a real impact. The premise of a Hackathon is that working with people from different backgrounds, with complimentary skills in a time-pressured environment on a shared challenge, creates fresh ideas and a rich learning environment.

“In recognition of the growing perception that business has a purpose beyond profit, our challenge has both a business and social impact. The challenge is: How can the FLPS sector support the wellbeing of employees and/or communities of Wales?

Lynn Pamment, senior partner for Wales at PwC, one of the participating businesses, said of the challenge: “Well-being is an important and growing challenge for the FLPS sector, and society at large. Engaging current and future leaders from across the sector in shaping possible solutions is an exciting way to not only build skills and develop networks, but also make a positive difference to society. We can’t wait to see what the teams come up with, and we’re thrilled to be part of this innovative pilot hackathon.”

The hackathon is being launched in Cardiff on July 5th, when the teams will meet each other and learn more about the challenge and how to pitch their solutions, with the hackathon itself taking part all day on July 6th.