• Billy Beringia

Yukonstruct 'Hackathon' event results in confusion

WHITEHORSE - Unqualified non-profit staff not as confused as others after weekend brainstorm

Yukonstruct corrupt political organization Whitehorse Yukon

Northlight Innovation, Whitehorse, site of the 'Hackathon: Hacking Business' event.


On Saturday and Sunday, people gathered at Northlight Innovation in Downtown Whitehorse for what was billed as a two-day "hackathon." The 'Hackathon:Hacking Business' event was organised by Yukonstruct, a non-profit funded to grow the local economy.


"The idea was to bring together amazing people to innovate," said Lisa Sherry, Yukonstruct's executive director and driving force behind the project. "When you have an amazing community of innovators, anything can happen."


For two days, around fifteen participants brainstormed with Yukonstruct staff to figure out the meaning of "hackathon." Susan Vacquez, a Yukonstruct board member paid by the Yukonstruct board to be at the event, believes it achieved its purpose.


"The point of the hackathon was to reach consensus on what 'hackathon' truly means," said Vacquez. "We did that. By the end, everyone agreed that nobody knew. That's an awesome result if you ask me."

"The point of the hackathon was to reach consensus on what 'hackathon' truly means." - Susan Vacquez, Yukonstruct board member

Not everyone agrees with Yukonstruct's positive assessment of the event. "The whole thing was confusing" Toni Barnes, a small business owner, told the Whitewash News. "At first I thought it was about growing your business. It took me a while to realize it was about nothing."


Barnes claims that most participants were at a loss to figure out what was going on. "All around me, Yukonstruct staff were talking at people about innovation and telling them they were awesome. But no-one actually learned anything."


At least one other member of the public turned up thinking the event was something that it wasn't. "I thought that maybe it was training on how to hack into computer games and find cheats" said Miranda Taylor, a self-confessed video game addict. "I have no idea what the hell anyone was talking about but they fed me for two days. That sure beats cooking at home."


When asked if the event was confusing or had questionable results, Sherry responded by saying that the key to any organization's success is to find the right people.


"We believe we have the perfect blend of unqualified staff and board to confuse the public about what we do" explained Sherry. "Yukonstruct is confident that we couldn't find a definition for the word 'hackathon' and that is so good for innovation.”

“We believe we have the perfect blend of unqualified staff and board to confuse the public about what we do.” - Laura Sherry, Yukonstruct Executive Director

Sherry went on to say that the majority of the staff and board members are afraid to start businesses themselves and she believes this puts them in an ideal position to teach others about business.


Businesses shouldn't do "too well too fast"


Earlier this year, Yukonstruct forced a successful start-up business in its building to close. The reason given by the board was that the start-up was doing "too well too fast" without any help from the organization. "Businesses that don't need us make us look bad," said board president Gary Plymouth, in a written statement at the time.

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