Life & Science

Meeting of Minds

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This blog post is by guest author Stefania Druga. She is a former Singularity University fellow and founder of Hackidemia.

DLD is all about the the community!

This is year I participated at the DLD13 conference in Munich. I was really intrigued by the chosen theme: patterns that connect because I’m currently working on a project - HacKIDemia -where we are trying to find answers to complex problems with children.

I was impressed by the quality of talks and workshops at DLD and the community focus. One presentation inspired me in a particular way, and that was Tony Hsieh's presentation about the Downtown Project. He shared his vision of changing the downtown of Las Vegas, which is right now a dead and dangerous part of the city, into a vibrant community of makers, artists and tech people. After inspiring so many companies with the culture of Zappos, Tony wants now to inspire many cities with the community from Downtown Las Vegas. He said a community is for a city what culture is for a company and I really share this vision.

After his talk at DLD13 I went to Tony and told him about HacKIDemia where we also focus on the global community of makers and he invited me to visit the Downtown Project. Three weeks later I was in Vegas (for the first time) and meeting with most of the teams and members of the Downtown Project. It was mesmerising as I had never seen a better mix of artists, makers, tech people - all working together and sharing a genuine joy of building something unique. Because a local makerspace was recently open I decided to do a HacKIDemia with them and bring many children and parents to the space. The theme of the event was Hack the city.

In a week we managed to organise 14 workshops of digital fabrication and get 100 children and parents to the event. We learned how to extract DNA from strawberries, make batteries from lemons, laser cut houses, 3d print our names, make a piano from bananas, control robots remotely and many other things. It was magic and children didn't want to leave, some of them pretended they forgot their jacket so they come back to the events. Stefania_Druga

The local makerspace decided to continue doing these activities and the parents and children manifested their interest to participate in many other workshops to come.

This couldn't been possible if I hadn’t met Tony at DLD13, which shows how important it is to meet in person at events that exist to share and exchange ideas.

Now we wish to bring the Hack The City events to everywhere in Europe:

● 16th of March in Bucharest ● 1st of April in Berlin ● 29th of April Barcelona

If you want to get involved in any way please write to us to

I hope the DLD community can help us to keep on inspiring the children for a better tomorrow and give them the tools to build it at Hackidemia!

Mentioned in this article

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Tony Hsieh
Las Vegas