LYLAS Labs is tackling issues differently by fostering collaboration across industries in order to bring new ideas and diverse perspectives to the issues that matter most. 

Women@Work Hackathon


October 11th & 12th, 2019

Participants organized into  8 teams that spanned skill sets and included technical engineers from Flatiron School and support from a sponsoring subject matter expert.

LYLAS Labs kicked off the event on Friday, October 11th with a panel of influential women discussing their perspectives on gender equality in the workplace as well as introduction into the questions for the hack at BuzzFeed Headquarters in NYC. Teams completed ideation exercises and started to think about ways to tackle their topics.

On Saturday, October 12th, teams met at the Flatiron School for a full day of hacking solutions for the 3 issue statements:

  1. Diversity & Inclusion: Teams designed a digital solution that ignites companies to treat diversity as a business imperative while innovating ways to establish access to data, networks and resources for women to leverage while kick starting or re-launching their career.

  2. Gender Pay Gap: Teams created systems so peers can research verifiable salaries, salary history and specific data points with others and either keep their anonymity or connect with a salary counterpart.

  3. Care Benefits: Teams built awareness to educate the general public about care as an issue and highlighted Universal Family Care as the solution we need.


Winner Spotlight: Boundless

Boundless developed a mobile-friendly website for clients to access a support network for Dress for Success (DFS).

Their design would overcome the network gap by connecting DFS clients in meaningful ways and increase retention within the DFS pipeline.

The site created personalized groups, mentors, and cohorts matched via recommendation engine for women entering or re-entering the workforce, looking for a career change, and seeking career advancement around the world.

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March 3rd, 2019

The hackathon was part of NYC’s Open Data Week, and brought together over 65 attendees, including 9 engineers from the Flatiron School and Access labs, 40 community participants, and 15 subject matter experts from NYC Office of Sustainability, Just Food, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Wally Shop, Enertiv, Green Mountain Energy, AgTech X, and Farm.One, all while using open data sources from Stae and NYC Open Data.

The participants were split into 8 competing teams and given 8 hours to create solutions addressing complex issues with air quality, food justice, sustainable energy, and waste.

This worked to further advance the goals of LYLAS Labs to foster collaboration across industries in order to bring new ideas and diverse perspectives to addressing climate change and its impacts.


Winner Spotlight: CircleBack

CircleBack was tasked with addressing the zero waste issues, particularly answering how we can support restaurants and creative chefs in their pursuit to cook and operate sustainable and challenge conventional ways of eating, cooking, using ingredients.

CircleBack would dramatically reduce the $800 monthly cost an average NYC restaurant spends on waste management as well as the 1 million+ tons they collectively produce each year by closing the loop of our current food system; connecting production, distribution, restaurants, and waste. This would be accomplished by sitting at the center of this cycle as a tech-enabled consultant through:

1- Bringing in a consultant to analyze waste and put in place more efficient sustainable systems;

2- Connecting waste producing restaurants to those that can use the waste,

3- Analyzing waste production pain points and connect to sustainable suppliers or food producers to reduce future waste.

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October 20th, 2018

For its inaugural hackathon, LYLAS partnered with the Flatiron School to host a reproductive rights policy hackathon. The goal is to develop content and prototypes to aide candidates and advocates with the tools they need to understand the policies, opinions, and current state of abortion across the nation. 25 participants and 5 companies gathered to address the pressing issues of:

  1. Policy: Policy on abortion has long impacted our laws. But its implementation has also made its way into  the particular use case of health insurance and access to care.

  2. Politics: Abortion is political and seeps into our democratic process in more ways than just our appointed and elected officials.

  3. Advocacy: Explore how the prevalence of advocacy organizations demonstrate their sentiment through their rhetoric, financial standing and contributions.


Winner Spotlight: ADVOKIT

Abortion is often viewed as a black and white political issue, but it doesn’t have to be. ADVOKIT tackled how we can de-polorize public perception of abortion through bringing our experienced into the spotlight using personal narratives.

By collecting these stories through a web interface, ADVOKIT developed a solution that aimed to share a more complex view of abortion that would not only bridge divides through conversation, but also lead to more empathetic politics.

The ADVOKIT would be used to develop a toolkit for reproductive rights organizations, canvassers, and engaged voters by: 1) capturing narrative experiences, 2) using the codification of the narratives language to engage the target audiences, and 3) matching audiences tot he stories.

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