A hackathon for storytellers with a conscience. October 5 & 6, 2013 / NYC

Thank you!

We left this weekend in awe of your creative talent bursting into bloom around the issues that matter. Thank you, all of you, for your time, passion, commitment, and talent. Together, we're helping shift attention and forge paradigm shifts, all for the common good.


We’re into justice and we believe in the power of a good story.

It’s time to expand the boundaries of justice-focused persuasive storytelling. We asked changemakers from nonprofits, foundations, and activist organizations to propose specific stories relating to complex issues like economic fairness, human rights and poverty. In parallel, we offered creative storytellers the chance to choose one of eight selected stories and work with top-notch teammates to communicate and create a paradigm shift around the issues that matter.

Over the Re3 StoryHack weekend, we innovated new ways of thinking and communicating these stories in language; written, visualized, performed, coded and more.

The Projects

Here is what Re3 StoryHack creators built in just one weekend.

Eight stories, nominated by changemakers, were selected for the Re3 StoryHack weekend. Each changemaker completed a Story Brief which was sent to our teams of creatives. These offered background on the issue, the attitude shift that they hope to accomplish, and more context data to make the story grounded in fact. We also supported a group of emergent stories, with participants pitching ideas and building a team of hackers to join them.

The Abuse of Solitary Confinement / Read the story brief

  • 15 Days / Best Execution Award

    In the United States, over 80,000 people live up to 23 hours a day, indefinitely, in tiny prison cells with no light or human contact. Many of them are sent or kept there, without judicial review, for minor, nonviolent infractions as simple as having too many postage stamps. This compelling campaign features a video documentary of one man's five year experience in solitary confinement.

    Team members

    View the project
  • Deformed Not Reformed

    Thousands of people are held in solitary for years at a time. This video seeks to dispel the common misconceptions around solitary, showing how it's costly both financially and psychologically. Our interactive "news game" puts you in the position of an inmate as you try to avoid time in solitary by walking the fine line of sometimes capricious prison rules where small non-violent infractions can land you in the box.

    Team members

    View the project

The Myth of Representative Democracy / Read the story brief

  • Run For Us / Most Likely to Shift Perspective Award, Audience Choice Award

    A more representative government starts closer to home than you may think. If the interests of elected officials don't seem to reflect our own interests, how better to change that than to run for local office yourself? This humorous video drives home this point, and a toolkit helps anyone get started on a public campaign.

    Team members

    View the project
  • You Are Home

    Our multi-ethnic country of immigrants is not accurately reflected in our elected officials. This interactive image collage illustrates the changing ethnicity and the increasing "majority of minorities" in the U.S. and compares it to the homogeneity of the Senate. Scroll through the diversity visualization to see the change we need to make so our government truly reflects us.

    Team members

    View the project

Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Immigration Detention / Read the story brief

  • End the Quota / Audience Choice Award

    A powerful video that sheds light on America's best-kept secret: the tens of thousands of immigrants locked up each night in detention centers across the country. Traded like commodities, they have no access to a lawyer and are at the whim of the for-profit prisons that run them. Let's end this abuse of human rights.

    Team members

    View the project
  • Text and Found

    Change a life in 5 minutes. With no access to legal services or Internet, families of those in immigrant detention centers often cannot locate their loved one. We can provide a key service to solve this problem. Through SMS and online crowdsourcing, this tool connects immigrants in detention centers to their families.

    Team members

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The Value of a Big Mac and a Living Wage / Read the story brief

  • Half is Not Enough

    People who earn the minimum wage of $7.25/hr earn only half what they need to survive in New York City. This campaign uses iconic imagery from the city to show that only having half - of the Empire State Building, or the Manhattan Bridge - simply does not work. The campaign extends to merchandise and content shareable across social media, and includes personal stories from underpaid workers each Tuesday.

    Team members

    View the project
  • Wage Island

    How would raising the wages of a fast-food (or other low income workers) affect their life? This three-dimensional data sculpture and an interactive map visualizes how a person in an isolated pocket, struggling to make ends meet, can join the community of residents with access to food, education, health, and wellbeing. All with only minimal effects on the price of your Big Mac.

    Team members

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Homelessness, Not Hopelessness / Read the story brief

  • From Homeless to Houseless

    There is an invisible population in New York City: the working homeless. A job, or even two jobs, do not guarantee you a place to live in this land of high-priced housing. Our perspective shifted in parallel: from homeless, to houseless. This video will persuade you to approach the issue differently as well.

    Team members

    View the project
  • $2,700 a Month

    New York City spends an average of $2,700 a month to house one person in a crowded homeless shelter. Imagine using that money to put people and families into real homes. This website shares interviews from the homeless and offers tangible ways you can change the status quo and show that it's the system that's broken - not the people.

    Team members

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Both Sides of Gun Violence / Read the story brief

  • Every Shooting Is A Mass Shooting

    One bullet shatters more lives than you think. Following massacres like Sandy Hook, groups of social workers and psychologists descend to help residents cope with their grief. Yet thousands of Americans live with the scarring effects of everyday gun violence, and lack access to similar support. This poster and web campaign draws attention to the issue to show the lasting effects of gun violence on a community.

    Team members

    View the project
  • Bullet Points / Humanizing Data Award

    This series of video vignettes reveal stories behind the statistics of gun violence. The videos are posted through a dedicated Instagram account - the social media tool used most by African American youth. They are intended to be a tool for leaders in the affected communities as well as be informative and moving to the general public.

    Team members

    View the project

No Paid Sick Days? Corporate Cents vs. Common Sense / Read the story brief

  • Real Burger / Most Likely to Reach a New Audience Award

    44 million Americans are left without paid sick days. When you buy a cheap burger made by someone who has been forced to come to work sick, what does it really cost? This campaign draws attention to the hidden health, human rights, and productivity costs we all bear from this injustice, and encourages votes for the 2016 referendum in Florida to change this.

    Team members

  • #GetWellFL

    Three corporations, including Disney and Darden Restaurants, the group behind Red Lobster and Olive Garden, have lobbied hard to prevent workers from being able to take a day off. This social media campaign mobilizes people to demand sick leave for all Floridians and end this human rights violation.

    Team members

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Reframing the Poverty Discussion / Read the story brief

  • Nobody Goes It Alone

    Let's reframe poverty to show that those in need are not any different from anyone else. In both cases, it's the support network that makes the difference. This campaign toolkit debunks the myth that people who aren't succeeding just aren't working hard enough. A video, print, and web template allows us all to give thanks for the support we've received, and can be used and branded by any organization.

    Team members

    View the project
  • GIFs for Good

    #EmotionsAreEmotions. Before we can begin to solve the problem of poverty, we need to stop dividing each other into the "rich" and the "poor," the "haves" and the "have nots." Lets stop considering #richpeopleproblems and #poorpeopleproblems, and recognize the commonality in all of our problems. A series of animated GIFs - easily shareable through social media - helps draw awareness to our common humanity.

    Team members

    View the project

Emergent Stories / Read the story brief

  • Back To The Shutdown

    What if the Government shutdown of 2013 was permanent? Riffing off the movie Back to the Future, this site goes Back To The Shutdown to explore the long term effects in a humorous, social-media friendly way.

    Team members

    View the project

Pictures from the Event

The energy and enthusiasm was palpable. Relive the The Re3 StoryHack experiece on flickr!

See the pictures

The People

8 Story Nominators

103 Creative Storytellers

18 Volunteers

3 Judges


The Story Behind the Storytellers

The Organizers

We’re into justice. We believe in the power of a good story. We know others do too. So we’re bringing them together.

When & Where

October 5 & 6, 2013

Parsons the New School for Design
The Vera List Center
6 East 16th Street, 12th Floor
New York City


Mailing address:
Re3 StoryHack c/o Hyperakt
400 3rd Ave, Suite 3
Brooklyn, NY 11215
re3@hyperakt.com twitter: @re3storyhack


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