Hackathon: Design the Next NEW Workplace Innovation

Create solutions to core problem statements in the workplace: remote work, diversity, equity and inclusion, workforce planning, and reskilling.

Hackathon: Design the Next NEW Workplace Innovation

In partnership with Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the GW Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship is looking for solutions that make work better for everyone.

Dates and Time (Must attend both sessions!)

  • Session One: Friday, November 13, 1- 4:30 pm
  • Session Two: Friday, November 20, 1-3:30 pm


COVID-19, the recession, and global discourse about racial injustice continue to shake workplaces across the globe. The most recent McKinsey Global Business Executives survey (July 2020) found that 85% of companies have accelerated digitization of employee interaction & collaboration.

We are witnessing the birth of new innovations and technologies that make work better. And businesses are looking to innovators for new ideas and solutions.

In partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management, the GW Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship is looking for solutions that make work better for everyone.

Hackathon Problem/Challenge Topics

This virtual and experiential and interactive hackathon exposes students to core problem statements in workplaces, specifically around these topics:

1. Remote work, 2. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, 3. Workforce planning, 4. Reskilling.

A Week-Long Hackathon (Two Sessions)

This new week-long hackathon has two sessions spaced one week apart. Session one would introduce the problem/challenge by experts, allow the formation of student teams, then collaborate and ideate to come up with new ideas. Session two focuses on pitching, feedback, and judging ideas. In between session one and two teams have the ability to work with a mentor / coach and work with their teams on developing their idea in preparation for the soft pitch in session two.

Why Attend

Students will walk away with the tools, tactics, and frameworks used by innovators, entrepreneurs, and designers to create new products and services that will help improve work, workers, and the workplace. Using design-thinking basics, we'll explore the challenge and how workers, business leaders, and HR professionals can benefit all while connecting with other student innovators

About the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

As the voice of all things work, workers, and the workplace, SHRM—the Society for Human Resource Management—is the foremost expert, convener, and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. ParagonLabs, powered by SHRM, serves as the bridge for the HR tech community, and work, workers, and the workplace. We connect and engage the HR and tech communities and lead the conversation on how to work together to build better workplaces and a better world.

Benefits of Attending

GW students attending this workshop and who apply to the GW New Venture Competition (NVC) by the deadline of February 4, 2021, will receive:

  1. Automatic entry into round 2 of the competition
  2. Eligibility for the $5,000 ParagonLabs Prize for Workplace Innovation at NVC

*Must participation in both session to be eligible for the benefits

Speaker and Expert: Erica Young, MPS, SHRM-SCP

Erica is the Innovation Catalyst on the ParagonLabs team at SHRM, where she is responsible for building the first SHRM workplace innovation accelerator. Erica has a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology with a focus on instructional design.

Before SHRM, Erica managed volunteer human capital and served as an AmeriCorps service member in Washington, DC for several years. She became passionate about improving access to and satisfaction with work when she taught computer literacy courses to low-income DC-residents. Erica is also a co-host on the SHRM podcast, Career Compass.