The most transformative two and a half days of my life thus far.
The breastfest was phenomenal. To be in a room of women and men from all different lifestyles working on one goal was EPIC! I made friends and got new ideas.
This Hackathon was full of supportive and talented individuals; thank you for making a women’s event so easy to attend and well organized — I would recommend this event to a friend.
I am so glad the Breastfeeding Festival and hackathon exists. It gives voice and agency to a community of people who are ready for change.
Inspiring, collaborative, festive, and fun! A wonderful example of how individuals can band together to create change.
Wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded people across lines of difference to create solutions to breastfeeding barriers for women and families in our country. As a researcher, it was refreshing to do something creative outside of the “ivory tower.
This event attracts mainstream attention to cultural absurdities related to breastfeeding (not just pumping) and provides a powerful platform and a safe space to work towards restoring a healthy breastfeeding culture.
This was a great experience for our organization, we met a lot of wonderful people as well as learned very valuable information that is going to help us succeed in the years to come.
Mine is simple, I felt like we was rushed and was just taking everyone word over what we had said but I prayed about it and I say let it flow as it may and even know I was so nervous we still made a impact on everyone that seen our project and they seen the love we had for our work and that was a blessing by itself and it was overly great that we won something and our name was first.
The Hackathon was unlike any event I’ve ever attended. It was designed for women/mothers and felt like I belonged in a building that traditionally, I would have felt very on-edge in. Down to the last detail, these small, but intentional designs enabled me to truly come together with other women, and people more broadly for an unforgettable experience!
Aimee Gilmore’s pieces from the Art Gallery
As a first-time parent and attendee to this wonderful event, I was amazed at the passion and energy everybody had. Everything from the initial Keynotes to the “Science Fair” display of the Hackathon projects was incredible. I felt a sense of acceptance and yearning to help all the projects. Who can forget the one project pitch where milk was hand expressed into the crowd, amazing! I ended up on a team with my wife (Yvonne Takane), Kimberly Seals Allers, Emily Calvin-Bottis, and Jenny Liu working on the Irth project. Can see the hackathon result here: https://irth-app.github.io/dist/My wife and I walked through the art exhibits multiple times during the breaks. They were beautiful and the “Pumping On The Go” one was particularly impactful, having a wife that has lived it. The Kids Zone on the 3rd floor was awesome! Spending a couple of hours there, I was pleased to see so many simple toys that promoted sensory development and precision. The apple sauce and bananas provided were a life-saver when it came to my son’s “hanger”.Everywhere I looked during the entire event, I saw smiles, encouragement and support given by everybody and to everybody. It was heartwarming to see the joy and camaraderie as stories were being told and people accepted their sponsored rewards. To me, this event was powerful and uplifting and sparked me to constantly talk about it to my coworkers and search for ways to give back and make progress to Make The Breast Pump Not Suck anymore.
There has never been anything like the Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hack-a-Thon. It was an incredible experience to be among moms, engineers, designers, midwives, lactation consultants, activists, and so many others who brought their skills and experience to bear on the obstacles faced by people trying to feed their babies. Incorporating the stories of people from all backgrounds and an “equity by design” framework, teams co-designed solutions and brought innovation to breastfeeding. On any given team, you could not tell who was the mom, designer, engineer (or all of the above). Each of us is an expert on our bodies, our experiences, and our culture. It’s great to see this expertise valued in the design process.
Empowering, energizing, and intentional!
This is one of the most respectful spaces I’ve ever been in- I did not have to worry about my culture or work being disrespected, which left me free to be as creative as possible. The way the whole festival was facilitated was an example of how all work should be led- trainings and community agreements before the actual work began.
The hackathon is an amazing event bringing policy advocates, breastfeeding promoters, educators, and advocates and moms and babies together in a beautiful and inspiring way. It was a great balance of education, knowledge sharing and practical hands on hacking!
From the opening sessions to the design of the space, from the diversity of backgrounds and experiences represented to everyone wearing their hackathon t-shirts, the energy of the festival was welcoming, inclusive, uplifting, and collaborative. I think it was a wonderful environment for innovation.
The commitment of this group to social justice and equity in lactation was evident in the diverse group of people who descended upon MIT. Seeing black women, first nations women, latina women, women of all hue arrive at this place joined by a collective desire to improve the experience of mothers was absolutely amazing. I didn’t know what to expect from this event, but I left full...excited and invigorated with ideas.
I thought that it was a great event. The bringing together of so many different perspectives around a single common theme was quite a new experience for me and it has opened my eyes to the need look at the total connected ecosystem as opposed to the individual elements. Plus it was, in itself, a great tutorial on how to run an open innovation exercise and how to harness that energy.
It was an honor to participate in an event that centers the needs of parents and families. As a former young mother whose been fighting for equity and justice for over a decade, this kind of summit was long past due. I’m glad Binta, Kate, and Becky made it happen! We all shared so much wisdom and perspective with each other. I’m feeling energized and motivated to continue pushing for change.
As a first time hackathon attendee, I was amazed! Everything was ready and thought out! From my acceptance to have travel expenses paid to hotel accommodations I was extremely impressed at how it went! Becky kept me informed as to what to wear and what to expect for the duration of the trip! I have bonded with other organizations and is eager to collaborate for ongoing advocacy programs! Great job and I can not wait to attend in the future! Also, to see so many people and businesses all share a deep passion for breastfeeding was amazing! The creative ideas about that breast pump and to help make other women and mothers life easier! Love it! Had an amazing, learning experience!
This was one of the most intentionally designed, welcoming, and inspiring gatherings I’ve ever participated in. It was extremely valuable both personally and professionally. I came away with renewed commitment to improving the policy landscape for all families.
The most significant impact the event had for me was the emphasis on equity. In my career, I develop innovation for some of the world’s largest organizations (Procter & Gamble, Nestle, McDonalds, pharmaceutical companies, etc.) and it’s clear that the predominance of development happens for the Top 1%. I’ve spent 18 yrs in innovation and while I’ve often felt a lot of the ideas were frivolous, the impact was never as clearly crystalized as it was for me at this event. I’ve already begun bringing this important insight to my work.”
This is a great forum for all things related to breastfeeding and it’s challenges.
I conduct research around mother of premature babies. The team i worked with at the hackathon focused on helping mothers in NICU manage the feeding of their infants. This work resonate with my research and i am currently developing an application that will help mothers in low income setting learn more about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.
Did you attend the hackathon and policy summit and want to share your experience? Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org