Creative Collaboration: Hyper Island & the Human Rights Innovation Initiative

One of the financial realities of the non-profit world is that, with limited to no funding, it is hard to employ the skills you need, and without the skills it is tough to produce results. It’s a vicious cycle, as without results, it’s hard to fundraise. However, the non-profit sector loves (the seemingly impossible) challenges.

In order to achieve your mission, building new alliances can be a powerful tool. In today’s post we are going to present one of our latest collaborations, our learning partnership with Hyper Island.

Officially opened in 1996, Hyper Island is an international institute for progressive learning that designs learning experiences that challenges companies and individuals to grow and stay competitive in an increasingly digitized world. With a strong emphasis on lifelong learning, real-world problems, teamwork and innovation, Hyper Island’s school provides educational programmes on digital strategy, e-commerce, data strategy, art directions, among others.

Just like our more than 200 partners, we need to be heard.

To further the mission of the Human Rights Innovation Initiative, just like our more than 200 partners, we need to be heard. As such, we challenged Hyper Island’s group of students to create a video showcasing the purpose, goals, and intent of Civil Rights Defenders’ Human Rights Innovation Initiative.

On Thursday 30th of November we went to Hyper Island’s digs in Stockholm to meet the two student teams participating in this collaboration. They had both been tasked with pitching one idea each. We on the other hand had the dream-crushing responsibility of choosing which of the two ideas to progress with. We were impressed by the creativeness of both ideas, unfortunately this made our decision even more difficult.

Before we reveal our choice, we think you should hear from the students:

Team “History”: James, 34, Motion design

How do you feel about being part of this project getting the chance to collaborate with Civil Rights Defenders’ Human Rights Innovation Initiative?

– As soon as I read the brief I realised Civil Rights Defenders was really different from the organisations we have worked with up until this point. When we started to understand what the Human Rights Innovation Initiative actually does, we realised it would be a privilege to work on. It has been really exciting and I have learned a lot, especially about what the Initiative does and the role of technology and human rights, which we tried to emphasise in our video.

What is your team’s idea about?

– The idea was to take the viewer on a journey through time, illustrating innovation and technology’s role in liberation from oppression. Also, pointing to the future, and the Initiative’s role in finding the next innovation that is going to help human rights defenders in today’s world.

3 words related to your idea:

  • History
  • Innovation
  • Liberation

Team “Machina”: Sofia, 22, Motion Creative

How do you feel about being part of this project getting the chance to collaborate with Civil Rights Defenders?

– It has been really fun. This is our first project with clients and it was nice to get an important project. It was difficult in the beginning because we did not know how to visualise it, whether it should be serious or have a serious tone. But after talking to you, we got all of our questions answered, and that was super helpful for being able to visualise the animation. That gave us another direction, we came up with so many ideas.

What is your team’s idea about?

-Our idea is an imaginary machine we created that can solve anything and is perfect. And then we realise in the video that such a machine does not exist, because you need humans and you need empathy. Then we explain that a machine like this exists, but with humans, and that is the Human Rights Innovation Initiative.

3 words related to your idea:

  • Humoristic
  • Immaginative
  • Informative

By working together we benefit mutually. Teaming up with us means that they get to support human rights defenders at risk by amplifying our voice, hence contributing to advance the cause of civil and political rights worldwide. Furthermore, and perhaps most important for the students learning, they get to work with a real-world challenge adding their creativity while enhancing their skills.

As you can tell from what the students said, both teams presented truly creative ideas, with different aesthetics, original images, and capturing different angles of the Human Rights Innovation Initiative.

After intense deliberations, we decided to go with Team “History”. We liked their animation style and the way the Human Rights Innovation Initiative’s heart drives the storyline. We also liked the way they put history in focus, emphasising moments of liberation, and how it can inform the present. It managed to capture the ethos of the Human Rights Innovation Initiative. Nevertheless, a big shout out to all the students participating in this collaboration. Thank you for your time, commitment and dedication.