hr.hackathon - Atlanta


Championing design thinking within the Atlanta HR community.
Join the movement!

We are a community of HR rebels who believe in the power of human centered design to help solve our most pressing workplace challenges. These events are aimed at building confidence in design thinking while participants ideate around a common workplace quagmire.

In late 2016 Nicole Dessain designed the hr.hackathon event concept for DisruptHR Chicago. It resulted from feedback that the community wanted to have more opportunity to collaborate with peers. Nicole combined this insight with her passion for design thinking. And, voila! The first hr.hackathon event was delivered in June 2017 with 50 rock star HR and business leaders. Countless post-it notes, laughter, inspiration, and ten top ideas later a movement was born.

In 2019, Nicole partnered with Karan Rhodes to bring the concept to the Atlanta HR community.

Learn More About Design Thinking

Karan Ferrell-Rhodes

Karan Ferrell-Rhodes, hr.hackathon-Atlanta Event Host
Vicki Wright Hamilton– hr.hackathon-Atlanta Event Co-Host

Karan’s Creative Superpower: Strategic Ideation
Vicki’s Creative Superpower: Radical Transformer
Yours?  We will help you identify it during the next session!

GET SOCIAL:  Use the hashtag- #hrhackathonatl


  • Learn more about the hr.hackathon Alliance
  • Learn why Karan LOVES design thinking
  • SUBMIT A CHALLENGE:  Have a great idea for one of our next hr.hackathon-Atlanta sessions?  Submit it here.
  • VENUE SPONSORS: Interested in being a venue sponsor?  If you have meeting space which has AV and seats at least 60 people in rounds or pods, please email us for more details. 
  • REFRESHMENT SPONSORS:  Interested in being a refreshment sponsor?  Please email us for more details.
  • EVENT VOLUNTEERS:  We have 10 volunteer opportunities at each event.  If interested in helping with tasks such as check-in, table hosts, or refreshment set-up, please email us for more details BEFORE you register.  You will be sent a special registration link.

Vicki Wright Hamilton

Upcoming hr.hackathon-Atlanta:
DATE:  October 22, 2019
TIME:  8:30 am – 11 am
LOCATION:  Church’s Chicken, 980 Hammond Drive, Atlanta GA 30328
PARKING:  Parking is free in the attached office garages.

HR & Business Practitioners – $40
Vendors/Service Providers – $50

Note: This event is intended primarily for internal HR and business practitioners.

We have a LIMITED number of vendor tickets available. We kindly ask vendor partners and service providers (consultants, staffing agencies, HR tech providers, freelancers etc.) to purchase a vendor donation ticket.




The hr.hackathon is a 2-hour workshop that provides a forum for HR innovators
to collaborate with peers by tackling a specific HR challenge.

About This Event

Atlanta is a symbol of a city with grit and creativity. Our city is ripe for HR innovators to take charge. Join us for the next Atlanta hr.hackathon.  


The Event
The hr.hackathon is a 2-hour workshop that provides a forum for HR innovators to collaborate with peers by tackling a specific HR challenge. hr.hackathon events have already inspired more than 2000 HR and business professional in the Chicago area. Now we are looking to exceed that number in Atlanta!


How It Works:
Local companies/organizations are invited to submit a human capital challenge for us to “hack.”  After a brief evaluation process, one lucky organization is selected to have their challenge hacked at the next hr.hackathon-Atlanta.  Our staff works with the selected organization to prepare to be featured at the hr.hackathon event.    

Keep in mind, you too will have the opportunity to submit your HR business challenge(s) for consideration for future events!

At the event, facilitated by local design thinkers Karan Ferrell-Rhodes and Vicki Wright Hamilton, we will gain more insight on the selected topic via a panel of speakers from a variety of organizations and backgrounds. We will then roll up our sleeves and start ideating solutions. And yes, we will have a ton of fun while we do this!

The ticket price includes breakfast, incredible content, and awesome networking opportunities interspersed throughout the event. The ticket price does not cover parking, if required (many of our venue hosts provide free deeply discounted parking). 


The Agenda

  • 8:30 – 9:00 am: Doors Open, Registration, Networking and Breakfast
  • 9:00 – 9:20 am: Welcome, Quick Overview of Design-Thinking, and Presentation of Challenge
  • 9:20 – 9:45 am: Insights Panel Q&A 
  • 9:45 – 10:15 am: Table Break-Out Ideation
  • 10:15 – 10:40 am: Table Groups Present Their Idea Posters
  • 10:40 – 10:50 am: Reflection, Next Steps, Closing
  • 10:50 – 11:00 am: Optional – Additional time to connect and design thinking Q&A

Thank you in advance for being a supporter of the Atlanta hr.hackathon initiative – it’s an important one, and it’s more powerful now that you’re part of it. We look forward to seeing you at our next event!

Join the Atlanta hr.hackathon Community!

Join the list to be notified of the details for
the next Atlanta hr.hackathon event!


Complete the form to the right to be the first in-the-know.


SAVE THE DATE:  The next hr.hackathon after our October event is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, January 28th.  Be sure to add your name to the form to get the details, once released.  We promise not to spam you with non-related emails.


SUBMIT A CHALLENGE:  Have an idea from your team that you would love to be our next challenge?  Submit it here.


Shockingly Different Leadership is a human capital support consultancy which provides organizations access to project expertise on-demand in the areas of Talent Development, Organizational Development, and Human Resources- on an on-demand, project, or flexible basis.


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