The Spark of Innovation Series: In Booz Allen’s San Francisco Innovation Hub, Dreamers, Doers & Disrupters Collaborate to Solve Tough Challenges

Aug 3, 2017 2:30 PM ET

In the final installment of our six-part video series “The Spark of Innovation,” Brian MacCarthy, head of Booz Allen’s San Francisco Strategic Innovation Hub, demonstrates how Booz Allen is tackling tough problems through collective brainpower.

In 2015, Brian MacCarthy arrived in San Francisco, tasked with growing Booz Allen’s footprint in the region. He found a community of dreamers, doers, and disrupters – and asked himself how best to harness this passionate community to solve some of the firm’s most pressing client challenges.

The answer is a digital collaboration experience that gathers an assortment of cross-discipline teams, a shared challenge, and an element of competition: the hackathon.  “The type of people that have showed up at some of our hackathons don’t believe that there’s a problem that they can’t fix,” Brian said.

To date, Brian has hosted six hackathons, bringing together professionals with varying skillsets to start tackling major problems, including poverty and homelessness—even health obstacles such as the transition to electronic records and policy changes for medical providers.

"We fully embrace our clients’ missions and that means making client support as inclusive and collaborative as possible. We've made hackathons a key part of how we maintain that ideal," Brian added.

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