PRESS RELEASE: GiveBackHack Goes Global with Rustic Pathways, Supports $10,000 Student-Focused Design Challenge

Suzy Bureau
GiveBackHack Founder


(COLUMBUS, OH) – November 19th, 2018 – GiveBackHack and Rustic Pathways are partnering to launch the first Critical Issues Summit, a new type of immersive social impact experience for high school students that culminates with an innovation challenge with a $10,000 prize.

The ​Critical Issues Summit will bring together a diverse group of international high school students from 20+ countries for a two-week conference-style event in Southeast Asia designed to ignite their ability to influence important global issues.

“We have found an impactful partner in Rustic Pathways” said Suzy Bureau, Co-Founder of GiveBackHack. “We’re humbled to partner to bring our launchpad for social innovation to an international audience of students from such a broad array of countries. Creating and facilitating the experience in Southeast Asia while also continuing to shepherd the top idea through to impact is incredibly meaningful work.”

The program includes principles of a traditional GiveBackHack event via a curated Design Thinking and Lean Startup curriculum, but expands the approach to expose students directly to critical issues in communities where they’re occurring. The Summit will take place over two weeks in July and August 2019. Students will spend the first week learning about how local people and organizations are addressing the critical issues. During the second week, which will be facilitated by Bureau, students will apply what they’ve learned to create projects that will have a social impact in their home communities.

“GiveBackHack has proven themselves to be a launchpad for social impact across the United States. It’s already been so exciting to work with them as we begin to design the experience. GBH is bringing their curated approach to this program and it’s going to be exceptionally impactful.” said Erin Murphy, Rustic Pathways Director of Student Impact.

To enable any student to participate, Rustic is providing 25 full scholarships that cover the program cost and airfare to Southeast Asia.

About GiveBackHack

GiveBackHack gives people the power to transform their communities for the better, starting with localized events that bring together passionate doers and experts to create solutions to real problems through a Lean Startup and Design Thinking Framework. The organization provides the framework, access, resources, and support needed to impact our communities for the better. Visit ​ to learn more about how GiveBackHack is the launchpad for social innovation.

About Rustic Pathways

Education. Travel. Philanthropy. Founded in 1983, Rustic Pathways believes in the transformative power of travel and offers students more than 100 travel experiences in 21 countries. More than 11,000 students traveled with Rustic Pathways in 2017 across summer, spring break, gap year, and college programs. These opportunities enabled students to give back to local communities and explore new cultures. For more information, visit ​