Udon Thani, Thailand

July 16 - August 2, 2019
Rustic Pathways Critical Issues Summit

Events / Thailand 2019: The Rustic Pathways Critical Issues Summit


GiveBackHack is a launchpad for social impact. We have always been driven to bring communities together, help people learn from one another, and ignite the flame of community members who have a spark for social entrepreneurship. We support all kinds of people – community leaders, developers, designers, and more – who are creating sustainable solutions for social impact.

In the spirit of that drive, we’re excited to announce a special partnership: GiveBackHack will be working with Rustic Pathways on a program in Southeast Asia to bring the opportunity of social impact to over 100 high school student changemakers from more than 20 countries.

The Summit

The Rustic Pathways Critical Issues Summit is a unique two-week experience. During the first week, Immersion Week, students will examine one of three global critical issues in local communities. And the second week, Action Week, brings all students together for a GiveBackHack-style event focusing on skills like design-thinking and lean startup methods, and will feature issue experts, workshops, and community building.

Rustic Pathways has partnered with GiveBackHack to create real change by sponsoring a design challenge with a $10,000 prize that will allow the winning team to support innovative solutions to the critical issues following the program.

The Critical Issues

  • Vietnam – Access to Education: Is it a right for all people?
  • Thailand – Gender Equality: What’s the path to reaching equality?
  • Cambodia – Access to Water: Is there enough on the planet?

Immersion Week

Arrive in Cambodia, Thailand, or Vietnam. Establish group dynamics and prepare for community immersion. Ground your understanding of the critical issue by meeting with experts such as NGOs or professors. Dive into the “empathize” and “define the problem” stages of the Design Thinking process. Head to a local community where you’ll develop your understanding of the human side of the issue and its impact locally through immersive homestays. Learn from the perspectives of local leaders and exchanges with local families. Analyze the international factors contributing to the issue, interview individuals working in the field, and reflect on your personal contribution.

Before heading to Udon Thani, prepare to share what you’ve learned with your peers and build on your experiences during Action Week.

Action Week

Ignite new ideas through powerful speakers and engaging workshops with issue experts. As a community of learners from around the world, dive into topics like learning from failure, community building toward collective action, and designing for an unknown future. This is where students will work with facilitators from GiveBackHack to foster the skills necessary to lead innovation. Progress purposefully through an Innovation Curriculum designed specifically for the Critical Issues Summit grounded in the principles of GiveBackHack, Design Thinking, and Lean Startup methodologies. Explore the five stages of the Design Thinking process: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.

Working in teams, develop a Social Innovation Design Challenge project aimed at positively impacting one of the critical issues and pitch it to a panel of social entrepreneurs, innovators, and sustainable development experts. On the last day, teams will pitch their newly vetted innovations for the chance to win up to $10,000 from Rustic Pathways!

The Experience

The Facilitators