By: Brooklyn Wilson (@brookwilson97


Cannes Lions recently hosted a two-day “Change for Good” Hackathon at their 65th International Festival of Creativity. Together with Amazon, Huge and international advocacy platform Global Citizen, Cannes Lions invited teams from across the globe to build solutions that would further six Global Citizen campaigns, including: No Poverty, Food & Hunger, Health, Education, Gender Equality, and Clean Water & Sanitation.

Our very own PRSSA alum and current Creative Strategist at Grey New York, Andrew Pattee, was on one of the seven teams chosen to participate in the hackathon. A coder, two strategists, and two creatives joined forces to form the team.

We sat down with Andrew to understand the full impact that the event had on himself and the industry as a whole.

1. How and why did the “Change for Good” Hackathon spark your interest?

“The Change for Good Hackathon was brought to my attention by two creative directors and another strategist at Grey. However, when applying for the hackathon we had to pick a humanitarian pillar that sparked our interest as a group. We ultimately chose education. For myself, I come from a family educators and wanted to use my skills to benefit education (for either students/educators) as a way to give back to those that have impacted my life.”

2. What skills were you able to contribute to the team?

“The other Strategist and I were able to identify the problem to be solved, frame our story to what we were creating, and why we were creating it. As well, we were tasked in providing Alexa best practices and any additional creative recommendations as a whole.”

3. How did it feel to be chosen as one of the teams to participate in the Hackathon?

“Humbled and grateful. As soon as I heard the news I had to take a few walks around the block of my work.”

4. As one of the team members to be under 30, how were you able to invest in the future of the festival and in the next generation of leaders?

“As it was the Cannes Lions first hackathon, I believe our performance (as well as the others who competed) set a standard and provided inspiration for future hackathons to come. Being still young in my career, I would say that it showcases the sense of tech innovation and forward thinking that many leaders our age (as well as the next) possess and have rooted in our DNA.”

5. What was it like to have the opportunity to work on a cause with Global Citizen and help create solutions for some of the biggest issues of our time?

“Having the opportunity to work with one of the largest advocacy groups in the world was a very humbling experience. Especially on a personal level, the opportunity to create something that could positively impact someone’s life was indescribable.”

6. Can you describe the events that took place during the two-day Hackathon and how your team worked together to create those solutions?

“Within the two days of the hackathon, our teamed worked with identifying, supporting, and creating our Alexa skill. Once the idea was solidified, much of the remaining time was spent creating, testing, and optimizing our Alexa skill.”

7. Can you describe the Alexa skill that your team created during the Hackathon?

“The skill has Alexa help teach teens how to build emotional resilience skills through everyday conversations with Alexa. If they are having a bad day, she can give them support and provide exercises for them, coping mechanisms (breathing exercises, etc). If they are having a good day, Alexa would provide the option for the user to share a tweet based on a global citizen issue they are passionate about to receive global citizen points.”

8. What did you gain from participating in the Hackathon?

“I gained a better understanding of Amazon Web Services, as well to think beyond traditional and digital/social tactics to solve problems by incorporating voice technology.”

9. What was your favorite part of the Hackathon?

“Seeing how teams took a different approach to solve the same problem. It truly showcased the creativity in our industry.”

10. What other parts of the Festival were you able to experience?

“I was able to experience talks by industry leaders. As I mostly work in social/digital creative, I sought out talks on how to elevate the craft of creating for mobile and social. Other than talks, it was great to meet those in our industry from around the world and get a broader sense of what makes our industry so unique.”

From your family at PRSSA, congratulations Andrew! Your success inspires us all to achieve great things and help make a difference in our world.



Brooklyn Wilson is a junior at Grand Valley State University studying advertising and public relations. She currently serves as the VP of Public Relations for the Grand Valley chapter of PRSSA. Her passion for communication and relationship building, in addition to writing, led her to the PR field where she hopes to apply her skills within the health field. In her free time, you can find Brooklyn watching Netflix and going for long walks.