Weekend Blitz

Weekend Blitz

September 16 – 18, 2016
A 3-Day Design Challenge for Social Impact @ GRid70, Grand Rapids, MI


Weekend Blitz, an event that unites local professionals and organizations with big hearts and a fierce need to collaborate for the good of our community!

We believe in the potential design thinking has to create meaningful change for organizations and businesses. That’s why we’ve developed Weekend Blitz, a 3-day design challenge that unites professionals from a wide variety of industries (design, tech, marketing, etc) with local organizations to amplify what they’re doing for the community. Weekend Blitz reimagines the essence of design and playful thinking through the lens of an accelerated timeframe.

A quick rundown of what you can expect at Weekend Blitz…
Teams of 8-10 professionals are paired with ten local organizations in need of their skills and talents. A team lead works with a mentor to define the organization’s greatest need and then strategically assigns tasks to teammates. From there the teams closely collaborate with each other and a representative from their organization throughout the weekend.

Food and drink are provided and an amazing collaboration space generously donated by GRid70 for the entirety of the weekend. Teams have the opportunity not only to help local organizations, but meet fellow peers and mentors, be exposed to and put into practice design thinking methodologies, and earn maximum street cred as change-makers for our Grand Rapids community.


Important Dates

Tuesday, September 13 – Team & Organization Meet-up & Happy Hour
Friday, September 16, 9:00am – Weekend Blitz 2016 Kick-Off
Sunday, September 18, 1:00pm – Final Presentations & Merrymaking

The Organizations We’re Supporting for 2016

Legal Services of Northern Michigan
LSNM helps Northern Michigan community members understand their legal rights, and offers legal services to impoverished and senior citizens for family and financial law, and assistance programs.

Affinity Mentoring
A school-based youth mentoring program in Grand Rapids that pairs children with an adult mentor.

Treetop Collective
Supporting refugee women in Grand Rapids by building collaborative partnerships between creative citizens of Grand Rapids—long time residents & New Americans.

STEM Greenhouse
STEM Greenhouse seeks to improve academic outcomes for minorities and girls in Western Michigan and increase this population’s interest in STEM careers.

Grand Rapids Public Museum School
Grand Rapids Public Museum School’s mission is to cultivate the next generation of creative, collaborative problem-solvers.

Hook A Sista Up
HASU is a sisterhood of women entrepreneurs who come together to support, connect, engage and hook each other up with resources, shared experiences and knowledge.

Michigan Blood
Michigan Blood is a fast growing, independent, non-profit blood bank headquartered in Grand Rapids that provides blood products and services for more than 60 hospitals throughout Michigan.

Artists Creating Together
Artists Creating Together empowers individuals with disabilities to learn, grow, and celebrate through the arts.


Q: What do you look for when selecting organizations?
A: Each application is thoroughly reviewed by a team of advisors that assess factors such as what the organization is looking to accomplish, if we have the right team of volunteers to execute the project, and if it’s achievable within the 3-day timeframe. We also assess whether the organization has the means to carry out what is created, and if the deliverables can create a growing and sustainable impact in our community.

Q: How involved is the organization throughout the weekend?
A: We highly recommend that each organization have at least one point of contact available throughout the weekend to kick off the project, provide any necessary assets or details, check in with their team, and participate in the final presentations. There may be some discovery work that happens prior to the event as well to ensure the team has what they need to make the most of the weekend.

Q: Do organizations get finished work?
A: Yes! Teams work diligently all weekend to gather all the necessary components for the project including content, photography, design, and development. While each project differs in what is being delivered, organizations can count on having final design files to work with after the event. In some cases (i.e., websites or applications), additional details or access may be needed to launch.

Q: Are there requirements to participate as a volunteer?
A: A computer and some skills are really all you need. From beginner to experienced pro, there is a place to put your talents to work. If you have a knack for leading projects, you can participate as a team lead and help facilitate the project from start to finish, gathering info and requirements from the client and supporting team members where they fit best.

Q: Will I be able to get some sleep during the weekend?
A: Absolutely. In fact, we discourage pulling any “all-nighters” and the facilities will close each night at midnight and re-open the following day at 7:00am. Your team lead and mentor will work hard to ensure that reasonable expectations are set at the beginning of the weekend. We want you to feel energized and refreshed after this weekend of giving. Sleep is a requirement.

Q: What if I don’t want to work with an organization, but still want to help?
A: No problem. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer before and during the weekend, helping to make the event a success from start to finish. This could involve setting up the space, checking people in, setup for presentations, and general event facilitation. There’s really no need for design or technical expertise. There will be a coordinator available to help place support where it’s needed.

Q: What’s required after the event?
A: The goal of the weekend is to accomplish as much as possible in the 3-day timeframe. However, sometimes there are more details or technical access needed to hand off final artwork and deliverables. It’s possible that there may be some minor adjustments or launch time needed after the event but the vast majority of work will happen during the event, requiring little to no time needed after.

Interested in sponsoring the Weekend Blitz? Contact dfg@westmichigan.aiga.org for more information or download the Design For Good Sponsorship Packet to find out more about how your contributions can make a difference for this initiative.

Interested in past projects?

Kids Food Basket Seeds of Promise Friends of Grand Rapids Parks
Grand Rapids Public Schools Carol’s Ferals Build A Better Block
Creative Youth Center Fashion Has Heart Greater GR Bike Coalition
Kitchen Sage Well House