A first-ever partnership for Hacks/Hackers

The following is a note I sent to all organizers of Hacks/Hackers groups around the world ahead of the announcement:

Hi everyone,

I’m writing to you because you are a local organizer of a Hacks/Hackers group. First, I want to thank you for all the work you’ve done to start a group in your city. It’s been humbling and deeply inspiring to see how our mission to build the future of media by bringing together journalists and technologists has resonated with so many of you. You have made this movement into something far larger than we ever imagined.

This is the first time I’ve ever sent a note like this to all of you, and the reason is for some big news: We are announcing a major partnership with one of the world’s most prominent technology companies to support a new event series on media entrepreneurship. This partnership also comes with support for Hacks/Hackers to help take the organization to the next level. We’ll be sending you the announcement tomorrow with more details when this goes public. We were able to do this after the U.S. parent organization of Hacks/Hackers received formal non-profit status last year.

What does this mean for you? This is just the start of us being able to provide more support to local groups and organizers for all the work you are doing. We still very much remain a grassroots group and rely on local organizers like you to spread the word and organize events. However, having an official organization will enable us collaborate with partners in a more coordinated way, enabling us to do more by working together.

This was never something we planned when I started the first group in San Francisco in 2009. I never imagined we would have groups on every continent. We are living in a time of great changes, and Hacks/Hackers has been at the heart of the reinvention of media in the Internet age. We’re just getting started!

And the formal announcement:

Hacks/Hackers and the News Lab at Google launch global program for media entrepreneurs

Hacks/Hackers, the global journalism and technology movement, and the News Lab at Google are thrilled to announce the launch of Hacks/Hackers Connect, an international program designed for media entrepreneurs.

Hacks/Hackers Connect will begin with a series of one-day events designed to support current and aspiring media entrepreneurs. At a time of great innovation in the news industry, the program aspires to encourage more developers and media professionals to come together to create a new generation of media companies. The first event will take place in Berlin, Germany on June 27 at Factory Berlin. This new partnership between Google and Hacks/Hackers will also support a global online community of active media and technology participants, and will facilitate related Hacks/Hackers activities across local chapters.

This program marks the first major partnership for Hacks/Hackers, which began in San Francisco in 2009. The movement, guided by board members Rich Gordon (Northwestern University), Burt Herman (Storify), Jenny 8. Lee (Plympton), Aron Pilhofer (The Guardian) and Chrys Wu (The New York Times), has since grown to include more than 60 groups internationally. Hacks/Hackers’ U.S. parent organization was granted non-profit status last year.

“We never imagined that Hacks/Hackers would grow into the movement it has become, thanks to organizers and members around the world,” said Burt Herman, board chairman and co-founder of Hacks/Hackers. “It’s an honor to be working with Google, one of the world’s top technology companies, to fulfill our mission of bringing media and technology together.”

The News Lab at Google is the company’s effort to drive innovation at the intersection of technology and media.

“This partnership grew out of a series of ongoing conversations we have been having with Hacks/Hackers,” said Steve Grove, Director of the News Lab at Google, “We asked ourselves how we might work together to better support the media startup ecosystem and empower more successful media entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to get started.”

About Hacks/Hackers

Hacks/Hackers Inc. is a global grassroots network of journalists, technologists, designers and businesspeople who are passionate about the future of media and believe the free flow of information is essential for democratic society. With more than 60 local groups across all continents, members gather regularly to learn, network and collaborate on projects. The U.S.-based parent is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization.

About the News Lab at Google

The News Lab at Google is the company’s effort to empower innovation at the intersection of technology and media. Our mission is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to build the future of media with Google. We do this through a global outreach effort to empower technology-driven storytelling in newsrooms; a strong data journalism practice based on our Google Trends platform; and through unique partnerships that seek to increase access to quality information globally.