Multidisciplinary Culture Hacks Use Tech And Design To Solve Local Problems


Culture Shift brings together creative businesses and digital talent to make new products.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 8 july 2014

Culture Shift is a global hack program by the British Council’s Creative and Cultural Economy team.

The program is basically a season of sessions that bring together people from the creative, cultural and digital industries to collaborate and design new products and ideas that address existing challenges related to the cultural sector in their local communities.

The participants in each Culture Shift program are grouped into teams who then compete for a grant award and medium-term business mentoring support to bring their projects to life in the real world. The hack sessions last for 48 hours and the teams present their projects, including a prototype of their product, to a panel of judges.

For the last couple of years, the British Council has been running the Culture Shift program globally in places like Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Lagos, Russia, Brazil, and Lagos. The program has been supported by organizations such as the UK’s Social Innovation Camp, Snook, CultureCode, CultureTECH, Technology Will Save Us, Pervasive Media Studio, KIMCHI and CHIPS, as well as Google partners iHub Kenya and CcHub Nigeria, and the Hub Johannesburg.

The program was piloted in Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria between March and May 2012. The global hack program officially launched with Culture Shift Nigeria in November and December 2012. In 2013, Culture Shift was taken to Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.


Some of the projects and prototypes that came out of the Culture Shift sessions include Pakacha in Kenya, a digital platform that allows artists to use a “barter and sell” system to look for and purchase art supplies. Culture Shift Kenya also resulted to the Rubiani project, a mobile application that connects buyers directly with the makers of locally handcrafted good. In 2013, the Kijicho project, a social interactive platform for matatu – public minibus taxi – users, won first place.

Other Culture Shift projects include Nigeria’s Mainframe Films, a group developing a global movies app that promotes African film identity, and PubHub, a self-publishing literature vending machine that aims to make literature accessible and affordable in South Africa, and Meshabbek in Egypt, a platform that helps creative people find the talent and skills for their projects.

Check out the video below which features Culture Shift Egypt to see more about how the program

Culture Shift


How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Related Expert

Johanna Bjork

Sponsored, Work & Business, Design

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 21, 2016

Creative Agency Founder: Using VR As A Race Relationship Tool

Maurice Bernstein, CEO and Founder of Giant Step, explores the value in transforming headsets from high-tech entertainment tools into empathy machines

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

Culture september 23, 2016

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture september 23, 2016

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment september 23, 2016

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Advertising september 23, 2016

These Trucks Drove Around In Circles For 24 Hours To Keep Time

The giant ticking clock was created by 14 Scania vehicles in a deserted airfield

Advertising september 23, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia september 23, 2016

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

No search results found.