“I could feel an essence of purpose and professionalism that just made me want to lift my game”

Add To Cart Podcast
Episode 15


In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Alita Harvey-Rodriguez, founder of MI Academy and creator of the Retail HackGames, plus three members of the winning team, Jo Harris, Peter Knock and Yas Grigaliunas.  Sharing their experiences of this unique event designed to inspire innovation and challenge traditional ways of working, the panel discuss what the process looked like, the insights that emerged and how they can be incorporated into day to day working life. We get to hear the winning pitch and find out about the HackGames mark 2.

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Questions answered in this episode include

  • What are the Retail HackGames and what did you set out to achieve? 
  • What tools did you use to conduct the whole process virtually?
  • What insights came out of the process?
  • What tips can you give retailers to be more innovative in their day to day business?

🔗 Links from the episode 


While MI have an amazing framework for delivering such an event, there’s no reason you can’t run this internally. Remember the main message around involving and developing your own people?  To help with this, we asked Alita to send through some of the rules they set for the Hackathon, here they are:

1. Let the voting do the talking.  You might think your ideas are ace, but let your team decide with voting

2. Don’t be a tool. While we have tech tools in the game, we don’t want you being one

3. Be limitless with your ideas. Imagine you had a limitless budget, Academy Award winning actors to act it out and gravity wasn’t a problem.  Go big!

Aliita and Team Steve have shared tools, videos and the winning pitch which you can find at the MI blog. There’s lots to get you started!

About your co hosts: 

Alita Harvey-Rodriguez from MI Academy

Alita Harvey-Rodriguez is known as one of Australia’s leading Human Centric Marketing & CX futurists and the brains behind MI Academy. For over a decade, Alita has worked with global brands including REA Group, Mr Toys ToyWorld, SAP, Experian, Mountain Bikes Direct and Alfa Romeo to transform their digital marketing and customer experience.  Today Alita specialises in intense training and data-driven innovation programs that help marketers leverage data to reveal hidden profits and build humanised communication strategies that create raving fans out of consumers.

You can contact Alita on LinkedIn

Jo Harris from MI Academy

Jo developed her reputation as ‘The People Whisperer’ after co-founding online retailer, Hunting for George. She has a strong background in people & culture with a particular focus on building high performing and collaborative teams with the customer at the heart of decision making. She enjoys and embraces diversity and nurtures great teams by empowering those around her to contribute and work together to achieve a common goal…. a great customer experience and a happy place to work!

You can contact Jo on LinkedIn

Peter Knock, non Executive Retail Director and Specialist Advisor

Peter is a highly awarded and applauded CEO and senior retailer, specialising in digital innovation, e-commerce and business transformation within disrupted markets. From creating and developing Online start-up’s to working with some of Australia’s largest public companies, privately-owned companies, NFPs, Co-operatives and Mutuals, including Myer, Dymocks, Thrifty the Co-op and St Vincent de Paul.

Peter has been recognised as one of Australia’s top 50 people in E-Commerce and successful leader of a Top 50 online retailer, an ORIA winner along with being a National Retail Association Multi Channel Retailer of the year winner. NORA Advisory Council Member and Mentor. Chair Online Retailer.

You can contact Peter on LinkedIn

Yas Grigaliunas from World’s Biggest Garage Sale

Yas is the CEO and Co-founder of the World’s Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS), an entrepreneur of impact and a circular economy pioneer in Australia, driving this industry forward by innovating, collaborating, connecting and mobilising multiple stakeholders towards a shared vision, all while providing social good.  WBGS are activating the circular economy and resource recovery of dormant goods for good, powered by their purpose to provide meaningful employment and pathways for disadvantaged youth.  Through an omnichannel resale retail presence, including events, pop ups and an online recommerce platform, Yas is a passionate advocate of the Sustainable Development Goals, delivering outcomes and outputs to support the Global Goals.   Energetic, authentic and an expert of execution, Yas is a master at enrolling talent, communicating long-term vision, and inspiring people along the journey. Yas and her organisation are living proof that you can provide a positive impact for people, planet and purpose.

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