[Series] Humans behind AquaHacking: Yasmeenah and Zenon from Hackworks

By Laurence Basso August 24, 2020

This time for our Humans behind AquaHacking, we talked with Yasmeenah and Zenon from Hackworks. They both help us with the coordination of the participant as well as with the AquaHacking Challenge inscription.

Meet Yasmeenah & Zenon from Hackworks through those few questions…

>What is your professional background before arriving at AquaHacking?

Yasmeenah: I previously worked in the health care sector, within hospitals to help reduce health disparities, increase access, and build capacity in rural and remote communities across Canada. I have always been interested in leveraging technology to help others. I’ve been really fascinated in the interactions between technology and human behaviour.

Zenon: Prior to AquaHacking, I worked in sales and recruitment in the financial services industry.

>A word or an expression that defines you well?

Yasmeenah: Passionate.

Zenon: Positive.

>What do you like most about your job?

Yasmeenah: It’s easily one of the best places to get different perspectives and insights in all areas that innovation can address, anywhere from fintech to water issues to business, the list goes on! I really enjoy that it’s a continuous learning opportunity!

Zenon: A wonderful aspect of my job is getting to work on a wide range of tasks and projects – no two days are ever the same!

>Why do you think we should care about what AquaHacking does?

Yasmeenah: AquaHacking has a way of showing how we’re all connected by water no matter where you are located. AquaHacking is a unique opportunity for students, entrepreneurs, young professionals to make the changes they want for the future of our water. AquaHacking helps people take on their initiatives and supports them with a plethora of incredible resources, mentors, and experts to help them succeed in making changes for water. In other words, AquaHacking lets YOU be the change you want to see and is there to help you along the way!

Zenon: Not only does AquaHacking make a huge positive impact on water in Canada, but it also provides young entrepreneurs with an amazing network of resources and support to start their own businesses.

>What is your favorite lake or river?

Yasmeenah: Lake Huron.

Zenon: I may be a little biased, but growing up around Lake Ontario has moved it to the top of my lake/river power rankings.

>For you what is a healthy lake or river?

Yasmeenah: One that can sustainably support various lifecycles (e.g. aquatic, humans, plants, etc.).

Zenon: One that is robust and balanced physically, chemically, and biologically.

>When you are not working, what do you like to do? (Aka What is your favorite hobby?)

Yasmeenah: I enjoy cooking/eating for friends and family (does that count?). I love cycling and climbing, anything that is outdoors I’m usually down for.

Zenon: Wandering around local Farmers’ Markets.

>What is the best advice you have received?

Yasmeenah: It’s probably less of advice, but more of a mantra “where attention goes energy flows, where intention goes energy flows”. Another great piece of advice is “Be the change you want to see”.

Zenon: Don’t believe everything you think.

>The person who inspires you the most?

Yasmeenah: Kimi Werner, she’s an incredible free dive spearfisher. She shares her practices on building a sustainable and healthy future for our global community. She’s pretty cool.

Zenon: Marcus Aurelius

>What are your pro-environmental gestures or efforts or resolutions?

Yasmeenah: Biking to work, growing things at home, reducing my consumption of packaged goods and plastic use, and supporting local businesses.

Zenon: Reducing my single-use plastic intake, walking to work, and trying to buy locally whenever I can.

> What is your best memory of AquaHacking?

Yasmeenah: This is a tough one! I’ve had so many and they are awesome in their own ways.

Zenon: The Semi-Final events for AquaHacking Lake Winnipeg and Atlantic Canada were highlights for me for sure. Getting to see what the teams were able to put together after working with them over the course of Phase 1 was incredibly exciting and rewarding.

> What social media do you use the most?

Yasmeenah: Twitter

Zenon: For better or for worse, Twitter is my most used social media platform by far.

 Learn more about the AquaHacking challenge here!  And check out Hackworks website here!