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General Assembly – Transforming Thinkers into Creators

By Localiiz 31 July 2013
Updated September 2nd 2013 Getting ahead in Hong Kong’s competitive business sector is no mean feat, with entrepreneurs and innovators needing to constantly evolve and improve to stay on top of the pack. As one of the city’s most exciting start-ups, Localiiz is proud to be partnering with General Assembly, a world-reaching business education community winning the hearts and minds of Hong Kong’s movers and shakers.  
  User Experience Design: September 17th – December 10th In today’s constantly connected world, our experiences are almost always shared with others. User experiences can either make or break a business; those impressed by your product will become your biggest cheerleaders, but those nonplussed will pull no punches when it comes to spreading the bad word. While they may say that no publicity is bad publicity, no-one wants to be talked about for all the wrong reasons. The world's most innovative businesses are now embracing User Experience (UX) principles, creating a competitive advantage that puts them ahead of the pack. These practices of human-centred design disciplines, tools and techniques are quickly shaping business culture, defining engagement strategies, products and services, and becoming part of the DNA of successful business. GA’s User Experience Design course, running from September 17th to December 10th, will show you how to create a website your users love by generating a thorough understanding of your customers, business goals and design principles. During the 12-week course, held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-9pm, students will be immersed in ‘information architecture’. Learn how to create a complete UX brief that could be handed off directly to a developer, how to dissect and analyse common design patterns, and how to create supporting documentation to defend your design decisions.  
  The Instructor GA’s UXD course will be led by Harry Llufrio, head of User Experience at Isobar. Having lived in Hong Kong for 17 years, Harry has helped the likes of House of Dancing Water, Emirates, Bentley Motors and Shangri-La Hotels (among may other top brands) make an impact on their audiences. During the September-December course, Harry will impart his extensive experience of converting new business concepts into effective user tools, teaching GA students how to create interactive, functional and visually pleasing designs while mapping their effectiveness.  
  The GA Concept Sitting somewhere in the realm between a university, a members’ club, a pub and an office, General Assembly is a multi-faceted community of entrepreneurs, subject matter experts and thought leaders who craft educational programmes aiming to fill a void in business education. With thriving urban campuses in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Sydney and now Hong Kong, this happening hub of likeminded individuals provides schooling for startups that goes beyond business theory to arm students with on-the-ground, need-to-know insider skills. Covering everything from content to coding, GA focusses on technology, design and business education via workshops, courses, meetups, hackathons and the occasional dance party. Billing itself as an organisation that “transforms thinkers into creators”, the Hong Kong GA team promises to help startups and individuals get further faster by empowering workers and encouraging collaboration between the city’s upcoming and established entrepreneurs.  
  The GA Curriculum General Assembly offers something for every kind of learner, whether you’re looking for a 90-minute introductory subject seminar or a career changing three-month immersive certified programme. Sitting somewhere in the middle of the one-offs and the intensive training are 10-12 week evening courses that allow learners to expand their skillset while continuing with work. GA Hong Kong offers training across the fields of technology, design and entrepreneurship, covering mobile app development, SEO, product design, digital marketing, UX/UI Design, web development and more. Courses are also constantly evolving, with elements added and amended on the suggestions of student surveys. More information on training offered by GA can be found here.  
  The GA Community General Assembly is of the firm belief that only those who have succeeded in their particular field can teach students what they really need to know to get a business off the ground. They bridge the gap between theory and experience and also serve as an immediate connection to the local industry. With tech evangelists from the likes of Google and Twitter named among the ever-expanding ranks of mentors and instructors, GA has engineered a selective and aspirational network connecting promising newbies with established business pioneers. The Hong Kong team also boasts 40 hiring partners who offer paid internships to GA graduates and cherry-pick the programme’s brightest stars.  
  GA's History General Assembly was founded in a New York loft in 2011 by four friends: Jake Schwartz, Adam Pritzker, Matthew Brimer and Brad Hargreaves. Noticing a shortfall between job requirements and skills in the hire pool, the young team set out to make connections with hiring partners, curriculum designers and subject matter experts and create practical training that would bring the workforce up to speed with expectations in the digital space. Just over a year later, following great success in the US, GA hopped across the pond and set up shop in east London’s newly-fashioned tech-smart hub of Clerkenwell. They were helped by a little investment from Russian technology mogul Yuri Milner, whose DST Global fund backed Facebook, Groupon and Spotify. Milner was first introduced to GA by UK Prime Minister David Cameron - a man on a mission to woo large tech firms into investing in London. Speaking from Number 10 at the time, Cameron said, “General Assembly is one of the world’s most dynamic technology communities and digital education providers, and their presence in London will help more British entrepreneurs access the skills and support they need to grow into world-beaters.” In late 2012, GA took another great leap with the founding of its first Asian branch in Hong Kong. The establishment of the HK Island-based learning centre was headed by Harvard graduate and former Goldman Sachs trader Alison Baum, who was charged with spearheading the Asian campaign after spending just six months with GA in New York. Hong Kong was chosen as GA’s first Asian location for a variety of practical reasons – the prevalence of English, the ease of access to the rest of Asia, the high valued placed on education and the relative ease of starting a company – but also because of the digital penetration and inspiring momentum in the local start-up community. Long may it flourish and thrive!  
  PAST COURSES: GA Digital Marketing: August 13th – October 22nd In today’s fast-paced digital world, having a great product or idea is worth squat if you don’t know how to get your message to the masses. GA’s 10-week Digital Marketing course, next running from August 13th to October 20th, will see students learn how to plan and execute a successful marketing campaign, acquire and engage users and quantify a strategy’s success. The course - covering marketing fundamentals, analytics, content creation and user acquisition in four engaging modules - will be running every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7pm to 9pm at Pedder Street in Central. The evening lessons make this the perfect option for start-ups and entrepreneurs looking to expand their skill set while continuing with work and other projects. Students will walk away with a holistic and actionable understanding of the current digital landscape and what steps they need to take to drive success and grow their business.  
  The Instructor GA's Digital Marketing course will be led by Jay Oatway, a technology journalist and digital strategist who has been living in Hong Kong since 1997. Author of Mastering Story, Community and Influence: How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader, and with more than 100,000 social media followers worldwide, Jay was named #22 in Forbes’ Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers of 2012 and recently dubbed “Twitter royalty” by Marketing magazine.

During the August-October programme, Jay will show GA students how to cultivate online influence, how to grow communities of repeat customers, and how to effectively tell the story of your business. Co-founder of HKSocial (the city’s first society of social business best practices) and with close ties to the biggest players in the industry, Jay will bring his expert insight to the whiteboard and have you ruling the digital realm in no time!

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