Now Hiring: Scramble Program Associate (aka Red Balloon Hunting)

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Credit: Banksy

The search is on for Scramble’s Interim Program Associate! It’s a 3-6 month opportunity with the potential for much more. The job description is below, but here’s why red balloons matter…

Finding a Red Balloon Is Hard

Throw-back to 2009 (not ’56). DARPA launches a good ol’ fashion Hunt for Red Balloons to celebrate the 40th anniversary of (Al Gore’s greatest invention) the Internet. Balloon hunts? Count me in, you are probably thinking.

The DARPA Network Challenge flexed 4 decades of innovations in interconnectivity. Like any other party, DARPA had balloons. Unlike other parties, DARPA had ten 8-foot lollipop-red weather balloons stationed at 10 random locations across the continental US. Then it got real. DARPA issued a call for teams to pin-point all 10 balloons as quickly as possible.

Under the leadership of computational wunderkind and Director of MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab, Sandy Pentland, a team of MIT Media Lab-bers declared mission-accomplished in under 9 hours. Network theory meets prize theory. Elegance-infused mastery in both thought and execution. *Drops mic. Walks off stage.*

Our Search for 1 Special Red Balloon

In so many ways, finding the right person for the Interim Program Associate position is equally as fun and daunting as finding one of DARPA’s red balloons. And this is why we need your help. S/he exists. Luckily, we’ve narrowed the scope of the search to Philly, Boston, NYC, and DC.

Roles and responsibilities are detailed below. Again, this is a 3-6 month opportunity with potential to expand into a full-time role. Put project and program management skills to work and gain first-hand experience building a highly entrepreneurial, in-demand services business. We’re looking for someone with longer-term potential; someone able to support senior management and executive-level teams. Our clients face highly complex and uncertain challenges in navigating unchartered territory. We are their trusted strategic program partners. There’s also plenty of room to carve out new high-priority projects and internal initiatives once we get rolling.

The candidate search is concentrated to the greater Philadelphia, Boston, NYC, and D.C. areas (and nowhere else at this time). If you or someone you know may be interested, read the description below and get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!

Job Details: Interim Program Associate

POSITION: Interim Program Associate (Part-time for 3-6 months, 10-20+ hours/week)

COMPENSATION: Starting at $20/hour with a 25-50% increase after Month 3 based on performance.

START: Immediately

LOCATION: Philadelphia, Boston/Cambridge, NYC, or Washington D.C (no relocation)


Scramble Systems specializes in accelerating innovation-driven initiatives inside today’s change-seeking companies, campuses, and communities. Our program portfolio includes the signature Scramble™ and customized Fellowships, Hackathons, and other deliverable-driven experiences. Using our proprietary RIPD™ framework, clients can confidently and successfully pursue transformative solutions to complex challenges, in both business and social impact. Clients include globally-renowned campuses and companies.

As Program Associate (PA), you work directly with the founding Managing Director to manage Scramble planning and execution initiatives for Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 programming. The position requires a systems-oriented approach where you’ll begin to implement continuous quality improvement processes throughout the program and service areas.

The Program Associate is responsible for managing a mix of really exciting stuff and nose-diving into the gritty operational stuff. The ideal candidate will:

+ Flex and hone expert project and client management skills.
+ Create new planning tools and solidify best-practices.
+ Scope and execute a number of internal operations projects.
+ Organize webinars, event ticketing, and online learning platforms.
+ Critically assess, respond to, and anticipate emerging program needs.
+ Capture detailed meeting and call notes.

+ Research and draft/edit white papers and social media copy on innovation-related topics and trends.
+ Update a WordPress site and tinker with HTML/CSS.
+ Dial into conference calls with executive-level clients.
+ Serve as the point-person for event logistics.
+ Lead outreach to program stakeholders and participants.
+ Joyfully prioritize and tackle ad hoc projects.
+ Keep cool in dealings with high-need clients facing ambiguous/uncertain situations.
+ Have traveled outside the U.S., speak (or earnestly attempted to speak) at least 2 language, and demonstrate an unyielding command of the English lengua.

Lastly, you watched this video and are driven to help people and organizations transform, disrupt, and innovate.

+ Graduate degree (strongly preferred) – social sciences, engineering, or sciences are welcome
+ At least 2 years in a program management role leading and managing mission-critical tasks and logistics
+ Nerds-out over today’s dominant innovation, entrepreneurship, and social change concepts and models (Six Sigma, Stage-Gate, Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Red Teaming, Hackathons, Complexity, Startup Weekend, TRIZ, Stakeholder Mapping, Business Process Design…)

+ Creating/implementing processes and systems-level thinking
+ Event management and logistics
+ Storytelling with PPT
+ Writing punchy, sincere, and savory copy
+ Managing projects via Podio (or other project management software)
+ Touching up images or editing a video
+ Google doc’ing
+ Wordpress management
+ HTML/CSS/PHP (extra-awesome)


  1. Email up to 300 words explaining the significance of “scramble” in your life. Attach your resume and send to scramble [at] Please be sure to include[Program Associate]” in the subject line.
  2. Follow @ScrambleSystems and tweet at us with #ProgramAssociate

We look forward to following-up via email or twitter!

Scrambling Systems

Now Hiring: Scramble Program Associate (aka Red Balloon Hunting)
Credit: Banksy

The search is on for Scramble’s Interim Program Associate! It’s a 3-6 month opportunity with the potential for much more. The job description is below, but here’s why red balloons matter… [...]

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