When all other preparatory activities are up and running, you can start taking care of another fundamental aspect of the Hackathon: the selection of competent, engaged and available solution givers! A solution giver is any public or private organisation, or an informal group of young people, that can prove to be active in the social challenge tackled by the Hackathon and provide a convincing solution to one of the challenges proposed.
Although you may want to delimitate the geographical scope of your Social Hackathon, involving for example organizations that operate only at local, regional or national level, it is very important to ensure an open process of selection by publishing and widely disseminating a public call at least two months before the event.
Setting up the teams… a real challenge!
One of the most difficult aspects in the organization of a Social Hackathon is being able to create balanced and motivated teams, trying not to disregard the expectations of all those involved in the event. After having experimented many different models during the various editions of the Social Hackathon Umbria (from drawing by lot to pre-contest mini challenges, including direct assignment from the organizers or the trainers), we have learned that the participatory strategy is the most effective one.
During the period between the selection of the final solutions and the Hackathon, which is usually and it should be at least one month long, you should allow and support all the actors (expected to take part in one of the co-creation teams) to interrelate and start co-designing the operational strategy they want to put in place during the Hackathon.
The very last phase in the organization of a Social Hackathon starts after the selection of the solution givers and it requires the activation of all the resources you have planned for the final arrangements and the implementation of the event. At this stage, many different processes (training, marketing, logistics, secretariat, etc…) have been already started and you must be able to coordinate them in order to facilitate an effective cooperation among all the people (staff and volunteers) involved and ensure a continuous exchange of information before, during and after the event! There are two main elements that you should carefully plan and communicate in the right way: the programme of the event and the Hackathon regulation.