In contrast to the majority of the hackathons, which are usually addressed to IT experts and base their marketing strategy on the availability of cash prizes or the access to business acceleration programmes, a Social Hackathon is characterized by:
– a participatory process in the identification of the specific challenges, which relate to the improvement of one or more societal issues or to the digital empowerment of those stakeholders that contribute to the sustainable development of the society;
– the protagonism and collaboration of people who have a low level of digital skills and take part at the hackathon with different roles, but all with the expectation of learning new skills while having fun and contributing to the development of a digital solution at social impact;
– a quite extensive preparation period that includes targeted training interventions, social incubation strategic planning, as well as the design and implementation of a well-structured promotional campaign that focuses on the openness and gratuity of the event for everyone.
Therefore, being advisable to organize the final contest in a period of the year that allows the organization of outdoor side events and activities, thus maximizing the impact on the local community, the organization of the Social Hackathon should start already in January and it encompass four consecutive phases with ongoing parallel and interconnected activities that interest several key players.
The organisation phase is the longest and the most critical phase for a successful organization and implementation of the event. You will need an experienced event manager and an effective secretariat with skilled collaborators who are able to solve problems fast and independently, communicate and promote the event to the relevant stakeholders in a timely and targeted way, as well as to take care of all the logistics aspects and coordinate the external providers.