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POLICY HACKATHONS
#BalkanConnect2018

Let's create digital solutions to solve Balkan problems

As part of marking the first 10 years of its work, the European Fund for the Balkans is organising policy hackathons -- #BalkanConnect2018 -- in Belgrade, Skopje, Pristina and Sarajevo. The goal of these unique regional endeavours is to inspire innovative ideas on how to change the Balkan political and social environments.

About

Policy hackathon is a competition in which participants produce creative proposals on what should be changed and why, and how to make those changes, in order to improve the functioning of society. Defining key problems faced by citizens and stimulating out-of- the-box thinking about how to solve them are the tasks for the participants. Organized in teams, they usually have from 24 to 48 hours to design the digital policy tools that could contribute to solving particular problems in the given policy areas. A digital policy tool can be anything that is used every day in the world of digital communications – website, mobile application, search engine, browser add-on, social network etc.

Topics

Dream green

What can we do to contribute to protecting the environment, slowing down climate change, increasing the use of alternative energy sources or reducing pollution? Design a digital tool to influence a healthier future for the region.

Hack the corruption, law rulz

The level of corruption in the Balkans is the highest in Europe, and the rule of law is in decline. Design a digital tool that could have an impact on reducing corruption, make our authorities more responsible, ensure equality before the law or increase government openness.

Read between the lies

Today it is more difficult than ever to separate the truth from lies, information from disinformation, and news from propaganda. How do we recognize fake news, who spreads it and how and why are they doing so, how do we stop this practice, and how can we learn to read the news again? These are some of the questions that an innovative digital tool can answer.

Questions and Answers

Why apply?

In order to participate in the policy-making process, develop practical and entrepreneurial spirit and take a chance on putting your ideas into action.

Who can apply?

Young and not-so-young activists, students, researchers, entrepreneurs, representatives of civil society and political parties...all those who understand what the problems of the Balkans are and have fresh ideas on how to use modern technology to solve them.

What should competitors do?

Competitors can apply as teams (three to five members) or individually (organiser assembles teams). They are expected to design and outline an original digital policy tool, and explain how it can affect the problem identified by the team within one of three topics mentioned above.





Hackathon rules and obligations of participants

Meet the Jury

The judges are renowned individuals who have achieved worldwide success in different areas:
Marko Rakar

Marko Rakar

Chief executing manager of the consulting company MRAK services ltd

Rakar ran or participated as consultant on a number of successful campaigns and races for organisations, parties and independent candidates on presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections in Europe, Asia and US. In his work with governments and corporations he worked as a data scientist and architect of advanced statistical, BI and predictive analytics systems designed to identify, prevent, and/or disrupt criminal and fraudulent activities, predict customer behaviour, increase process efficiencies and simplify decision making. He is also recognized by World eGovernment forum as one of the "Top 10 who are changing the world of politics on the internet".

David Batstone

David Batstone

Professor in entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of San Francisco and founder of Just Business, REBBL, Z Shoes, and Not For Sale.

David Batstone is a catalyst for driving positive change across the world. Working with entrepreneurs and investors to create forward-thinking companies that return dignity to people and planet, he is quietly leading a revolution in the way 21st century business operates. His ground-breaking work has earned him numerous awards, most recently UN Women for Peace Association has named him a 2017 Lion Award winner for his significant contributions to economic and social empowerment for communities at significant risk for exploitation.

Vesna Bajsanski Agić

Vesna Bajšanski Agić

Executive director of the Mozaik Foundation

Joined Mozaik in 2008, as Mozaik begun its transformation into a social enterprise. Today, Mozaik Foundation is the leading social enterprise in the Western Balkans, engaged in programs relevant to youth social entrepreneurship and social innovation. She is a Governing Board member of two social businesses that support the disadvantaged and promote reconciliation in an economically sustainable way and a Board member/president of two national NGOs.

Blerta Thaçi

Blerta Thaçi

Blerta Thaçi is the Executive Director of Open Data Kosovo and the founder of Girls Coding Kosova

Her main focus at the organization is to contribute to strengthening public participation through technology for the public good and towards building capacities for youths in the tech industry. As part of the activities of GCK, she is constantly working on bringing events to the young enthusiast women of Kosovo to encourage them to code, launch companies and work as developers in other exciting startups in the country.

Ralf Sauer

Ralf Sauer

Siemens Branch Management

Professional in international business with career spanning over 30 years, driven by a strong entrepreneurial spirit in new ventures and structures as well as major restructuring competences. Since 2012, Ralf is in charge of Branch Management matters within Siemens, implementing best-practice initiatives across all operations, standardizing processes, gaining efficiencies and reducing financial risk for Siemens globally. In this role he collaborates with Senior Government officials and Ambassadors.

Srdjan Jovanovic

Srđan Jovanović

Director of Engineering at HTEC Group

Involved in numerous projects spanning through various verticals and involving clients like Intel, Qualcomm, IBM and similar. He is the leader of HTEC medical spin-off Humeds, leading the team of engineers that produced CE marked novel 3-lead dry electrodes ECG mobile recorder together with the proprietary algorithms for detection of arrhythmias, awarded by the MIT. Srdjan was managing electronics course at Petnica Science Center, participating in the education of gifted young students from the year 1999.

Bojan Bošković

Bojan Bošković

Co-founder of EXIT festival and Share foundation

Bojan is a co-founder of world acclaimed music & art festival called EXIT and Share Foundation. Over the course of more than 15 years, under the auspices of various development programs, he designed projects and mentored numerous local organizations across Europe, Africa and Middle East. His field of expertise lies in the intersection of culture, technology and entrepreneurship.

Iskren Krusteff

Iskren Krusteff

High-impact entrepreneur, Mentor, Investor, Chairman of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Bulgaria

Internationally recognized go-to entrepreneurship ecosystem expert. Bridge maker and investor focused on growing startups & scaleups through sustainable business models, partnerships, innovation. Managed NGOs, businesses and programmes £50m+ in the public and private sectors in the EU and MENA. Hosts and participates in high-profile international conferences and roundtables. Trusted Pitch coach, Judge of national & international startup competitions, public speaker. Disrupter. Visionary.

Iskren Krusteff

Vesna Kuzmanović

Managing Director of STRATUM R&D

Vesna started her own business in 2000, as a first local Market research agency and in one year became market leader. After selling the company to International GfK, she founded a new consulting company in the field of research and innovation. STRATUM R&D now operates as external R&D department to Macedonian and international companies present in the Balkans. A great professional experience in research, management and innovation was excellent base for involvement in coaching and mentoring start-ups. In the last three years, she was mentoring more than 50 start-ups from the Mediterranean region.

The judges will evaluate

  1. Is the problem clearly defined and does it affect the wider population of the region?
  2. How effective is the solution at solving the defined problem?
  3. Is the solution innovative, useful, feasible, sustainable and applicable to the entire region?
  4. What is the functionality, design and ease of use of the digital tool?
  5. Have potential stakeholders been identified and how easily can the solution be taken up by the community and/or policy -and decision -makers?
  6. How was the quality of presentation?

Awards

Through the implementation of the winning digital policy tools, the winners will have the opportunity to Influence policy making. Four winning projects, one from each of the four cities where the competition will be held, will be presented to state officials, businessmen, donors, representatives of civil society and other influential people from the region at the event marking the tenth anniversary of the European Fund for the Balkans. Also, for the development of four winning projects, 1500 EUR will be provided.

Possibility of influence policy making

Exposure to influential stakeholders

Project development funds

Belgrade Hackathon Schedule

Day 1

9:00
Doors Open; Teams Check-in; Coffee & Tea
9:30
Welcome and Introduction
10:00
Teams begin hacking
12:30
Lunch break
13:30
Hacking continues
18:00
Official end of Day 1

Day 2

9:00
Doors Open; Teams Check-in; Coffee & Tea
9:30
Welcome and Briefing
10:00
Finish hacking and putting presentations together
12:30
Lunch break
14:00
Team presentations (10 teams, each team up to 15 minutes)
16:30
Judging deliberation
17:30
Judging and Awards Ceremony
18:00
End of Hackathon

Sarajevo Hackathon Schedule

Day 1

9:00
Doors Open; Teams Check-in; Coffee & Tea
9:30
Welcome and Introduction
10:00
Teams begin hacking
12:30
Lunch break
13:30
Hacking continues
18:00
Official end of Day 1

Day 2

9:00
Doors Open; Teams Check-in; Coffee & Tea
9:30
Welcome and Briefing
10:00
Finish hacking and putting presentations together
12:30
Lunch break
14:00
Team presentations (10 teams, each team up to 15 minutes)
16:30
Judging deliberation
17:30
Judging and Awards Ceremony
18:00
End of Hackathon

Skopje Hackathon Schedule

Day 1

9:00
Doors Open; Teams Check-in; Coffee & Tea
9:30
Welcome and Introduction
10:00
Teams begin hacking
12:30
Lunch break
13:30
Hacking continues
18:00
Official end of Day 1

Day 2

9:00
Doors Open; Teams Check-in; Coffee & Tea
9:30
Welcome and Briefing
10:00
Finish hacking and putting presentations together
12:30
Lunch break
14:00
Team presentations (10 teams, each team up to 15 minutes)
16:30
Judging deliberation
17:30
Judging and Awards Ceremony
18:00
End of Hackathon

Pristina Hackathon Schedule

Day 1

9:00
Doors Open; Teams Check-in; Coffee & Tea
9:30
Welcome and Introduction
10:00
Teams begin hacking
12:30
Lunch break
13:30
Hacking continues
18:00
Official end of Day 1

Day 2

9:00
Doors Open; Teams Check-in; Coffee & Tea
9:30
Welcome and Briefing
10:00
Finish hacking and putting presentations together
12:30
Lunch break
14:00
Team presentations (10 teams, each team up to 15 minutes)
16:30
Judging deliberation
17:30
Judging and Awards Ceremony
18:00
End of Hackathon

Information

Info days

If you would like to learn more about policy hackathon in your country, you can meet and talk with the organisers at the following Info Days:

Belgrade
2 February
12:30
Zaokret, Cetinjska 15
Skopje
9 February
18:00
Public room, 50 Divizija 22
Pristina
10 February
12:00
Pub MIQT, Tringe Smajli 17
Sarajevo
13 February
12:30
Academy 387, Milana Preloga 12
EFB 10
Mozaik Mladi Info Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova