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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In order to participate in the policy-making process, develop practical and entrepreneurial spirit and take a chance on putting your ideas into action.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Possibility of influence policy making
Exposure to influential stakeholders
Project development funds
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: