Innolympics Education Hackathon

Some Data
6 Months of work, 11 Facilitators, 42 Participants.

In this issue we’d love to tell you about the Innolympics Education Hackathon we organized this year. It is a story about the urge we felt to help ignite a revolution in the world of Education and the desire of the entire ecosystem to give birth together to an international space in which people from all over the world could gather to envision and develop ideas.

The Education Hackathon was the pilot of a bigger idea called Innolympics, a project inspired by the worldwide impact of the Olympics, that wants to strive for the role of innovation for future generations of entrepreneurs through the power of game. It was January when we started to work on it. It was the first time we had organized a Hackathon on Education and we were very excited to understand how the ecosystem would respond to this proposal.
We chose the Education field because as everything – organizations, economies, technologies – are transforming so fast we believe that Education can’t afford to stay behind if we want to ensure humankind is able to sustain all these transformations, supporting the growth of happy and healthy human beings in these times of pressure.

From the beginning we imagined an arena where ideas, challenges and young people from all over the world could meet and get inspired. For this reason we didn’t want to limit the experience to only two days of competition, so we organized a first phase in which the participants had to tackle online games. The engagement started, young people worked hard to compose the teams and solve the games. The energy invested and shared was so much. We thought of this initiative as an ecosystem enabler to offer to the world, and the ecosystem resonated immediately with us. Some active supporters spread the voice and young people come to us from China, Spain, Senegal, Holland, France, Canada, Syria, Morocco, Germany, Romania, Spain and Italy.

In June, finally, the Hackathon live phase came alive. People came to Rome full of energy and smiles. Some teams were composed of friends, others of people gathered for the occasion and others of people who had never met before. The vibes were instantly amazing, people were there to compete and cooperate and from the first moments, it was clear that it would be a great experience for all of us.
Young women and men worked hard over the two days, also supported by 5 mentors who helped them to move from the idea to the project.

One of the most valuable things that happened during the hackathon was the real cooperation between teams that discovered the value of collaboration instead of focusing on competition. In order to track the value exchanged among teams, we introduced a pretotype of the ecosystemic value exchange token we are developing, the “Thanks” (THX).
As a parallel “game” people have been issuing and exchanging this “currency” to recognize and make visible the value they have been receiving, in a beautiful fabric of value flows.

After two days the teams were ready to present their ideas to be assessed by a jury of 3 people with different backgrounds and experience. As often happens, at the end of a project its waves continue to reach new shores.
While we are working to support the winners to explore and validate their idea, other teams are implementing their project, engaging new people in order to transform the world of education.

Why an Education Hackathon?
“Every few hundred years in Western history, there occurs a sharp transformation… and the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their own parents were born. We are living through just such a transformation”.
– Peter Drucker –


This article was first published in our Cocooners N° 5


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