Exciting marathon day of the 1st Cooperative Hackathon
The first Cooperative Hackaton of Cooperatives of the Americas, carried out thanks to the Partnership between the International Cooperative Alliance and the European Commission, was successfully developed since the project # Coops4Dev “Cooperatives in development, people-centered companies, in action ”Through which a scenario for institutional strengthening was promoted: from the pillars of innovation, generational integration and skills development.
A hackathon is an event in which solutions to certain challenges are generated in marathon format, that is, under time and run. This one had the particularity of working at face-to-face level of 24-30 hours without breaks, in order to obtain transformative ideas through the work of multidisciplinary teams, which force each member to leave their comfort zone of work experience and particular knowledge to contribute to group work and the general objective of seeking an innovative solution to a specific problem or challenge.
“The hackathon methodology has been carried out in other regions of the International Cooperative Alliance, what was experienced in this first edition for Cooperatives of the Americas, was a momentous event: in terms of introducing an innovative element in the context of the Regional Conference , but also in giving voice, space and strength to transformative ideas that find potential solutions to real needs of the cooperative sector, generating and sharing knowledge, capacities and experiences to be implemented within the regional development strategy. ”Explained Danilo Salerno Regional Director of Cooperatives of the Americas
The 1st Hackathon was co-organized with three member organizations of Costa Rica (Cenecoop, Infocoop and Coopeservidores) and had 24 participants, 10 mentors, 1 facilitator, 5 jurors, 5 coordinators, 9 national, regional and global cooperative leaders who attended and they accompanied the day in a 24-hour marathon without stopping with young people from different countries of the region such as Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador, Argentina, Honduras, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay and from various areas of knowledge, such as programming, economy, design, advertising, administration, entrepreneurship, insurance, agronomy, among others.
Axis of training and education, integration and collaborative work as an alternative to the current hegemonic media, the aim was to promote proactive advocacy processes by cooperatives, for the formulation of public policies and laws that favor the development of the cooperative movement and allow Exercise strategic communication in your actions.
Axis of Technological Innovation Technological transformation is a reality, for this it is vital that the cooperative sector questions how to take advantage of technological tools to generate innovative solutions and interaction models of the associates with cooperative organizations, in order to generate innovative elements.
Of the proposals presented, three were structured as an innovative technological tool whose objective is to allow the process of exchange between cooperative organizations, while the remaining two focused on innovating within the process of cooperative education.
“The diverse origin of the participants made possible the development of multiple actions and ideas within the space and time provided for the presentation of a consolidated proposal,” said the activity facilitator Felipe Castro, recognized by the MIT Review Latin America as one of the innovators social under 35, entrepreneur and promoter of business with purpose and impact as a way to create value for society.
The winning initiative was Worldcoops, a team made up of Yazmin Fonseca Brenes (Costa Rica – Coopemep), Kanneth Sánchez Marín (Costa Rica – Conacoop), Daniel Castañeda (Costa Rica – Conacoop), Oscar David Vargas Venegas (Costa Rica – Inclusive Helplessness) and Aldo Jara Mencia (Paraguay – Fecopar).
“Our proposal aims to promote the establishment of social and commercial relations between cooperatives around the world. WorldCoops seeks to put at your fingertips a tool where cooperatives access a platform and showcase their products and services, and there will also be other spaces dedicated to sharing good practices, as well as failures, ”explained Yazmin Fonseca, participant of Coopemep.
The evaluation process was structured according to 4 components: business model, execution (design) during the hackathon, value proposition and impact in the cooperative sector. The participants were assisted by national and international experts with whom they exchanged experiences and recommendations, also had specific workshops on business plan and successful public speaking strategy.
The five members of the jury rated these four variables with grades ranging from 1 to 5. The jury was led by Graciela Fernández, President of Cooperatives of the Americas who highlighted the great participation and quality of the presentations of the various participants, mentioning: “ It showed a great interest of young people in being present in the cooperative world today, for the excellent display of innovation and technological development implemented within the sector and achieving an excellent result, it was difficult for us to decide who would take the first place ”.
Also present were experts on the subject, such as Vivian Arias Gamboa, Director of innovation and strategy of Coopeservidores, business administrator, with a postgraduate degree in innovation and technological management; Víctor Torres, Corporate CIO of Digital Transformation of the Coomeva Cooperative Business Group; Jorge Campos, an academic at Fundepos University, an expert in cooperativism and innovation and Lautaro Viscay, Director of Incubacoop, a cooperative incubator formed by the alliance between the cooperative sector of Uruguay and the National Institute for Cooperative Development (INACOOP). During the awards, authorities from the cooperative sector were present, Graciela Fernández and Danilo Salerno, President and Regional Director of Cooperatives of the Americas respectively, accompanied by Ariel Guarco, President of the International Cooperative Alliance who was excited by the contributions of youth to the model cooperative, and stressed that “these spaces for reflection, innovation and capacity development allow young people to integrate into the active and managerial life of the sector.”