Cross-subject learning and funny activity in the heart of Italy.
The fifth edition of the Social Hackathon Umbria (SHU) took place in the green heart of Italy, the Umbria region, by the beautiful marshland of Colfiorito. The small village, known for its rich production of cereals, legumes, and dairy products, back to life after the hit of several earthquakes, today is putting at the center of its economic, cultural and social development the concept of sustainability. For this reason, Colfiorito has been chosen as the location for SHU2021, this year funded by the Erasmus+ project #HackAD, bringing the Social Hackathon Umbria format to many European countries.
The social hackathon is a digital co-creation event that each year focuses on a different socially relevant topic. This year the core was the 17 UN goals for Sustainable Development and the initiative was organized by EGInA in collaboration with Fertitecnica Colfiorito (a legume and cereals production company) and FAO, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
4 full days of events and 48 hours of the digital marathon, SHU2021 between the 1st and 4th of July has welcomed 300 people. The hackathon jury was composed by: Erik Van Ingen, FAO Digital Innovation Consultant; Michele Santilocchi, Marketing Manager of Fertitecnica Colfiorito; Enrico Fontana, from the national secretariat of Legambiente Onlus; Valentino Bobbio, general secretary NeXt-New Economy for all; Emma Pietrafesa, a researcher in the field of new technologies and member of the Stati Generali dell’Innovazione (General States of Innovation); Arjana Blazic, Member of the steering committee of DigiEduHack of the European Commission; Simona Grande, a researcher at the management department of the University of Turin; Jan Rehak, National Director of the Entrepreneurship Program at Technológico of Monterrey.
The 7 competing teams, composed of digital and social experts, amateur or enthusiasts, produced excellent projects under the guidance of professional team managers, experts in the field of digital technology. All the proposed web platforms, apps, games were dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of good practices for sustainable development, in particular in the 4 selected areas #zeroimpact, #zerowaste, #zerohungher, #zeroignorance.
To widen the impact on the youth local community, SHU2021 also involved students from schools of the surroundings, by including the activity as part of the transversal skills and orientation in the job market of the Ministry of Education’s curriculum.
Students firstly took part in a preparation training program of 40 hours on digital skills designed by #HackAD’s European partners, then actively participated in the organization and flow of the hackathon, supporting the organization teams, from media communication and audience management to the setup and coordination of the side activities.
Several workshops were held on the themes of the 2030 Agenda including gender equality, and the role of women in work; Education on sustainable development with a focus on STEM engineering and technical science careers; Presentation of the Refugee Card at the CAS (Special Centre of Refugees Reception) of Colfiorito.
CRHACK Lab Foligno 4D also created a mixed reality village for the enhancement of cultural heritage, where the event’s guests could enjoy VR and AR experiences with high-quality tech equipment. A Green Lab and a creative campus on SDGs were also organized for the little ones, to enhance their creativity and bring them closer to digital technology in the context of sustainability.
The experience gave students a real chance to acquire digital and transversal skills, and see, through a STE(A)M approach, how digital technology, co-creation methodology and creativity can be applied to social challenges. Making young people feel they can and need to be an active and indispensable part of change is one of the initiative’s main goals.