Intercontinental Virtual Hackathon for iDove: Interfaith Dialogue on Violent Extremism 2021

It was a pleasure to design and moderate a virtual hackathon on the prevention of violent extremism in an interfaith context together with and for iDove.

impressions of the intercontinental remote hackathon on preventing violent extremism

The close teamwork with the organizers of the GIZ and the African Union as well as the methodological exchange with an innovation expert from the UK were an important pillar to create the best possible hackathon experience for the four teams taking part. Microsoft Teams was successfully utilized in combination with virtual whiteboards.

As Protellus had already started to run virtual workshop formats before Covid lockdown and can draw on a wide range of expertise, the digital experience of all participants complemented each other perfectly from a technical point of view.

Picture of world map, showing the locations of the participants of the hackathon

For four days, work was scheduled at a common timeframe across several time zones. The work in the teams was spiced up and inspired by impulse lectures and warm-ups. The prototypes for the ideas were created as planned on the third day. These included a concept for a social media-based offer to educate people about fake news and hate speech, a program for a new virtual peace camp, an internet platform, and a social media campaign to destigmatize mental illness and the associated reduction of extremism in a religious context.

It was important to develop implementable and scalable ideas. It is always important to keep the right balance between “everything is possible” and “implementation must be possible in a timely manner”, as well as to use both as a framework condition for creative endeavours in teams.

After final preparations for the most suitable storytelling, the results were presented on the fourth day in the style of startup pitches for representatives from ministries, the African Union, the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and network partners. In addition to fruitful feedback, there were also announcements of support for the implementation of the concepts.

In 2018, Protellus was already honored to give an action-oriented introduction to Design Thinking by Kilian Karg and Laurène Descamps at the African Union in Addis Ababa and to support the initiation of projects, as well as to accompany and facilitate an exchange between young committed people. The experiences from this project and the already then during this time very pleasant and cooperative work with iDove was now continued with the virtual hackathon.

International exchange, collaboration, and stakeholder- and user-centered development cooperation are an essential part of achieving the 17 SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals). Protellus professionally and passionately accompanies intercontinental and cross-cultural innovation formats. Protellus also supports the goal of sustainable and innovative business in SMEs and corporations to think globally. Feel free to contact us if interested in working together.

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