The European Hackathon Youth4Youth brings together employees and students to respond to a strategic challenge from an NGO. Last week, five Umicore young talents took part in this online solidarity event mobilizing over 150 young talents and more than 50 employees across Europe.
Hackathon for good
For four days, the participants supported an NGO on the theme of Diversity & Inclusion among young people through simultaneous hackathons backed by partner companies including Umicore. Umicore young talent Elien Moriaux tells us more about the hackathon concept: 'A hackathon is a business case that is presented to various groups of people. The different groups work as teams to find an efficient, creative and realistic solution to the problem. The time allowed to solve the case is short and fixed. So we only had four two-hour periods to get to know the company, ask the stakeholders questions, create a solution, and present it to a jury. It means that the sessions of brainstorming and working out solutions are fairly intensive.'
While each workshop offers the participant an opportunity to develop soft skills like empathy, creativity and cooperation, the main goal remains to solve a challenge set by an NGO. Young graduate Livia Vandamme worked in a team to solve a challenge from Sisterhood, a London-based NGO that organizes programs for young girls to help them build self-esteem and confidence, and realize their full potential. 'The NGO faced the challenge of staying in touch with their alumni and capturing the added value of keeping all parties engaged: the alumni, the current participants and the organization itself. To solve this challenge, we combined their success factors - co-creation and sharing in a safe environment - and proposed our Family Tree concept. The Sisterhood Family Tree provides every Sister, past or present, with their own page for them to complete their profile and be integrated into the Sisterhood URL under a Family Tree tab. We are excited to see it being implemented in 2022!'
The hackathon is also a great learning opportunity for the participants, as young graduate Loic Deklerck explains: 'My main learning was getting to know design thinking as a methodology to tackle business cases. I'm convinced I'll be able to use design thinking again in other situations.'
For Arthur Peumans, the experience has been very enriching: 'I consider Sisterhood's mission to be one of the keys to laying the foundations for a strong and more gender-equal society. I am grateful to have been part of it and I hope that our contribution will help to enhance Sisterhood and its community.'
Leen Van Hees adds: 'I would definitely recommend to take part in a hackathon. It is a great way to challenge yourself, work together intensively in a group of young, likeminded people with all different backgrounds and to learn to work and think in a creative and agile way. For the effort you put in, you will get back a nice experience, many learnings and great fun!'
For Umicore, supporting a hackathon means offering our young talents a unique learning experience. At the same time, it contributes to our global donation ambitions to give back to society and go for zero inequality.
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