EC Green Hackathon, the CASE

 In Cases


With the lockdown, the pro bono activities stopped to protect employees. But the desire of the institutions to enrol their collaborators in volunteering activities did not stop with the crisis.

The European Commission CSR advisors Ludmila Handjieva & Janette Sinclair called us for organizing a remote volunteering day as a part of the “Volunteer for a Change” initiative. They wanted their collaborators not only to bring their energy & time to NPOs but also their skills.


We are expert in skill-based sponsorship events.

We co-designed a 1-day journey enrolling 3 ASBLs & 3 teams made up of eight EC employees from different departments to answer challenges ASBLs are facing. We called this journey the EC Green Hackathon. The multidisciplinary team in knowledge and skills made it possible to bring new perspectives and ideas for solutions to NPOs.

Each group was supported by a facilitator in collective intelligence and expert in innovation methodology. The teams went through a specially designed methodology with the appropriate tools & the day was paced by plenary sessions for sharing of experience & energy.



How might WORMS find tools, channels, methods & targets to reach people?

⇒ Make the Compost COOL & Known thanks to a system of Ambassadors. They want to create a movement/ community.

Concretely they will :

#1 launch a challenge ‘Compost bucket challenge’ (in smaller specific target group -> create engagement/ownership of the movement)

#2 letter, campaigning

#3 co-manage it with other associations

#4 ultimate goal: integrate it into the mainstream public authorities


How to capitalize on internal skills to make LA FERME DU PARC MAXIMILIEN more effective, more noticeable and attractive for a large audience?

⇒ To make La ferme du Parc Maximilien more attractive, they want to propose :

Different type of events like gardening, mindfulness or composting activities.

Uniformize the marketing of products conceived at the farm.

The communication must also be improved through the already existing website and make it available in other languages (English+ Dutch)


How to make sure that each of GASAP’s volunteers (we call our “mangeurs”) become an advocate of the network and its values?

⇒ They want to empower the volunteers (that are also the beneficiaries of baskets of vegetables) by improving the feedback loop and propose a new communication plan so more people become actors of their food. They want GASAP to better understand their consumers by entering in contact with them more often by creating fun activities for meeting. Concretely, they want, for now, to organize a GASAP day at the European Commission and produce content for social media for the ASBL.


First of all, a major part of the success is defined with the client & NPOs upstream.

We defined the specific themes the EC wanted to tackle based on their CSR strategy of the year: Circular Economy, Sustainable Food & Biodiversity.

Based on those themes, we selected the most appropriate NPOs in our network, SEE U based NPOs WORMS, GASAP & LA FERME DU PARC MAXIMILIEN.

We organized alignment meetings with NPOs to define the challenges to tackle in a day with EC collaborators based on their vision, needs, impediments & challenges.

The goal of this phase was to onboard the client & the NPO. We make sure that the connexion between the 2 worlds can be done without friction.

Once we have all the information, we started designing the journey.

KICK-OFF: 10 days before the event. The perfect moment for each participant to meet their team members & the NPOs they are going to help.

Between the KICK-OFF & the event: we have sent materials to the participants about the NPOs. They also had to complete missions to learn more about the ASBLs core missions. (Check out their website, call a beneficiary of their services, read about them…)

EC Green Hackathon D-DAY: DISCOVER: Participants got to ask all their questions to NPOs leaders. They narrowed the challenge to better address it.

DESIGN: Participants liberated their creativity to find the best idea to solve the challenge.

DEFINE: Participants described in details the solution.

DEVELOP: Participants built the pitch they delivered at the end of the day.

Feedbacks & Impact Assessment: After the event, we collected information from participants to assess the impact we had on the NPOs & team members.

Several criteria are capital for us:

TRAINING, on the innovation methodology

COLLABORATION, between participants to co-create & between participants and the NPO’s world.

& IMPACT, the solutions are viable, environmentally & socially compatible, inclusive & that NPO can develop.


87% of participants would like to keep on working with the NPOs.

On average, participants rated at

4 ⭐ (on 5) on the question “I was able to make a difference”.

4.2 ⭐ “The competence-based volunteering activity increased my knowledge of community needs.”

4.7 ⭐ “There was a positive team spirit”



Benoit, WORMS: “It’s not only about the solution the participants have brought, but it’s also about the whole process they have been through. We noticed that some of the ideas they have evaluated during the hackathon were very similar to what we foresee to implement. It’s a great relief to see we are taken seriously in our ideas and that we are supported by a team of motivated people.”

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