Hackcovid – An online hackathon to think about the post-crisis

We recently joined the MATTERS consortium, an improvised entrepreneurial ecosystem, made up of different change agents, already involved in the economic transition, and mobilized around the theme of urban resilience. In view of the current situation, we have decided to speed up the process of reflection and co-creation by launching HACKCOVID, an online hackathon to think about the post-crisis.

A little bit of explanation:

While solidarity-based entrepreneurship has made it possible to develop in a record time a slew of innovative solutions to the urgent problems brought by the COVID-19, it is important to slowly start thinking about the future.

The current context linked to the Coronavirus has given birth to numerous entrepreneurial initiatives making it possible to help the most underprivileged. Social innovations are on the rise and are now attracting attention, questioning our different systems and the capitalist world in which we live.

Now is the time to think about the post-crisis, or at least our ability to bounce back quickly. To make this happen, together with MATTERS partners, we organized an hackathon from the 13th to the 17th April, obviously online. During 5 days in a row, accompanied by innovation experts, mentors and collective intelligence facilitators, the participating “entrepreneurs in the making” formed virtual teams around the 7 challenges to develop innovative solutions.

On  the last day, the 7 teams exposed their revisited version of mobility, health, education, food, media, economy and humanity during the live pitch session.

The 3 winners will have the chance now to implement their project with the help of human and financial resources, provided by the various partners of the MATTERS incubator.

Each of the actors involved in this initiative collaborates voluntarily in a wave of solidarity, like the many projects that have emerged recently. This movement aims to be inclusive and any organization wishing to contribute can still join MATTERS on the consortium’s website – www.matters.brussels.

More info:

CISCO insight

“The world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest market opportunities (…)”

Peter Diamandis

As any company Cisco cares about the health and wellbeing of their employees and is taking the sensible steps to help contain the spread of the virus Covid-19 (encourage to remote work, etc.).

Indeed, remote work is already part of the Cisco culture says Antoine Engelen, Programmability Lead at Cisco. Due to the current context he wanted to share a typical situation on how he can continue to communicate with his clients from his home.

I caught a cold last week and followed the Cisco Health guidelines. So, I decided to work from home even if I had a busy week with several client’s meetings. I wanted to maintain my meetings and I invited my clients to attend at Cisco HQ in Diegem even if I was at home. I facilitated the meeting by using a Webex Board, for my digital presence as well as to co-create via canvas, post-it’s, etc. “.

Based on the Cisco solutions, Antoine could monitor and facilitate the whole process from his unique device and made a big impact by demonstrating the positive effect of using Cisco Solutions.

What about the other companies who will probably struggle to make the move with this increased need of collaboration with employees and clients due to covid-19?

Since the beginning of the crisis in China, they have seen an exponential increase in the use of their products (Asia & Europe). Cisco has immediately turned the problem into an opportunity by supporting their customers during this unprecedented time.

They offer free unlimited usage of Webex Meetings for up to 100 participants for anyone and free 90-day enterprise trials for organizations. Thanks to these free business licenses companies will continue and start to innovate with their stakeholders.

Antoine Engelen, how to implement and use Cisco technology to co-create solutions?

  • Our technology must be at the service of our end users and not in their way! Therefore, our philosophy is to integrate our solutions with the existing tools of our users such as Trello, Outlook, etc.
  • Through our Webex whiteboards, we offer a digital experience to our clients when they want to co-create and innovate by digitalizing the whole toolkit of innovation: post-its, sharpies, canvas, etc.
  • During innovation programs such as Hackathons, workshops, ideation days, etc. participants can write on digital post-it’s from their laptops or mobile devices and share them automatically on the main digital board to be visible by everyone.

An inspiring video shows how you can transform the way you can continue to collaborate and innovate remotely : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIYzXOE4Ojk

303030 City Climate Change

City Climate Challenge

One of the recent initiatives that we would like to recognize is the “303030 City Climate Change” that connects many significant players with the ambition to support 30 collaborative projects, for 30% less CO2, by 2030 in Brussels.

Climate action is a priority area for the planet and this must be reflected within our society. Emissions reduction calls for actions to be taken at all political levels: regional, federal, national and European. The new regional political makeup creates an opportunity to act now for effective climate action through between government, academia, citizens and private sector. Turning the region into a low CO2 emission zone will not only boost the economy, but also create jobs and increase competitiveness.

This is what led to “303030 City Climate Change”, initiated by BECI. The goal is to give the private sector a leading role in climate policy by proposing and supporting the sustainability transformation of the city, the government, and Brussels based companies through collaborative innovation. Find more about this initiative here: https://www.303030.eu/