During the hybrid hackathon “Russia of Tomorrow”, hackers met in Russia near Vladimir and in Germany near Stuttgart and collaborated digitally to create Russia’s new, interactive, open-souce-based map platform “Co.map.ru” . This is intended to show sustainable and social initiatives and companies in Russia, similar to the mapofmorgen.org in Germany. In this way, the diverse commitment to social and ecological change will become visible and easier in both countries. This is an important motivation to see how our neighbours also stand up for and work towards similar goals!
The initially planned Hackathon with 30 people in the Kindland-Ecovillage in the west of Moscow needed to be switched to an Hybrid format due to the corona-travel-restrictions, so 15 German Hackers and Mappers joined remotly in the slowtec-Cohousing-Project in Stuttgart. Both teams where connected via the open-source conferencing center run by wechange.
The Social Innovation Support Center is a professional network hub and impact investor in the education sector with a network of over 1500 partner organizations, social entrepreneurs. WECHANGE is a cooperative of visionaries, developers and many volunteers with a clear goal: to actively promote social change towards a more social and ecological world. The map of tomorrow maps, connects and disseminates future-oriented developments and provides orientation for the common good-oriented life and business with the help of an online map platform.
Here you can checkout the map and discover the participating organizations:
All participants introduced themselves during the first video conference. At the same time, the moderators used the map on the CivilsocietyCooperation platform to show where the respective participants live: in Belarus, Russia and Germany.
During the entire hackathon, two groups worked.
- The hackers dealt with IT issues and designed the Russian version of the map of tomorrow Co.map.ru. For this purpose, they formed teams in which they took on different tasks and were supervised by experienced developers of the map. The hacker teams in Russia and Germany communicated via GitHub, where all tasks and functions that are now available on the new map can be viewed.
- Meanwhile, the mappers created ideas on how social change can be promoted online and offline with the help of the maping platform that is being created in parallel:
- They defined target groups for the online platform, such as changemakers, journalists and governmental organizations. They then examined these with regard to social effects – for example, whether changes in behavior or society can be expected in or through the target group with the online platform.
- In online conferences it was discussed to what extent it makes sense for Russian entrepreneurs to also print maps and to what extent the evaluation function of organizations on the map qualifies them as really good.
- The mappers also exchanged ideas about which guidelines exist and should exist for regional pilots who maintain the map in certain regions.
Every day the Hacker and Mapper teams from all countries met online again and again for joint situation discussions in the video conferences and the chat channels of our online group. The teams told each other where they were at the moment and which bugs and problems were being worked on. In addition, the participants exchanged ideas, for example, about the respective seminar locations in Russia (summery, warm eco-village) and Germany (cozy co-working space with a residential project on the outskirts of Stuttgart).
During the hackathon it was also discussed how the newly created online map platform “Co.map.ru” will be used in Russia in the future. The mappers, who have been working with the map of tomorrow for several years, exchanged ideas with the entrepreneurs and impact investors from “Co.map.ru” and discovered that the social funding conditions in Germany are tough but are diverse, while in Russia independent businessmodels have to be found for such sustainability platforms.
Not only the content of the website was the topic, but also the appearance: For example, how should symbols on the online map look so that they can be intuitively interpreted for all users in the different countries?
Finally, the next steps were planned, how the mappers and hackers from the different countries can stay in contact and how the “Co.map.ru” will be made known in Russia in the future. To this end, the many small bugs will first be fixed after the hackathon and smoothed out for the end user and in November (15th to 20th Nov.) a live encounter will finally take place with vaccination in Moscow.
The online community will keep people in touch for a long time and the common themes on the map will give strength to stop climate change internationally and create good educational opportunities in both countries!
The hackathon was financed as part of the German Federal Foreign Office’s program to “expand cooperation with civil society in the countries of the Eastern Partnership”.