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An Innovatathon for Social Impact? The HaSI (Higher Education hacks Social Innovation) research project explores participatory methods as a means for sensibilizing universities, their staff and students for social innovation and perspectives of social entrepreneurship. Its highlight is the Innovatathon, Viadrina’s social innovation event!

Where? ENS Coworking Space (Collegium Polonicum, Słubice)

When? 15 February 2024, 10:00 – 18:00

The Innovatathon invites you to explore possibilities of social innovation and to be/come a social innovator. You do not need to be an inventor, hacker, engineer, designer, entrepreneur, all you need is yourself and a will to share skills and ideas to shape society. The Innovatathon introduces you to like-minded fellows, possible partners. At the event you learn about current challenges, cutting edge ideas, innovation methods, and organizations that can help you bring your idea to life.

The Hasi Project

HaSI (Higher Education hacks Social Innovation) is a research project exploring hackathons as a means for sensibilizing universities, their staff and students for social innovation and perspectives of social entrepreneurship. In this pilot, we experiment with the possibilities and challenges of research-guided teaching to introduce students to hackathons as a method for innovation and creativity, and inspire social innovation projects within and around the campus.

To that end, an introductory class on science and philosophy of creativity, innovation, social innovation, and hackathon culture is being taught at the European New School of Digital Studies / European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). Students of that class are going to organize their own hackathon event with the help and supervision of their teacher. The results and impact of the project is being assessed by a survey of the hackathon outcomes themselves and students’ social innovation aptitude.

HaSI is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under funding reference No 16GDIN52.


Project  Start: 15 August 2023
Duration: 10 Months
Funding: 50.000 EUR

Team

Prof. Dr. Jan-Hendrik Passoth

Professor for Sociology of Technology

Peter Kahlert

PhD Researcher

HaSI

Mascot

Innovathathon

An Innovatathon for Social Impact? The HaSI (Higher Education hacks Social Innovation) research project explores participatory methods as a means for sensibilizing universities, their staff and students for social innovation and perspectives of social entrepreneurship. Its highlight is the Innovatathon, Viadrina’s social innovation event!

Where? ENS Coworking Space (Collegium Polonicum, Kościuszki 1, 69-100 Słubice, Poland - directly across the Oder)

When? 15 February 2024, 10:00 – 18:00.

The Innovatathon invites you to explore possibilities of social innovation and to be/come a social innovator. You do not need to be an inventor, hacker, engineer, designer, entrepreneur, all you need is yourself and a will to share skills and ideas to shape society. The Innovatathon introduces you to like-minded fellows, possible partners. At the event you learn about current challenges, cutting edge ideas, innovation methods, and organizations that can help you bring your idea to life.

What is social innovation?

The concept of social innovation is a dynamic and forward-thinking approach to addressing complex societal challenges. It can be seen as a social mechanism of change happening at the micro and meso level. It is both a social practice and a theoretical concept. In 2010 Murray, Caulier-Grice and Mulgan defined social innovation as: “(…) new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations. In other words, they are innovations that are both good for society and enhance society’s capacity to act.”

Where does social innovation take place?

There is a variety of fields and levels where social innovation is relevant. Examples of social innovation include initiatives like microfinance programs, social enterprises, community-based healthcare solutions, and educational reforms that aim to make a positive impact on society. Overall, social innovation is about finding creative and sustainable ways to address societal challenges and improve the well-being of individuals and communities. Viadrina alumni have founded such organizations and companies, such as the app "Mello", which enables parents to connect and support each other in mutual childcare and babysitting, to have a community to share, exchange and go on playdates and adventures together. Another example is the “ConnectCard”, which allows its owner to transfer all their contact details, social media links, payment details, files and more to another person's smartphone with one click overcoming the problem of mistyped mail addresses or lost business cards when connecting with someone new.


Innovathathon - tracks

Viadrina as a Place of International Study

Embark on a journey to redefine the academic and social landscape for international students at Viadrina University. Imagine a campus where diverse backgrounds converge seamlessly, where every international student feels deeply integrated and valued. From navigating new cultural terrains to finding a sense of belonging. Are you ready to brainstorm solutions that bridge gaps, foster inclusivity, and enhance the overall student experience? Join us at Viadrinathon! It's more than just an event; it's a platform to connect, create, and contribute to a more welcoming and dynamic university environment.

Cleaner City Frankfurt (Oder)

A healthy and sustainable environment is a clean one. This track challenges you to rethink recycling, upcycling, waste avoidance and logistics, find new, low-threshold ways of monitoring air quality, support neighborhoods, and keep nature and streets free of rubbish. What policies do we need, and what knowledge do we need to develop and keep track with an agenda for a healthier life in the town? Join the Innovatathon and be/come a part of this endeavor for your environment!

Bordertown Frankfurt (Oder)/ Słubice

Frankfurt (Oder) / Słubice is a border town, a place rendered by stories of commuting, internationalism, and blending cultures and languages. Such a place works best, when people, things, and services are drawn together. Do you have an innovative idea to smoothen passing the border, bringing people together, and make culture and communication available and connected for people visiting, staying, and living in Frankfurt? Meet others like you at Viadrina’s Social Innovatathon, enjoy a day with interesting people and amazing projects, find a team, share and develop your ideas further – you make the difference!

Feminist & Queer Social Innovation

Feminist & Queer Social Innovation represents a pioneering approach to problem-solving and societal change. This topic places a strong emphasis on inclusivity, diversity, and equity within innovation processes. It challenges traditional norms and seeks to address complex issues through a lens that prioritizes the voices and perspectives of marginalized communities, particularly those in the LGBTQ+ and feminist movements. By embracing a more holistic and intersectional view of social innovation, this topic aims to create solutions that not only tackle immediate challenges but also dismantle systemic inequalities, fostering a more just and inclusive future. Join the creation of safe spaces, support systems, and campaigns to make, shape, and show differences!


Innovathathon - Code of Conduct

Working together

  • We hear each other out
  • We support each other, it is no leave-them-behind-competition
  • Never mock someone for their failure, but help them back on their feet
  • There are no bad or stupid ideas, only needs for discussion and critique
  • Don’t be just a social innovator, be a sociable person
  • Respect others, their opinions, and needs, and how they want to be addressed

Interacting with each other

  • We respect each others’ boundaries (physically and psychologically)
  • We respect every no and every act of rejection
  • We do not tolerate any form of violence, discrimination, or any other behaviour that may be considered harmful, abusive, etc.

By being at the Innovatathon, you agree to comply with this code of conduct and help us providing a safe space for everyone and every idea to grow. If you feel someone broke this code of conduct, do not hesitate to get in touch with the organizing team. You can do so also discretely. We will always take you seriously!


Innovathathon - Mini FAQ

What is the Innovatathon?

The Innovatathon is Viadrina’s Social Innovation Event. It is an event to spark, foster, and channel creativity for the common good and projects of public value. Create and develop your ideas, find like-minded companions in your community, and be part of future worlds to come. The Innovatathon is an event that allows you to think in new directions and start ideation. It is a platform to develop and prototype projects you only had in mind long enough.

What is social innovation? While innovation disrupts industries and markets, social innovation disrupts the everyday life and fossilized routines of society. Hence, social innovation is often associated with social entrepreneurship and impact, social innovation is the idea of shaping society by being innovative. Whether this happens by means of enterprise, activism, campaigning, politics, organization, art, culture, or personal action is up to you.

 The Innovatathon offers four different tracks to join and explore: 1) on studying at Viadrina, especially as an international student, 2) on commuting, bordercrossing, and multiculturalism, 3) on waste management, cleanliness, livability in Frankurt’s city and nature, and 4) about queer and feminist social innovation. You did think about something else? That’s fine, all ideas are welcome.

How does the Innovatathon work?

You do not need a big idea or ready-at-hand mock-up. The Innovatathon is a place to meet your future project partners, but it is also a place to learn about challenges, try out creative methods, and get in touch with institutions and funders who can help you make your ideas reality.

Who can participate in the Innovatathon?

Everyone who wants to be inspired or act upon their inspiration, or both. Only requirement is registration. All skills and experiences are welcome. Whether you are a student or early career researcher, whether you are studying or working at Viadrina does not matter. All that does matter is that you are interested in thinking about social innovation and that you are willing to share your ideas and skills with your team and others. You do not need to be a designer, engineer, developer, entrepreneur, artist,  politician, or philosopher, but to be you – someone to be/come a social innovator!

Why should I participate in the Innovatathon?

Because you want to contribute to a positive change, to win awards or even the unique Innovatathon trophy “HaSI”, to learn from and about others, to enjoy free snacks and beverages, or to simply enjoy yourself. To find your big idea or find support for your project. Maybe also to add another certificate of attendance to your CV. There are so many more reasons to join the Innovatathon, so what are you waiting for?

Where does the Innovatathon take place?

At the Coworking Space of the European New School of Digital Studies (ENS) at Collegium Polonicum: Kościuszki 1, 69-100 Słubice, Poland - directly across the river Oder.