# Hack:Org:X v.1
**Hackathon Organizers Exchange**
:wave: Basel :calendar: 4.5.2023 :watch: 17:00
:computer: BBB :calendar: 17.5.2023 :watch: 17:00
# New Platform: https://hackorgx.dribdat.cc/
In May 2023, we invited our peers and colleagues, everyone who is interested in the art & science of [Hackathons](https://github.com/dribdat/awesome-hackathon), [Hackdays](https://opendata.ch/projects/hackathons/), and all other time-limited open collaborative workshops, to join us for a deep discussion of the past and future of events.
Hosted by [Kanton Basel-Stadt](https://www.bs.ch/en/Portrait/economy.html), the [BaselHack](https://www.baselhack.ch/) and [Dribdat](https://opencollective.com/dribdatcoop) teams joined forces for this first occasion. The event itself was run as a mini-hackathon, with sharing of stories and pitching of challenges followed by demos and collaboration during out meetings.
> _Wir laden alle ein, die sich für die Kunst und Wissenschaft von Hackathons, Hackdays und anderen zeitlich begrenzten, offenen, kollaborativen Workshops interessieren. Trefft an unserem Stammtisch und diskutiert mit uns über die Vergangenheit und die Zukunft von diesen Formaten. Wir sind vom [Kanton Basel-Stadt](https://www.awa.bs.ch/), dem [BaselHack-Team](https://www.baselhack.ch) und das Kollektif [DRIBD@](https://opencollective.com/dribdatcoop) zu diesem ersten Anlass eingeladen. Die Veranstaltung selbst wird wie ein Mini-Hackathon ablaufen: wir werden Geschichten austauschen und Challenges pitchen. Auf die kostenlose Veranstaltung vor Ort am **4. Mai 2023** folgt am **17. Mai** eine virtuelle Konferenz. Wir werden allen, die ein Profil auf unserer Plattform haben, Einladungen schicken. Wenn sie keine Benachrichtigungen erhalten oder Fragen haben, schreibt uns bitten eine Nachricht._
![Photo of Basel](https://dribdat-impetus.eu-central-1.linodeobjects.com/hackdays/baselhack/1/9T3Z3U9E5H2K9FSHND22G7ES/IMG_20221124_16200601.jpeg)
Here is a summary of the results, which can be viewed in detail at https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/event/1 ...
### [A real world challenge](https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/9)
In June, Rust Basel is organising a meetup as a mini-hackathon. We are still looking for a good challenge. We imagine this to be a web API (that needs to be super efficient), something like a Pokédex, but for a broader age group.
### [Automate team building](https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/10)
Team formation is time-consuming, and skill distributions are often unequal. Are we interested in some assistance from A.I.? Here we collect ideas from an ongoing research project in Bern.
### [Good vibes / Fair play](https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/1)
We think it is time to review and freshen up the Hack Code of Conduct, initiated and for years maintained by Cristiano Betta. There are a number of areas today where the content and technical set up for this important document could be improved.
### [Hackathon Guide](https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/7)
Setting up a hackathon is a challenge by itself. Many different things need to be considered. So we put some of our best practices and FAQ in a 📄 Handbook for Hackathons.
### [Hackathon live board](https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/4)
This is a dashboard for hackathons updated in real time. The idea is to work with project timelines, also aggregated for the whole hackathon, in a visually appealing fashion for big screens.
### [Issue certificates](https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/2)
We are working on a solution for providing certificates to participants of hackathons: combining insightful statistics about individual and team progress into secure documents that are validated with state-of-the-art techniques.
In this project we question some of the 'assumed traditions' of hackathons - and have a deep, philosophical conversation with A.I. We propose that people are actually able to run their own hackathons, on their own schedule - perhaps without being as dependent as we think on much of the infrastructure we usually provide.
### [Save the hacks](https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/5)
In this project we aggregate data standards around hackathons, in particular to make sure we can aggregate and archive the results of open hackdays properly, and create an interesting source of open data out of the engagement of our communities.
### [Share pitches easily](https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/11)
We evaluate an open source editor for presentations, that can solve this common problem experienced at hackathons: _I need to make a slide deck for my pitch - now! I need it to look okay - not perfect! I need it to work - and I need to be able to tweak it with my team until the last microsecond!_
### [Start a co-op](https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/3)
Building momentum from the Hack:Org:X concept, we are starting a cooperative for open hackathons. Join us!
_Collaborative notes from the call on 17.5.2023_
[Download slides](https://web.tresorit.com/l/wfiPy#ezGFamI36QAAZEdIXS91yw) (PDF, 4 MB)
### 🚨 Roland
👋🏽 organising BaselHack 🗜️ last at GovTech '23, 🙉 alert stopped ringing from cert 24/7
### 📲 Felix
👋🏽 organising 🗜️ #DataHackdaysBE last weekend, 🙉 iPhone ringtone
### 👏 Cristina
👋🏽 UZH scientist and open data & Wikidata enthusiast 🗜️ Wikidata hackathon 🙉 clapping at thesis presentation
### 🐈⬛ Gaston
👋🏽 opendata.ch 🗜️ Open Legal Lab 🙉 cat snoring
👋🏽 proxeus.org 🗜️ Hack4SocialGood / Open Legal Lab 🙉 classic Turkish music
### ⚙️ André
👋🏽 Swiss Data Alliance 🗜️ #DataHackdaysBE 🙉 sound of very old coffee machine
### 🥁 Florin
👋🏽 Opendata.ch 🗜️ GovTech '23 / Open Legal Lab 🙉 Gabber band playing today in Neuchatel
### 🛎️ Cedric
👋🏽 Spontaneous / Data versioning 🗜️ #DataHackdaysBE 🙉 Finishing of a Slack call is very pleasing
### 🌬️ Marcus
👋🏽 ewz setting up MakeZurich next month 🗜️ MakeZurich 2020 🙉 Wind blowing when I came home
### 🎆 Arber
👋🏽 calling from Tirana, working at Helvetas 🗜️ hackathon in Belgrade 🙉 Favorite team going to the stadium, fans being loud and fireworks
### 🗣️ Jörg
👋🏽 University of Applied Science Bern 🗜️ Graffathon for graphics programming subculture 🙉 Voice of Mike Patton ... a brilliant voice ... I dig it.
### 🍾 Janik
👋🏽 Digital Cluster Uri, runs dribdat 🗜️ Ran the first hackathon in Uri in April 🙉 Can of Maté
### 🥂 Oleg
👋🏽 All your hacks 🗜️ #DataHackdaysBE 🙉 Sound of clinking glasses in my coworking space
### 🤣 Valbona
👋🏽 Helvetas, international NGO, in Albania, tools for policy advocacy 🗜️ F2F & hybrid hackathons 🙉 The sound of my laughter
### ❔ Peter
👋🏽 abdagon.com 🗜️ data hackdays participant 🙉 (null)
While organising BaselHack, we were surprised that there are no standard solutions - reached out to Oleg who suggested Dribdat: a software and set of best practices.
To share experiences, we came up with a simple exchange format to share what we are working on, and what our challenges are.
On May 4 we had the first iteration of Hack:Org:X, where many of the people here joined us in person in Basel, hosted by Elias who works on Economic Development of the Canton of Basel-City.
The idea of our format is to have a mini-hackathon, presenting dribs. We started with a "Star Wars" intro, had a series of discussion, but didn't have enough time for actually working in groups or going into more depth.
## Why are we here?
Hackathon Organiser eXchange (Hack:Org:X) is for:
- learning from each other
- sharing your hackathon stories/learnings/visions/unfinished ideas
- connecting organizers to evolve the format
- supporting open source tools
- running a federated calendar for all hackathons
- developing a set of shared Guidelines (common grounds for participants, set expectations)
We would like to share inside perspective, struggles to build our own tooling (e.g. how to publish challenges). BärnHäckt, HackZurich, etc., are building their own solutions - that's kind of a shame, when there are similar processes, that we could solve with good common tools.
We would like to start a cooperative, and encourage various hackathon teams to join it. Let's discuss how could dribdat be used by more hackathon organizers, what is needed to use it.
We are cognizant of the world of hackathons out there happening every week, and would like to build a community that is of practical benefit to many organizers and (current and potential) participants out there.
Florin: I could elaborate a bit on the guidelines / handbook. At Opendata.ch we have had a set of guidelines for a while, informing the participants and challenge owners - not so much the organizers. At the same time, Open Knowledge Germany (part of the same network) have developed an extensive handbook for organizers as part of the Jugendhackt event. We see ourselves as enablers/facilitators helping other organizations to run hackathon themselves. Guidelines are a great tool for that.
See: https://handbuch.jugendhackt.de/ and https://opendata.ch/guidelines/
Marcus: For MakeZurich, we were lucky to find Priska from the HerHacks team as moderator. Connecting our communities through partnerships is an important goal of the hackathon. Check out https://makezurich.ch and https://digitaltage.swiss/herhack/
Marcus: I was not aware that there was already a Guide. It's great that you did some work there.
Oleg: Thanks to some funding from Hack4SocialGood, I worked with a tech writer in 2020 on documentation for participants of the BFH events. See also the "awesome-hackathons" repository for a list of handbooks and guides, and let us know if you come across others.
Valbona: we would be interested to contribute to such a project, sharing feedback from our experience. Are hackathons just for coders, mainly for tech solutions, or is it broader than that?
André: the art of organizing hackathons is to bring very different organizations and companies together, to share data and build the commons by providing time (and other resources) for hacking. I try to bring hackathons to lots of places (like to Altdorf, with Janik). Guidelines are needed, but we also need interesting challenges, find people with technical skills. A community of organizers is important and I would like to support this. Let's find a place to develop the culture of hackathons on a local and regional environment, a bit on the outside of (mainstream) digital community.
Oleg: at the origins of the Opendata.ch Hackdays is a badge where we encourage people to take on the role of Developer, Designer or Ideator. They can switch these roles mid-hackathon. The important thing is to be inclusive, focus on a positive learning experience, and keep it free/open.
Valbona: what is the motivation of people taking part in an event: is it financial (e.g. prizes, funding for continuing challenges)? Is it exposure (new people)? Is it just for Fun?
Roland: we have to start with something concrete for the Coop - practical topics and services.
Debra: would we want to match teams based on algorithms, a suggested list based on things you are interested?
Cedric: I think it will make it more complicated: you are interested in a topic, so you want to deal with that topic. If as project leader you realise your team is balanced, you should search for other people. You don't necessarily want to take pressure away from the challenge owners.
Learn more about Debra's research here: https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/10
Valbona: please clarify governing - community of practice, everyone benefits from experience; do you expect that the cooperative delivers a product?
Roland: with Dribdat there is an awesome tool that has been used for years, and we could build on that with a hosted/supported service run by the cooperative - this could especially be helpful to smaller organizations, new communities, who can't afford to develop their own setup, and want an alternative to commercial tools.
Roland demoes his rough prototype for a dashboard that presents the hackathon schedule, with streams for the different teams. Either you see one stream of a team, or one hackathon and the timeline adapts to it. Every activity is attached to a timestamp. The prototype is dynamic, with the activities reshuffling in an animated way. Built with React, so the data can be updated. Next step is to connect to the dribdat API, working on this step by step.
Debra: it is so cool to share data! Before my first hackathon, I did a big literature review to understand key issues. In a paper they focus on the positives, and in our evaluation we accessed the evaluation to VersusVirus which was full of interesting inputs. This was a boon for our research, and our own hackathon plans!
Learn more and contact Roland for a pair coding session to advance this initiative at https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/4
Q: Are you saving the data on what happens during the hackathon? A: Dribdat is already saving every activity of the hackathon, and the data in JSON format is accessible through the API.
Janik: software should not be judged by its appearance! How far do you want to go, what is the initiative in the team, how much do they want to document? I'm impressed that you are able to export all the data (from dribdat) and re-import it elsewhere, the first step in making it federated. I suggest connecting to the world of federated technologies like Mastodon/Matrix, which could represent the structure of how hackathons might work.
We have a GitHub issue for ActivityPub: https://github.com/dribdat/dribdat/issues/325 At the center of Dribdat is the idea of a shared timeline of "signals", e.g. we want to experience the first time someone pushes a Git commit, the first blip of sensor data on MQTT, the first post to an RSS feed or social network, the first sketch or design or screenshot uploaded. So architecturally the support for Roland's frontend has been there from day 1. Practically, we really need to move to a better engine.
Roland: A simple pilot for federated data to be shared between hackathon orgs could be the hackathon calendar!
Janik shows us a hardware tool to teach people about hackable devices. See https://encrypt.casa/
Also, hackathons need a mascot! Roland mentions GitHub's octopus. Debra mentions spiders. Cats came up in the intro rounds. Oleg suggests Kitty City by cyriak as (twisted) inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX3iLfcMDCw
Roland's company sponsors a BaselHack challenge. And we have an Innovation Week at the end of every year. The trick is to make people available during a period of time. Dribdat would work well here.
Cedric: the opportunity costs are high of taking people away from projects from a hackathon. If the organisation service is high quality and has a good ROI, I think it would be a no-brainer. Weekends don't affect our customers as much, I could apply for overtime compensatoin. There is a big network effect.
The cooperative could offer training sessions in running hackathons. This could be a half day session where we explain the guidelines, platforms, common issues, etc. This would probably be interesting to many institutions.
We need more people willing to speak up, say what is on their mind, keenly observe. In this meeting there weren't that many people willing to share their views. I.e. even among hackathon-profis we still need to work on making the environment extra-inviting and cooperative.
Today we didn't use break-out rooms, BBB doesn't make it very easy/quick. Cool idea: add https://mediasoup.org/ support to Dribdat, so you can quickly start a call with your team (à la Jitsi plugin in Mattermost, which we use for some hackathons).
Roland would like to try again the Three to Five minute meeting format which we originally planned for.
Cedric is interested in organising a Speed dating for a future Hack:Org:X (July?). Everyone talks to everyone, exchanges ideas in a common doc / miro. Maximing communication then bringing it together in one place.
Next: Zürich in June during MakeZurich, we will ask Marcus to host a F2F session.
## In parting ...
André: Thanks a lot for this ver important intiative - count me in for further calls, meetings, and activities...
Peter: I have to drop off for today, see you at an upcoming hackathon
Felix: Thank you for the invite, you can count me in for the next discussion aswell. Thank you!
Jörg: Thank you all, nice to meet you-- I have to be prepared for the evening.. see you!
ibrahim: See you at next event. have a nice rest of the week!
Marcus: Wish you a great night. And thanks for the exchange. Cheers Marcus
Valbona: I wish you a good talk! Happy to join such exchange! I should leave!
Oleg: Noch nicht (aber bald) ausgeschrieben: wir werden am 5. Juli einen Effinger.ch/Brownbag über Information Security veranstalten
Save the date: #HACK4GLARUS 2023.07.07 - 2023.07.09 - just added to the shared calendar at https://schoolofdata.ch
Reminder! We need you to join the co-op: https://may4basel.dribdat.cc/project/3