International online visit to Kočevje marked by a hackathon of city's challenges
The exchange of knowledge and good practices is crucial for the further development of small towns, especially during the epidemic of the new coronavirus. The iPlace international project, in which ten partner cities are working together to find local economic niches for sustainable development, has adapted quickly to the new situation. On 23 and 24 November 2020, the fourth international meeting of partners will take place online. The Municipality of Kočevje from Slovenia, as a host of the meeting, together with the Kočevje Business Incubator, prepared an online hackathon on the topic of hacking the city's challenges.
Under the leadership of the experienced team of the Kočevje Business Incubator, partner cities will learn how to prepare and implement an online hackathon on a practical example. The acquired knowledge for innovative problem solving will then be transferred to their own cities and communities. Hackathon is already a well-established concept, and with some adjustments, the right tools and moderators, it is easily doable also virtually. It is crucial to form diverse groups of people who can share their diverse experiences, knowledge and ideas with each other through various tasks. At the same time, working in such groups also results in better networking of individuals and further collaboration, which is especially important in iPlace project for successful city learning. The business incubator has already carried out a similar hackathon with school kids recently, which has brought excellent results and proposals for youth facilities in Kočevje.
The Urban local group of Kočevje has defined several different problems of the city. These problems will now be solved at the hackathon by an international team of more than 30 participants. The problems that were identified also show how similar the partner cities are, as most have already faced or are still facing the same challenges. The hackathon will address issues of youth participation in city development, revitalization of the city center, opportunities in the forest and wood for entrepreneurs and ways to establish better cooperation between local stakeholders. The goal of the hackathon is new knowledge and competencies, but at the same time the cities will already get an insight into various possible solutions and concrete ideas for further work in each community. The best ideas and solutions may soon result in the implementation of test pilot projects next year.
As part of the international meeting hosted by Kočevje, the partner cities will also get to know the city of Kočevje and Slovenia. Through various video content, resentations and fun tasks, participants will learn about Kočevje and its tourist destination under the slogan Secret Forest of Slovenia. Kočevje offers exceptional natural resources, successfully develops the forest wood chain, production of local products and is at the same time entering the world of high technology with robotics programs for schools.
This event is not open, only members of iPlace network can attend.