We are happy about the publication within the pnd-rethinking planning-magazine of RWTH Aachen University (Germany) in which the virtual hackathons project is mentioned. The article “Co-Creating the Future: The Power of Social Makerthons in Urban Innovation Ecosystems”, written by consortium partner city2science, describes co-creation-processes and innovative collaboration formats with concrete practice examples. Among these examples city2science also describes the approach of the virtual hackathons project of designing a hackathon concept as innovative tool for Higher Education Institutes in Europe during the pandemic and beyond.
The COVID19 pandemic has shown that technical innovation is not enough when it comes to addressing complex societal challenges. Key qualifications in times of transformation are social innovation, creativity, and participatory open innovation processes. Social Makerthons can be applied to test co-creative methodologies, aiming to install more open and inclusive innovation ecosystems in cities and regions. Online or hybrid, Social Makerthons experiment with digital and physical spaces. In Social Makerthons, notions of experts and non-experts are broken-up. Researchers, citizens, policy makers and other stakeholders are seen as partners, even allies, in the need to respond to local and regional challenges. The article describes examples of four projects applying this format in urban environments during the pandemic.