Sustainability wins in Colfiorito at the Social Hackathon Umbria 2021


Sustainability wins in Colfiorito at the Social Hackathon Umbria 2021

After 4 full days of events and 48 hours of digital marathon, the Social Hackathon Umbria 2021 has come to an end. Over 300 people attended the digital marathon, co organized by FAO, Fertitecnica Colfiorito and EGInA Srl, and dedicated to sustainability concluded with the presentation of the winning projects and the awards ceremony. All the platforms, apps, gamification features presented were dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of good practices for sustainable development, in particular in the areas of #zeroimpact, #zerowaste, #zerohungher, #zeroignorance.

The jury was composed of the following experts: Erik Van Ingen, FAO Digital Innovation Consultant; Michele Santilocchi, Marketing Manager of Fertitecnica Colfiorito; Enrico Fontana, from the national secretariat of Legambiente Onlus; Valentino Bobbio, general secretary NeXt-New Economy for all; Emma Pietrafesa, researcher in the field of new technologies and member of the Stati Generali dell’Innovazione (General States of Innovation); Arjana Blazic, Member of the steering committee of DigiEduHack of the European Commission; Simona Grande, researcher at the management department of the University of Turin; Jan Rehak, National Director of the Entrepreneurship Program at Technológico of Monterrey.

“This event is important for FAO because it allows us to leverage our knowledge and put it at the service of the food crisis we are currently dealing with. The passion and dedication of the hackers to find sustainable and innovative solutions to our actual challenges have impressed us a lot " says Erik.

The hackers’ teams were evaluated on local community impact, social relevance/innovation, transferability/openness and SDG adherence. Out of the 8 selected applications, the winners were the following: for the #zeroignorance challenge, Zig4all, that used virtual reality (Mozilla Hubs) in combination with storytelling. Zig4all is a social web platform dedicated to providing information about the issues and challenges that we see in the world today. The platform aims to translate the real community into a virtual one using blog, gamification and mixed reality. For the #zerowaste/#zeroimpact challenges, the award was delivered to the Circular Colfiorito project which consists in a web platform designed to showcase local stories and interviews by local people. The project aims to create engagement among Colfiorito's local people by using different multimedia, including gamification. For the #zerohunger challenge, the winning project was Alimenta, a project that targets video games players, as communities in the real world. It consists in a gamification app focused on real world simulation and auto-learning, which can also stimulate donations. The project also used ‘linked’ data from FAO Hand in Hand initiative to gamified scenarios for developing countries and also stressed strong synergies between the big business of gaming (80 billion game downloads per year) and the SDGs.

These 3 winning teams will be invited to a virtual meeting at FAO to pitch their ideas in September/October.

The special ´NeXt-new economy for all´ award, which provides help to focus on the objectives, social, environmental and economic sustainability, was delivered to the project IMPATT0 and NeXt will set up an incubation path for the project and will introduce the idea to the Civil Economy Prize in Firenze. The special DigiEduHack prize, awarded to Zig4all will allow the team to participate in an international event to create
change by developing their idea. Alimenta also won the HackAD prize, that will allow them to compete with the winners of the other social hackathons organized in the other partner countries of the Erasmus+ project HackAd during a final event.

The splendid Colfiorito Marsh Natural Park was the setting for the event. This choice, strongly required by Fertitecnica Colfiorito, was not an innocent one, as the goal was to focus on the peripheral geographic areas to leverage their specific cultural and economic richness. ´Sustainability is fundamental for us, declares Luca Mattioni, Vice President of Fertitecnica Colfiorito. ´For this reason, we are strongly focused on circular economy projects regarding not only the packaging of our products but also a strong digital communication strategy in order to educate consumers on good practice of reuse and reduction of food waste".

Altheo Valentini, founder and General Manager of EGInA, opened the award ceremony, highlighting the importance of the return of this event. ´Finally, after more than one year of pandemic, we are able to come
back with an event that allows us to foster our community and take it forward´ said Altheo. ´We want to thank Colfiorito for having contributed to the conception of the initiative since the very beginning with the support of FAO in the context of the memorandum of understanding that exists between them" he added.

The collaboration between FAO and Fertitecnica Colfiorito goes back to 2016, the international year of legumes, when a first collaboration meeting with FAO and La Sapienza University took place. ´Our
collaboration with FAO is based on three fundamental themes´ explains Alessio Milani, General Manager of Fertitecnica Colfiorito, ´the work with cooperatives in developing countries; the promotion of aspects
related to agriculture and sustainable development in these countries and the help to small businesses to enter our market. It is important to be aware that everyone can do something, from the consumer to the
company and to involve people in this project, especially youth´ he concludes. On FAO´s side, these efforts were welcomed and highly recognized: ´It strikes me very much how well Fertitecnica Colfiorito
has integrated the sustainability model communicated by the United Nations and how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were successfully communicated during the Social Hackathon´ says Erik.

A round table on “Colfiorito 4 SDGs” with senior representatives of FAO and Fertitecnica Colfiorito was also organized on Saturday morning as one of the main activities to trigger an even more important impact
of the work realized so far by the different stakeholders engaged, connect it and share it at the national and then global level. "All of us, consumers and companies want to make a greater contribution to
Sustainability´, said Michele Santilocchi, Fertitecnica Colfiorito Marketing Manager. We don't often realize that we don't have to invent data, but that we actually produce it every day. It is important to
share them with the entire community to encourage that ability to connect ideas, data, projects. We as a company speak of widespread innovation, a concept that gives us the opportunity to open up with active listening to search for new ways.

In addition to the conference, several workshops were held on the themes of the 2030 Agenda including: Gender equality, and the role of women in work; Education on sustainable development with a focus on STEM
engineering and technical science careers; Presentation of the Refugee Card at the CAS of Colfiorito.

The Social Hackathon Umbria 2021 aimed to capitalize on innovation, research and development. It leveraged interest in collaborating in the future for a systemic innovation of the agricultural sector of the region, both in the digital and in the inclusion fields. The digital initiatives that it triggered are leading the path towards that
direction and hopefully will see an enhanced engagement of youth in working on sustainable solutions for a better food future for all.

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