The Cooperathon is back!
The Coopérathon, organized by the Desjardins Financial Cooperative in collaboration with Hacking Health and many organizations including the main sponsor, Deloitte, is taking place until November 9th in Montreal and Quebec, as well as in Lyon, France thanks to the partnership with French Bank CIC.
More than 546 participants are trying to find solutions to social problems in four main sectors: FinTech, Health, Smart City and Education. There is still time to join them. Whether you are a student, developer, programmer, entrepreneur, designer, teacher or ordinary citizen, you can come with your team or join an existing team. It's the biggest competition of its kind in Canada with big prizes to propel projects into successful startups.
The Coopérathon is an improved version of a hackathon. You know these events which are becomiong, more and more popular, where IT developers come together to do collaborative programming. Initially, this process was frequently used in the field of digital innovation, but today the formula is taken up by many accelerators.
The financial cooperative wanted to innovate on several levels, as explained by the Desjardins Innovation Director, Federico Puebla:
A LONGER TIME
The Coopérathon takes place over four weeks rather than two or three days like most hackathons. "We wanted to explore this innovation tool as a lever action for socio-economic development. Our observation: the hackathon produces good unfinished ideas and how to make these become concrete projects? "
Desjardins has mobilized many partners to help the participants to achieve their goals: More than 60 experts and mentors accompany the teams through experiential workshops and providing a collaborative platform.
ENCOURAGING THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
Each team signs a legal agreement before the final presentation. The idea developed belongs to all members of the team. Members who decide not to pursue the project will still be able to assign their rights thereafter. Desjardins and no partner take equity in projects that will turn into startups.
A SUSTAINABLE SOCIAL IMPACT
To be eligible, the project must aim for a sustainable social impact. This is certainly the most innovative aspect of the Desjardins Coopérathon, representing a return to the founding values that motivated Alphonse Desjardins and his wife to create the first popular savings bank in Lévis. Today, Desjardins is the largest French-language cooperative financial group in North America. It has more than 40,000 employees.
As you can see in this vlog episode of The New School of Creativity, our workshop at Reunion D Sens, a place designed to reduce stress, as well as promote concentration and creativity has been enormously successful. It's a perfect example of social mixology, our best hope for finding innovative solutions and turning them into projects that will have a lasting social impact.