The corona pandemic and the rapid advance of digitalization associated with it are turning the professional world upside down and are also presenting labour unions with major challenges. Challenges that we can only solve together.
That is why we have launched the Union Hack – a digital cross-union hackathon. In 24 hours, the Hackathon teams develop creative solutions, concepts, and prototypes to solve real challenges that labour unions are facing today –
to shape digitalization to be innovative and meaningful, to support more contribution and participation, to ensure strong and sustainable unions.
Fun, creative, and innovative solutions are a must for the Union Hack. At the same time, we’re focusing on tackling real challenges that unions are facing today.
This means – the prototypes you develop should have the potential for future projects and could change the way unions are working and communicating with millions of users.
At the Union Hack we’re digitally connecting cool people with different expertises to create awesome teams that can crack real challenges that unions are facing in the digital word in 24 hours. We make sure that the mix is as colourful as possible because we want the most creative results.
You are already a cool team? Feel free to use our team sign up.
You have the best ideas and want to win with your team? You want to use your expertise and passion to convince the jury of your prototype? Then register now!
After 24 hours hack-time, each team presents their results to a jury consisting of tech and union experts. The first prize? – 2000€.
modern design, Big Data, unions, concepts, process development, creative ideas, teamwork, interesting topics, front / back end development, prototyping, product development, consulting methods, team building and support, digital innovation frameworks…
… or you just want to be there! Sign up now!
The challenges for the Union Hack were submitted by colleagues of the participating unions. Which means: all challenges are based on current and relevant issues that union work is facing in the digital world.
In the next section you will find a detailed overview of the different challenges, divided into three thematic blocks:
Data Driven Insights, User-Centered Offers, Network-Based Power
Feel free to check it out and figure out what you are most interested in. We’d love to hear about your preferences in sign up form.
6 million members including their professions, interests and activities are recorded in the unions databases. They’d love to use the potential of this data collection in the future but at the same time they need to adhere to the highest data protection frameworks and ethical standards. Merging these data sets with publicly available data on industries, economic trends and demographic developments opens up major opportunities for unions.
Are you interested in working with real data sets and structures? Do you want to take a variety of data sources and combine them in new and exciting ways? Do you want to discover new things and boldly go where no developer has gone before? Big Data Analysis, Machine Learning and Data Visualization are your passion?
Then check out the following challenges:
Our world is ever changing which also changes the realities of unions. In addition, the corona pandemic has given an extra boost to all areas of digitization. The time has therefore come to erect new paths that are shaped by digital and creative opportunities for unions and employees.
Would you like to join forces with union experts to develop new digital formats such as apps, games, and gamification approaches?
Then the following challenges might just be for you:
Labour unions and most of all their members pose an extremely strong network of like-minded people. The power of this network is especially visible on May 1st – Labour Day. The extremely important messages, topics and overall expertise this network carries has so far primarily been dealt with in a more traditional way: Knowledge management as digital yellow pages, classic digital and analogue campaigns and direct contact to the members (often at their place of work).
With the help of your ideas we want strengthen the power of the network and its members in the digital world and take it to a new level:
Together with the unions, you want to transfer the dynamics of May 1st or labour strikes to tackle new issues and challenges? You know how to safely guide users through a jungle of information?
Then the following challenges are for you and we are looking forward to seeing which digital path you will take (smart searches, learning algorithms, artificial intelligence, …):
The central mission of the labour unions and our 6 million members is to improve the working conditions – e.g. salaries, working hours or legal protection – of almost 50% of the working population in Germany. At the same time, we are also experiencing the profound change processes of the digital transformation and want to contribute shaping the working world of tomorrow in a proactive and participative manner.
The Jury of the UnionHack evaluates the ideas and prototypes that the teams developed, choses the winning team and supports promising solutions beyond the Hackathon.
Chairman of the National Executive Board, German Trade Union Confederation (DGB)
Member of the Executive Committee and Treasurer of IG Metall
Vice President of the IG Metall
Member of the Central Board of Executive Directors of IG BCE
Member of the National Executive Board, ver.di
Managing Director of Labour Digital and initiator of the UnionHack
Labour Digital – or LD for short – supports trade unions and NGOs in the identification, development, and implementation of digital solutions. Founded in an environment close to the labour unions, the young technology start-up is dedicated to their future. Labour Digital is the idea generator, initiator, and main organizer of the Union Hack.
The Union Hack is a joint project by the DGB labour unions. The following unions have already agreed to participate: Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB), IG Metall, ver.di, IG BCE, IG BAU. The organizers are currently in exchange with other DGB unions. If your union is not yet among them, please contact them about the Union Hack and get in touch with us if you are interested.
6 million Labour Union members are fighting to ensure that over 50% of the working population in Germany receive better working conditions.
Their central mission is to negotiate with employers on improvements in salaries, working hours, legal protection. Currently there are more than 77.000 collective wage agreements in place securing the working conditions of more than 20 million employees. Labour Unions represent their members in the companies, grant legal protection in labour and social law disputes and support their members in the event of strikes, lock-outs and disciplinary measures. They offer qualifications and skill trainings, and provide advice and support in all employment related questions.
Labour Unions in Germany are thus powerful political players with a long history and have an immense impact on the German labour market policy.
Anyone who is interested in working in mixed teams to develop solutions to the unions challenges can participate. A membership or previous union experience is NOT mandatory for participating in the Union Hack. No matter what your professional background is, most important is that you want to use your creative, professional, technical, methodological, thematic or graphic skills in a solution-oriented way.
To sign up as a participant simply use our sign-up form link). To ensure a good composition of teams with mixed perspectives and skills, we will ask your to not only provide us with your contact details but also to tell us about your skills and motivation.
You are welcome to indicate which challenges you’d preferably participate in in our sign-up form. We try to consider all preferences. The actual assignment to a specific challenge will be done by Labour Digital.
As part of the sign-up form you can tell us which challenges you are most interested in. Labour Digital tries to take all preferences into account when assigning participants to teams and challenges.
Sure, Labour Digital simply assigns you a challenge. If you prefer to indicate a preference, you can simply do this via our sign-up form.
First and foremost: First come first serve! So sign up now! For the specific selection and composition of teams, our focus is on creating balanced, cross-functional groups that we believe have cool, innovative approaches, creative, technical solutions and a certain gut feeling for the added values and challenges of the unions. This means: the more and the more colourful the expertises the better. At the same time, we make sure that all teams are fair and balanced, no matter what challenge they face – because of course there is some price money at stake as well.
Labour Digital (i.e. the organiser) selects the participants.
Anyone who is interested in working in mixed teams to develop solutions to the unions challenges can participate. A membership or previous experience with unions is NOT mandatory for participating in the Union Hack. No matter what your professional background is, most important is that you want to use your creative, professional, technical, methodological, thematic or graphic skills in a solution-oriented way.
We start on Friday (20.11.2020) at 10am. After starting the event together with all participants of the event you will get time for a conception phase with your team, so that the 24h hack-time will start in the early afternoon. With the recording of your video presentation the Union Hack will end on Saturday evening at 8.30pm. You can find the preliminary program and time schedule here: [PDF]
If you already have a team you can use our team sign-up. If you do not have a team yet – no problem. We connect you to other awesome participants and create great teams. It is crucial for us that your skill sets, expertise and interests complement each other well.
The team size can vary between 3 and 7 participants.
Both English and German speaking participants are welcome. We make sure that the teams are put together in such a way that you will understand each other.
That depends on you or your team. Nobody is forced to stay up all night, but part of what makes a hackathon special is the possibility to spend a limited time (24 hours) completely dedicated to a problem. In general we recommend to communicate transparently and simply coordinate things with your team mates. Who needs what and how can we make sure that we use the available time as efficiently as possible?
You create a short video in which you present your prototype. This video will then be forwarded to the jury.
At the end of the hackathon the prototypes should give a real impression of how the finished product would feel. That means: no 50-page concept but rather an animated click-dummy.
The jury, whose exact composition can be viewed at www.unionhack.de, will award the best prototype with an attractive cash prize for the winning team worth 2,000.00 euros.
The cash prize is distributed among the individual participants of the winning team according to the number of individual team members.
The jury will decide on the winning team based on the following criteria:
The winning team will be determined at the end of the hackathon, at the latest by 21.11.2020. The participants of the winning team will be notified by e-mail via the e-mail address given during registration. The claim to the prize expires if the participant does not contact the organizer within 2 (two) weeks after notification of the prize. The organizer assumes no liability if e-mails do not reach the participants and as far as the organizer cannot be charged with intent or gross negligence.
The payment of the winnings shall be made by bank transfer to an account which the respective participant of a winning team shall inform the organizer. The prize is not transferable or inheritable. The participant is responsible for any local taxes and any other fees or charges applicable to the prize. No legal action will be taken in relation to the jury’s determination of the winning teams.
There is a selection committee that selects the most suitable of all submitted challenges. The panel includes Labour Digital and representatives from the unions involved. One of the main selection criteria is that the challenges should be relevant to all DGB unions. Additionally, they should pose a tricky problem where the solution will have an actual positive impact – no endless theory. Finally, of course we need to make sure that it is feasible to handle the challenge in 24hrs. It is possible that several submitted challenges are combined into one overall challenge block and that a challenge-sponsor-team will be chosen to support all challenges of this block.
The challenge sponsors represent and accompany a challenge during the hackathon. As challenge sponsors they present the challenge in the plenum, answer questions and support the teams in developing a solution for the problem. Before and during the Union Hack the challenge sponsors are supported by coaches. Also, a joint pre-time (e.g. substantiate the context and problems) with all necessary information will take place in advance.
The challenge sponsor are those colleagues of the unions that have submitted a challenge and whose challenge has been selected for the Union Hack.
As basic technical equipment you need a mobile device (ideally a computer, laptop, or tablet) with camera, loudspeaker and microphone as well as a stable internet connection. We will inform you in advance which applications and tools we will use for the Hackathon so that you can prepare yourself accordingly. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time!
A hackathon lives from mutual exchange – both in the team and in the plenum. The event will therefore have different formats that allow the participants to interact in different contexts. We will create different virtual rooms in which you can move around. These range from the coffee kitchen, workshops, and team rooms to the Union Hack Forum. You will find out exactly how all this works in the week before the event. The only important thing is that for the duration of the hackathon you set yourself up in such a way that you’ll be able to communicate freely and you don’t disturb anybody while you’re video conferencing in the middle of the night.
Labour Digital GmbH, Wiesenhüttenplatz 25, 60329 Frankfurt am Main
Our customers are the trade unions.
Our expertise is digitization.
Our passion is innovation.
Responsible for content according to § 6 MDStV: Eduard Kvanka, Frank Oberste-Dommes
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