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Odyssey hackathon becomes Momentum

The Odyssey hackathon becomes Momentum and will be an online event

The Odyssey hackathon, described in Forbes as ‘Europe’s leading hackathon’, is being moved online and rebranded as Momentum. This transformation is not only driven by current circumstances due to covid-19, but also by an urge to create a new type of event that fully embraces the potential of the internet. Momentum will take place on november 13-15 2020.

The fourth edition of the Odyssey Hackathon was scheduled to take place on April 3-5, 2020 in Groningen, the Netherlands. Last year the event saw 100 teams and 1,500 total participants collaborating in one venue. Odyssey was one of the first organizations in the Netherlands to postpone an event in the light of the COVID-19 outbreak. After two consecutive postponements it became clear that in order to be able to host the event in 2020, it had to go online.

Rutger van Zuidam, Odyssey Founder & CEO: “Besides the innovative results, the physical event generates incredible energy. Something that is not easily done online. However, we have learned that by closing the door on the physical experience of the event and embracing the potential of what we can do with the internet, we were opening a new world of possibilities to collaborate and create value. I believe this completely new online experience can even be more exhilarating.”

Momentum: definitely not a hackathon

Momentum is the 48 hours of online mass collaboration to solve 21 complex challenges. The challenges were contributed by corporations, governments, and nonprofits from the US, France, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands (among them: Vattenfall, Enexis, KLM Cargo, the Dutch National Police, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the International Council for Environmental Law, E.On, Engie, VMware, and the Dutch Ministry of Defence). These complex problems can only be solved through mass collaboration and require a multi-stakeholder approach: and that is precisely what Momentum facilitates.

The challenges are tied directly to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, have a global societal and economic impact, and cover a variety of domains such as energy transition, conscious cities, critical infrastructure, logistics, public safety, nature conservation, real estate, healthcare, and digital identity.

After months of intense preparation, 105 selected teams from all over the world will co-create new solutions to these challenges in collaboration with the stakeholders, regulators, scientists, and even other teams. They will be supported by hundreds of experts from a variety of sectors, while actual end-users will be able to provide input and feedback to new solutions being built. The teams can also leverage this opportunity to actively develop a community of supporters, as new stakeholders such as governments or corporations can show interest in their solution directly during the event and become part of a pilot project after, for instance by becoming the first user.

Momentum has a unique combination of components that will make it a radically different kind of online experience. Not in the least thanks to Odyssey’s choice to forgo the online event tools available on the market, instead deciding to develop a new dedicated online platform that will enable people to collaborate most efficiently.

Momentum will be a highly inclusive experience, with more people than ever able to become part of the collaborative process, with an option to become a spectator and/or be confirmed as an active participant directly at any moment throughout the event, from anywhere in the world. 2,000 participants have already been confirmed, and it is expected that this number will increase.

After Momentum: defining success

After Momentum, the focus shifts from building the solutions to having them adopted. The best teams will be supported in further developing their solutions and launching pilot projects with the challenge leads and stakeholders.

“These multi-stakeholder pilots that take place after Momentum are key; they prove the success for both teams and partners. For example, after last year’s Odyssey Hackathon, team Space4Good closed a three-year partnership with challenge lead Willie Smits to save 170.000 hectares of rainforest in Kalimantan. With the new online format, we see clear opportunities to increase the number of projects like this,” Van Zuidam explains.

More information about Odyssey Momentum

You can find more information about Odyssey Momentum on the Odyssey Momentum website: odyssey.org 


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