Together and digitally against the crisis – #WirVsVirus

Together and digitally against the crisis – #WirVsVirus

The Vodafone Institute was one of the funding partners for the WirVsVirus Hackathon and its solutions for problems during and after the Corona pandemic.

With over 28,000 participants, #WirVsVirus is the largest hackathon in the world. Anyone who had the time, desire and Internet access could take part. The #WirVsVirusHack Community worked on around 1,500 solutions, recognising that the wealth of ideas in civil society must be used more actively to meet the challenges of our time!

The Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications supported the implementation programme #WirVsVirus financially and with personnel resources as well as with know-how, digital expertise and communication activities. For the project teams, the Institute provided access to the Vodafone corporate network. This enables a demand-oriented, strategic and technical support by experts. After six months, the Institute is now looking at a selection of highlights of the Hackathon.

The #WirVsVirusHack community worked completely virtual. (Photo: Süddeutsche Zeitung)

The project was initiated by Project Together, Tech4Germany, Code for Germany, Impact Hub Berlin, Social Entrepreneurship Netzwerk Deutschland e.V., Initiative D21 e. V. and Prototype Fund – a meeting of people interested in Open Social Innovation.

Support by the Vodafone Community

Part of the Hackathon was the Solution Enabler, the Solution Builder and the Community Management through Matching Funds. The Vodafone Institute and various colleagues in the Vodafone Community provided support, particularly in the “Solution Enabler” programme. The aim was to quickly test 130 solutions for current problems during the Corona crisis and to implement them on a broad scale. This is intended to ensure concrete benefits during the crisis and afterwards.

The Vodafone Institute provided the start-up financing for the “Solution Enabler” programme in the fight against the corona pandemic. It also supported the teams through Vodafone Pacesetters, who promoted the teams like a digital real-world laboratory – from communications expertise, hotline support to cloud support.

JOWOMO – Digital platform for personnel partnerships

JOWOMO is one of the initiatives supported by the Institute and the Vodafone community. The JOWOMO team joined the incredibly exciting journey in the #WirVsVirus Hackathon, where the collaboration was completely virtual. A special highlight for them: the growing together of a functioning team in such a short time!

For the team behind JOWOMO, the biggest influence of their work during the crisis was the conversations with customers who believe in JOWOMO’s vision and put as much heart and soul into the implementation as they did themselves – a huge motivation.

Even after the crisis, JOWOMO sees its initiative as helping for society. Staff partnerships are shaping the labour market of the future, as employees have to constantly learn new skills (especially in the context of digitisation, AI and faster innovation cycles). Insights into other professions and industries bring new insights and expand one’s own skills. A collaboration that is cross-company strengthens companies and employees and the competitive advantage in the future labour market.

Silberdraht – Telephone service for the older generation

Silberdraht is a toll-free phone service for the generation 65+, giving them analogue access to digital content such as regional and national news – e.g. updates on the coronavirus – and entertainment. The team was supported by colleagues from the Vodafone UPLIFT team.

The best experience in the implementation programme for the Silberdraht team: “To create something meaningful for a generation that does not benefit from the rapid access to information that we take for granted in our everyday life. Working with brilliant and like-minded people who all believe in the same idea is also an invaluable experience. The support we have received from our partners in various fields is incredibly impressive”.

The team behind Silberdraht was able to start cooperations with municipalities and cities across the country during the programme. (Photo: Silberdraht)

The initiative of Silberdraht remains relevant, as older people, in particular, are confronted with social isolation and alienation from modern society – a problem before, during and after the crisis.

A successful programme with future prospects

The #WirVsVirus Hackathon brought to light the creativity and innovative power that results from cooperation between politics and civil society. As a result, major social and economic challenges – such as the current corona crisis – can be overcome jointly, agilely and digitally.

At the conclusion of the hackathon during a Demo Day and the final at the beginning of October, representatives of the Federal Government – including Helge Braun and Anja Karliczek – praised the great performance of the entire project consortium and the teams. A concluding message from Chancellor Angela Merkel also reminded the audience of the great and unprecedented cooperation between citizens and politicians.

The Vodafone Institute and the Vodafone Community are looking forward to seeing what the #WirVsVirusHack Community will do in the future!

About the “#WirVsVirus Solution Enabler” programme

The “#WirVsVirus Solution Enabler” was a six-months implementation programme for 130 selected innovative solutions developed for coronavirus-related challenges. The programme that was supported by the Vodafone Institute with startup funding, know-how and digital expertise, encourages projects from 12 action fields, such as health, everyday life and crisis management, to successfully implement their solutions on a broad scale. Particularly the startup programme Vodafone UPLIFT with their PACESETTER offering supported the teams in the areas of IT infrastructure, public cloud, IoT solutions and individual consulting. The programme under the patronage of the Federal Chancellery has started working with the projects on April 8 of 2020 and came to an end on October 1 of 2020. Find further information here.