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Social Hackathon: Hacking for the Benefit of All

Why leave societal problems behind? Why not gather like- minded people, students and social enterprises to solve them?

These were the questions Foundersbei and asked themselves when setting up their social hackathon from October 4-6, 2019.

Three groups of students were randomly selected to work on solving three NGOs’ challenges: JAD, Canne et Coeur, and Sesobel. All three NGOs faced similar challenges: financial sustainability, and building greater awareness regarding their cause, or service.

  • JAD’s challenge, Jeunesse Anti-drogue, consisted of finding ways to build awareness about its goals: fighting drugs, and other social vices for the welfare of Lebanese youth.
  • Canne et Coeur’s challenge also consisted of building awareness about their services to the elderly, and sustaining themselves financially.
  • Sesobel’s challenge consisted of changing the image society has about disabled children so that it’s no longer a taboo.

The students made use of their business savvy: SWOT, positioning, targeting, financial forecasting….

At the end, the results were pretty inspiring.

Though the three groups came up with good ideas, the winning team WARM MEAL outperformed the others by coming up with creative solutions for Canne et Coeur’s problems.

They proposed that Canne et Coeur offer a plat du jour as a means to gain financial sustainability. They also forecasted the incoming revenue and came up with a trendy slogan for the plat du jour campaign. Though their solution of making use of old medicine and circulating it around was a bit far-fetched in terms of cost, their social media ideas of interviewing elderly people at Canne et Coeur definitely hit the nail.

The other two groups B-change, and Sesobel presented well. Though their ideas were good, they needed further elaboration. For instance, B-change proposed that JAD form a community to address societal drug issues whereby ambassadors were previous drug addicts who overcame their addiction.

B-Change also proposed having this community create events, and take part in marathons, etc…

The Sesobel group, on the other hand, decided that the best way to deal with the stigma or taboo of disabled children is to have an ambassador for Sesobel at each school. As for the financial means of sustainability, they proposed an online subscription whereby people donate online for Sesobel’s cause.

All in all, the ideas were creative, and helpful; the judges Maria Bou Saada, Communication Officer at Sesobel, Maya Boueiry, founder of Canne et Coeur, Elias Maalouli, founder of Foundersbei, Sam Trabulsi, business owner at Lebanese Memes Solutions, and Yara Abboud, B2B writer at eMcREY, deemed the event a success.

                                                                                                                             Yara Abboud

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