Hackathon Blog – Coop UK London 19-20 October 

Gary, Ellie, Vincy and Em travelled to London in October to take part in the inaugural Coop-UK hackathon.  We wanted to take part to make some time for us to consider the development of the commons, a crowd sourced system which adheres to the commons principles but is also protected through member access, network with other cooperatives to understand how they were using technology to reach their membership and to seek expert advice on various areas of the development. 

Despite some minor travel delays we all arrived in London ready for Ellie to give an opening pitch on the CDC and the commons project.  We were one of a handful of cooperatives to present on the Thursday night which helped to increase awareness of the CDC and of the skills we were looking to recruit the following day. 

Whilst we didn’t recruit any coders or designers to help with our project, it was great to have a full day with the team to get stuck into the user requirements and technical elements of how to build the commons. 

The outcomes of the day were: 

  • We created user profiles based on our key audiences across the LCR and focused these on a civic challenge to tease out what data and functions each group might require 
  • We identified our core users as a university researcher, an interested member of the public, a policy maker and a health worker and developed wire frames based on the user requirements  
  • We explored similar open source tools and data repositories which provide map building and data publishing functions.  Two of these tools are used within the university of Liverpool and we have since met with these teams to discuss functionality 
  • We discussed the importance of governance and licencing and will seek further advice on this during the wider development of the tool. 

We will take this work into the What’s Your Problem 3 programme which will workshop the commons with local authorities and service delivery organisations to understand how this could benefit their operations and what functions they would like to see developed. 

We really enjoyed meeting the wider coop uk community and hearing how they got on with their digital platforms.  We left with lots of areas to consider, both in the development of our cooperative and in the technical and user design elements of the digital commons.  We look forward to seeing this become a reality in 2024!  

Photos attributed to Co-op Hackathon 2023 | Flickr