Virtual coop-a-thon 15-17 October

The ICA will hold a virtual coop-a-thon during our Global Conference for Development to be held in Kigali, Rwanda starting 15 October and the winner will be announced on 17 October. Virtual global teams will be made up of IT coops, IT professionals from ICA member organisations, and others who support coops. They will propose solutions to member problems.

Why is the ICA doing this?
The ICA sent a survey to members in 2018 and the technology challenges showed up as one of the biggest obstacles that our members face. This will be a fun way to come up with IT solutions to coop problems and encourage cooperation amongst cooperatives, and hopefully also market the amazing ability of IT coops!

We are calling on all IT coops to join a global team to work together to propose a solution to a challenge. Submit this IT Coop-a-Thon Team Form if you want to participate.

We would really appreciate it!


Hi! I like this initiative :slight_smile:

I wonder if we can have a prior information about the cooperative’s needs. I can imagine about the needs of Argentinian cooperatives, but I don’t know much about other regions or countries… Maybe having a list of known issues could help…

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Hi, this is an excelent initiative :slight_smile:

What are you thinking regarding the organization of the activity? Is there any particular reason to use a paper form? Do you want us to build it in digital format?

Count with FACTTIC for the coopathon

Agree with @neto – great initiative!

I’ll share with folks in my co-op in Toronto, Canada. We’re in scrappy start-up mode, but we can discuss participating.

On a personal level, I co-organize within a community that literally does weekly mini hackathons (hacknights), so happy to be tapped as support if helpful. There are definitely lots of little social dynamics that we’ve learned while doing this over 4 years, though I’m sure it varies by country and culture.

(Remote collaboration is a whole other beast that we don’t do at our hacknights, but our learning from in-person experiences might translate surprisingly.)

If any of the above seems helpful (no pressure), please feel free to DM me on this forum, tweet at me, or email (patrick.c.connolly at the big G email provider)

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Also, aside from the weeklies, we have some community members run a full-day one each year called CodeAcrossTO. The formula is different from our regular hacknights.

Here are all our docs (2016-2019), in case it’s helpful:

each year is organized by different people, so tactics/philosophies are sometimes quite different between years. For example, 2019 was quite non-specific to tech, and about getting people with diverse skills to understand problem domains together. This year, building this shared understanding was particularly more important than building one-off software solutions.

If anyone wants a sherpa to go through and point out the important stuff, I’m happy to host a call. (I co-organized the 2018 event.)

The “challenge wrangling” docs are probably the most helpful – basically the tactics we use to help folks with challenges do the “pre-thinking” about their challenge domain, so that they arrive with a great candidate dilemma:

Some worthwhile docs:

We are using a paper form because, in my experience, it is just easier for our members and allows us to follow up more easily to make a final form for each submission.


The form on page 2 that I linked is the one we are asking our members to fill to give us our needs.

Thanks, this is great information! We are working with @Shree from our ICA Asia-Pacific office who has organised a number of coop-a-thons already. Indeed, one of the challenges he experienced is the need to work with members on their challenges so that the IT teams have enough information to solve the right problem and that they are solveable by us and not something like speed of internet which needs work by their internet service provider… Your materials are great and I think will be useful in our discussion with members about this.