Virtual coopathon 14-16 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:

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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.


I am pleased to share you more information about our virtual coopathon, based on some frequently asked questions:

What are the exact dates and times (local time - matches Paris time zone)
• 17 October morning: announce the winner
• 16 October by 15h: deadline for receiving the proposals
• 14 October by 15h: the challenges will be sent to the teams

Do I have to be present to participate?
No, the coopathon is virtual. You will work online with your team.

What will the winner get?
A dotcoop domain for one year and a coop flag.
Featured on the website an social media channels

What types of challenges will we be solving?
Here are some of the challenges:

  • Facilitation of access to technology for coops in developing countries. Many members feel that they are being left behind because they do not have the funds to invest in technological solutions.
  • Access to technological know-how in developing countries. Many members find it challenging to provide up-to-date capacity building for staff.
  • Virtual decision-making and networking for coop members, which becomes more necessary as coops get bigger and bigger. How can this be done while keeping sense of ownership and democratic principles?
  • FinTech - how to scale up networks of ATM’s and other technological services.
  • How to enable the creation of platform coops through technology

How can I participate?
Visit to download the team form.

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Hi @ghacquard , is there any news about this?

I have talked with some co-ops but because it’s not clear the dynamic of the activity, and there are several questions to answer, they aren’t really engaged with the activity.

We don’t have much time, what ca we do to move forward with this? Some of the questions are:

  • According the information in the site, deadline to inscription is September 6, there is an extension?
  • Which are the communication channels for the virtual work?
  • Who is the owner of the ideas that are presented?
  • What is the format of the presentations of the ideas
  • How the teams are integrated? it’s an individual inscription or organizations? If it is organizations, how do you know how many members will participate?

I found this activity very exciting and I really like the idea, but I’m worried because this lack of information could difficult the participation.

If there are something that I can help, just let me know,


Dear friends, we are going to cancel the coopathon.

Too bad this can’t be done, because the idea is very good.

I kept thinking, from the technology cooperatives and the activism of open technologies we are used to the participation and collaborative creation of this type of events.

When many people get involved and participate, a very powerful dynamic is created.

I think we have a lot of work to do in that sense in this network, I hope we have the space to contribute our ideas and energy.

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What a pity!

Here several teams were very interested in this type of challange.

@ghacquard I dont know why you cancelled it but in the near future you can organize a new one.

If you need help please ask, we are pleased to contribute and participate

Hi! I haven’t participated on this loop, but was looking forward to read more details about the coop-a-thon and be a part of it.

Agreeing with comments above, for the future, you can probably count with different tech co-ops from FACTTIC to join efforts and help move forward this types of initiatives.

Best regards!

I would love to see a series of virtual coop-athons happen!
There will be a non-virtual coop-athon at the event in NYC.
"Searching for an alternative to platform capitalism? Join us at Who Owns the World? November 7-9, 2019 @thenewschool Register now and find the others.

The coop-athon happens from 11am ET to 4pm on November 7th. Will be curious to see if a live stream will happen.



Maybe sometime in 2020, we will realize this activity.

Maybe this concept will be useful:
a. Is there an IT who doesn’t know any computer/mobile/online/digital games?

With this, we can derive a dynamic for the contest.
Fellow gamers, our ideas are boundless.

The internet world has no limit, we must utilize this opportunity and do not let our members be left behind the Digital Transformation.

Thank you

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