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The Cookbook of Successful Short-Term Events. Organization and Continued Development of Outcomes Through an Iterative Process

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Abstract

Stimulating innovation is one of the most critical challenges of the broader economy. In recent years, events that activate people from various fields to develop innovative solutions or to familiarize themselves with the latest technologies have been very popular. We can also observe that there is a growing demand for geospatial data and tools, which offer location-specific innovation solutions. Particularly those innovations utilizing satellite-based Earth observation (EO) data, since these allow near real time mapping and monitoring of the dynamic phenomena on the Earth. Having wider and open access to up-to-date information is a catalyst for solving real-world problems and creating new solutions for informed decision-making and thus also expanding opportunities in the data-driven economy. The cookbook focuses on the iterative development process wherein ideas and needs are systematically combined with skilled solution area experts and enthusiastic developers who are equipped with fitting tools and data.
The Cookbook of Successful
Short-Term Events
Organization And Continued Development Of Outcomes
Through An Iterative Process
THE COPERNICUS EARTH OBSERVATION PROGRAM
AND THE BALTIC SEA REGION WORKING CONTEXT
This publication has been authored by the following individuals
UNIVERSITY OF TURKU:
Johannes Holvitie (jjholv@utu.) Dept. of Future Technologies
Mikko Jaakola (mjjaak@utu.) --”--
Tuisku Polvinen (tumipo@utu.) --”--
Niina Käyhkö (nivuore@utu.) Dept. of Geography and Geology
Carlos Gonzales Inca (cagoin@utu.) --”--
CRACOW UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Paweł Kisielewicz (pkisiele@pk.edu.pl) Dept. of Computer Science
Daniel Grzonka (dgrzonka@pk.edu.pl) --”--
Adrian Widłak (adrian.widlak@pk.edu.pl) --”--
Piotr Szuster (piotr.szuster@pk.edu.pl) --”--
Joanna Kołodziej (jokolodziej@pk.edu.pl) --”--
Dominika Główczyk (glowczyk@transfer.edu.pl) Center for Technology Transfer
as part of the BalticSatApps Speeding up Copernicus-based innovation in the Baltic Sea Region
-project as a partnership of the following organizations in Estonia, Finland, Poland, Russia and Swe-
den respectively
TARTU OBSERVATORY
TARTU SCIENCE PARK FOUNDATION
FINNISH METEOROLOGICAL INSTITUTE
TURKU SCIENCE PARK LTD
UNIVERSITY OF TURKU (lead partner)
CRACOW UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY (Center for Technology Transfer)
INSTITUTE OF GEODESaY AND CARTOGRAPHY
KRAKOW TECHNOLOGY PARK
ST. PETERSBURG STATE (non-commercial European-Russian InnoPartnership)
ST. PETERSBURG INFORMATION AND ANALYTICAL CENTRE (unitary enterprise)
SWEDISH NATIONAL SPACE BOARD
and in gratitude for the funding and resourcing received from
INTERREG - BALTIC SEA REGION PROGRAMME 2014 - 2020
EUROPEAN UNION - EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND
RUSSIAN FEDERATION - FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Copyright © 2020 by the Authors and the Respective Organizations
Since 2014, the satellites of the European Copernicus programme have delivered Earth observation
data free of charge to anyone. The wealth of data holds tremendous potential for new services in the
environmental, transport, energy and other sectors.
BalticSatApps (10/2017–3/2021) increased awareness about the data provided by the Copernicus pro-
gramme, improved access to the data, and stimulated demand and innovation through co-creative
and iterative development methodologies. The project also developed an acceleration programme fo-
cusing on Earth observation business.
The total budget of the BalticSatApps project was EUR 2.8 million, of which the support from the
European Regional Development Fund amounted to EUR 1.8 million and European Neighbourhood
Instrument (nancial support received from the Russian Federation) to EUR 0.4 million.
Contents
Introduction 4
Short-term events 6
Pre-event 10
Feasibility iteration on the event topic 10
Open source and other forms of data access 12
Outlining the event goals 14
Identifying the event target groups 16
Facilitators and other sta members 19
Promoting the event 21
Sponsors, awards and extra services 24
Registration 26
Logistics, location, and practicalities 31
Planning the event timetable 35
Ensuring success with pre-event preparations 38
During the event 46
Participants and their roles 46
Evaluation criteria 48
After the event 50
Solution follow-up 50
Participant follow-up 54
Event follow-up 55
Appendices 60
References 60
Schedules 62
Posters 62
Miscellaneous products 62
ID badges 62
Webpages and social media 70
4
1. Introduction
Stimulating innovation is one of the most critical challenges of the broader
economy. In recent years, events that activate people from various elds
to develop innovative solutions or to familiarize themselves with the latest
technologies have been very popular. We can also observe that there is a
growing demand for geospatial data and tools, which oer location-specic
innovation solutions. Particularly those innovations utilizing satellite-based
Earth observation (EO) data, since these allow near real time mapping and
monitoring of the dynamic phenomena on the Earth. Having wider and open
access to up-to-date information is a catalyst for solving real-world problems
and creating new solutions for informed decision-making and thus also
expanding opportunities in the data-driven economy.
Open access to location-specic data, particularly satellite images oered
by the public organizations such as United States Geological Survey (USGS),
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and European Space
Agency (ESA) have increased dramatically over the last decades. These open-
access Earth observation data catalogues, combined with better access to
cloud-based computing resources, and novel data collections such as citizen-
science data have diversied the overall knowledge base for innovation
developments all over the world. Satellite data, with regular, repeated
observations of the status of our living environment are prominent and still
relatively less used data in various innovation solutions, especially when the
solutions are outside of the typical EO domain, such as mapping of natural
resources or land uses. There is a clear need to promote better understanding
of the nature of the satellite data and what opportunities it oers to the whole
digital data driven innovation scene in Europe and globally.
Prominent solutions are often abandoned because of lack of support from
business support organizations. On one hand there is a need to increase the
survival rates of valuable ideas by providing guidance and mentoring to their
developers, and on the other hand there is a need to convince Business Support
Organizations, Technology Parks, Academic Incubators, private accelerators
and research universities to pay more attention to EO-derived solutions, and
to arrange the mentoring and incubation opportunities for these kinds of
emerging technologies.
Various kinds of short-term events, such as hackathons, workshops or info
5
days can be ecient tools for contacting potential partners. This document is a collection
of our experience acquired during the organization of these events. They were organized
within the framework of the BalticSatApps project (#R036), which aims to help multiple
sides get better results from the open European Copernicus Programme data.1
The cookbook focuses on the iterative development process wherein ideas and needs are
systematically combined with skilled solution area experts and enthusiastic developers
who are equipped with tting tools and data. The outcomes of these combinations are
analysed and it is identied if and how reapplying the previous (i.e. iterating) can bring
the outcome closer to an eective and self-sustained innovation.
1 https://www.copernicus.eu/
The ideas are converted into
innovations by iterating
aforedescribed expertise in
various events. This publication
discusses matters that need to
be taken into account prior to
the events, the types of events
themselves, and issues that need
to be considered afterwards.
Sections refer to one another
in order to highlight iterative
dependencies and possibilities.
Wherein possible, adjustments to
event organizations are discussed
to best t them for speeding up
Copernicus-based innovation in
the Baltic Sea Region. Empirical
observations serve as examples of
their applications.
Short-term event
Organization
Team
Observation
Administration
Infrastructure
Event Type Specic Details
Hackathon
Innovation Camp
Code Sprint
Group Session
Info Day
Workshop
Pre-event
Feasibility
Considerability &
solvability
Topic/Solution
Ownership
Topic relevancy
Facilitation
Promotion Preparation
Target Group
Identication
SoMe &
Organizer
Advertising
Courses
Data Types &
Access
Training
Post-event
Event Follow-up
Event Facilitation
Feedback
Data & Training
Propositions
Topic Relevancy
Opinions
Solution
Follow-up
Participant
Follow-up
Incubation
Feasibility
(Intellectual)
Property Rights
Owner Team
Enhancement
Contact
Information
Skills
Interests
6
1.1. Short-term events
What is a short-term event?
A short-term event is an event that takes place during a relatively short period
of time, ranging from half a day to usually a week at most. There are many
dierent types of short-term events, some better suited for a particular kind
of challenge, some having a broader scope. In this chapter we list common
short-term event types, and give a brief introduction about the basic idea of
the type as well as the types of challenges it is most applicable to.
Hackathon Rosell, Kumar, and Shepherd dene hackathon as an event where
people come together to collaboratively build and launch a new application
or nished good, aimed at solving a particular problem built on top of new or
existing technology.2 Participants usually work in small teams of up to ve
people over a time period of a day or two, with the goal of generating a working
prototype at the end of the event.
In recent years, we have observed a signicant popularisation of this type of
events. Participants can test their skills in unconventional thinking, working
in a group and under the time pressure, as well as hone soft skills related
to presenting their solutions to potential investors. In addition to possible
material gains in the form of prizes, the integration of the business and
academic environments brings possibilities for networking and as whole the
events provide valuable experience that can result in a great entry in a CV.
From the point of view of merging opportunities of citizen-science with Earth
observation data, Mapathon events are particularly prominent. Mapathons
are usually organized for volunteered mapping of missing geospatial data
based on visual interpretation of high-resolution satellite data sets, which
are accessible globally through OpenStreetMap (OSM) service, as well as
from commercial platforms oered by Google and Bing, for example. OSM
is a global community, which maintains open access to geospatial data
collected throughout the world and oers web map service and repository
of free geospatial data of basic Earth infrastructures and services. Mapathon
campaigns, organized regularly by various NGOs and public organizations
often bring an entirely new viewpoint into the data and can easily result in
innovative new earth observation data creation processes by the coomminities
2 Rosell, Bard & Kumar, Shiven & Shepherd, John. (2014). Unleashing innovation through in-
ternal hackathons. 1-8. 10.1109/InnoTek.2014.6877369
7
themselves. Mapathons are important in sensitization of the crowd with earth
observation data and opportunities of creating new data based on local interpretation.
Mapathons also facilitate youth digital skills training and awareness of satellite data,
and thus work quite well as pre-events to larger hackathons or other short term events.
Data camp3 While hackathons most commonly last one or two days, a week-long
hackathon would fall in the subcategory of a data camp. Enabled by the length of the
event, data camps might feature additional teambuilding or other complementary
elements.
Innovation Camp4 As a derivative of hackathon, the innovation camp attempts to
produce an innovation. By denition innovation is a novel need, service, solution, or
other socio-technical mechanism which can not be directly mapped to any existing
concept in the context-under-examination. While the team and time period structures
are similar to hackathons or data camps, the technology enabler has a lower role or
is completely missing, as the innovation is often a much more abstract end-result; a
description of a socio-technical mechanism. Innovation camps also often emphasize
assembling cross-curricular teams in order to promote interdisciplinary brewing of
ideas.
Group Session The group session is a rather self-explanatory event type. It is any
structured gathering of select participants that work on a certain context or topic to
pursue a particular end result. As the name implies, this short term event is limited to
a single, very short (few hours to a day) time period. Nevertheless, the group session is
expected to yield tangible end results after execution.
Code sprint A code sprint is a dedicated session of a hackathon (or individual event)
in which a group of participants (programmers, database specialist, designers, testers,
documentation writers etc.) work together rapidly on a project (or a small number
of projects). What code sprints from other hackathons, is that they are usually not
competitive and that instead of creating from scratch, the focus is on existing software.
The main goal of a code sprint is to improve the software adding functionalities,
xing bugs, writing tests, improving documentation, or doing any other things in the
context of the project. A sprint usually uses ExtremeProgramming methods, such as
programming in pairs or doing extensive code review, unit testing of all code. It allows
developers from dierent communities to work together and learn from each other.
Workshop When there is a need to concretize and or construct a clearer image from a
set of initial topics or challenges, the workshop is an ideal tool. Generally, a training
workshop is a facilitated group-based day-long activity. The workshop is started with an
introduction which presents an overview of the subject matter from both the application
and solution domains. The participants should also represent these two domains, and
3 Chounta & Manske (2017). “From Making to Learning”: introducing Dev Camps as an educational para-
digm for Re-inventing Project-based Learning
4 Malve-Ahlroth, Lankiniemi, Knuutila & Virta (2019). Innovation camp manual
8
organizers need to take this into account in enrolleé selection.
The workshop then continues with facilitated group activities, where the
groups are organized so as to have both domains represented. Common practise
is to present groups with rather short, preformatted topics or questions with
an initial framework of the goal. If all groups are given the same topics, the
facilitators can evoke competing interests and get more in depth analysis as
results. If groups are given diering topics, the topics will be complementary
and result in a broader analysis.
Info Day Info day is a mini-conference that aims to promote an event, project, service
or other. Info day allows us to familiarize and pre-prepare potential participants before
the planned event. It can also be an opportunity to promote event sponsors.
Business Festival It’s best to learn from the mistakes ...of others. And from their rich
experiences. Business Festivals give such an opportunity. They consist of lectures,
workshops, meetings with businesspeople and inspiration sessions. The speakers are
mainly people who have achieved professional success. A Business Festival is
an event during which theory and practice are combined.
Challenge A challenge event is a limited time quest where all participants
compete with each other. The success of each participant is measured by the
obtained results (the quality of the developed solution) and the time needed
to complete the task. Taking part in a challenge event gives an excellent
opportunity to achieve personal goals.
Why should you organise a short term event?
Organising short term events have been trending for some time, although
there has been somewhat of a decrease in their prevalence in recent years.
At the peak of the trend quantity might have sometimes exceeded quality,
leading to an oversupply of hastily planned events, decreasing their appeal
among students and young people. Well-planned events with compelling
subjects may still gain a good amount of attendance and spawn more interest
for future events.
9
Above: WeSeaChallenge pre-event
Below: Winning teams
10
2. Pre-event
This chapter covers the main aspects that should be taken into consideration
when planning a short term event; topics, goals, target groups, marketing and
practical arrangements to be conducted before the actual event.
2.1. Feasibility iteration on the event topic
When planning any event, it is good to stop and analyze the intended topic
and what kind of an appeal it could have to any target audience, as well as the
possibilities for the further development of solutions created in the event.
Is the topic popular at the moment?
Dierent topics are popular at dierent times, and there tends to be global
trends as well as smaller, local ones. For example, subjects like global
warming, sustainability and environmental issues are discussed all over the
world and are especially hot topics among young people. A local topic could
concern a specic area or be related to a local industry.
To determine if the subject of your planned event is feasible, you should do
some background mapping to nd out if the topic is popular at the moment,
and among who. This gives you an idea of who would be the ideal participants
in your hackathon.
Is the topic universal or local?
As previously mentioned, some topics are local and some are universal. Some
local topics could have possibilities for more universal application with
adjustments - for example, some topics and solutions concerning lakes and
small waters might be applied to seas with small changes.
11
WeSeaChallenge, Turku
WeSeaChallenge was an open innovation
competition organised by Turku Business
Region, the University of Turku, and the Finnish
Meteorological institute in the autumn of
2019. The aim of the competition was to nd
new ideas where satellite data is used together
with other sources of information to support
sustainable planning and monitoring of marine
environments.
WeSeaChallenge focused on the Baltic Sea region.
The Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted seas in
the world, and it suers from eutrophication, so
new ideas are needed on how we can change this
for the better. When we think about it we have
to keep in mind that localized challenges usually
aim at providing solutions raising from needs
in a particular geographical area or context.
Satellite data, which have global data coverage,
enable scalability of the competition ideas, and
set up to another area or applying good ideas
within a larger focus area. Since the temporal
reach of openly accessible global satellite data
is well over 30 years, also challenges focused on
dynamics and changes are applicable.
The competition had three challenge categories;
Sustainable aquaculture, Sustainable urban
planning, and clean, productive and shared
Baltic Sea. The Sustainable aquaculture challenge
was provided by Nordic Trout, a company that
produces farmed edible sh in Finland, Sweden
and Åland. In addition to providing us with the
challenge for the competition, Nordic Trout
also provided us valuable information about
how important it is to establish partnership
with companies, associations or a group of
people looking for innovations to dene certain
challenges to be solved. The focus of sustainable
aquaculture was to nd more accurate
information about sh farm establishments in
an even more sustainable manner.
The sustainable urban planning focused on
nding ways for sustainable use of coastal areas,
which balances between economic, social and
environmental goals. At a practical level this
means land use planning processes and choosing
the best locations for industry, leisure or living.
This planning should be based on reliable and
up-to-date information on the state of the water
quality.
The clean, productive and shared Baltic Sea
challenge was provided by Baltic Sea Challenge
(BSC). BSC is a network initiative of the cities
Turku and Helsinki that invites organisations
to commit in protecting the Baltic Sea and their
local waters, to building their own Baltic Sea
Action Plan and implementing it. In 2019 there
are already 300 member organisations in the
BSC Network from the countries around the
Baltic Sea. Five shared objectives of the network
are: clear coastal waters, healthy marine
habitat, clean and safe water trac, systematic
water area management and active Baltic Sea
citizenship.
Since sh farming is happening all over the
world, solutions for more sustainable sh
farming can be adapted anywhere. People all over
the world are moving from rural to urban areas,
which has a huge impact on cities, especially
in the coastal areas. More people means more
space is needed to accommodate them and more
commendations means more waste. This means
that better urban planning has to be made so
that the crowing number of people in the coastal
areas doesn’t burden the coastal waters more
than they already do. This can be done with good
urban planning which means good sewerage
systems, waste management and regulating
the agriculture to use fertilisers that doesn’t
eutrophicate the rivers and coastal waters.
The goal of the The Baltic Sea Challenge was and
is today to nd ways for eective communication
of important areas and share it with decision
makers, organizations, municipalities and
the general public around the Baltic Sea. The
knowledge of how we as people do more in the
ght against pollution and eutrophicate in our
water areas. The people should be educated
on ways to do more for the environment and
the decision makers should make decisions to
support this and at the same time make decisions
that lead us to decrease our burdening the water
areas of the world.
As we can see from the challenges of
WeSeaChallenge, even though their focus was on
the Baltic Sea, the solutions can be used all over
the world with little modication.
https://balticsatapps.eu/weseachallenge/
12
2.2. Open source and other forms of data access
At present, there is a huge amount of open data available. Depending on the
event topic, using open data could be a good addition or even the main point
of an event. Accessing open data can, depending on the data, be a bit tricky,
but when you have obtained it it’s free, and so it does not place burdens on the
budget of the event and the money can be used elsewhere.
Accessing open data
If the event uses specic open source data, like satellite data, accessing it
without any previous experience can be dicult. Therefore it is recommended
to instruct the participants how to access the data beforehand, so that the
participants get to know how to access the data and get a picture of what it
includes. This information can be covered by written instructions or videos
that the participants study independently or by organizing joint training
sessions. This might have a crucial eect on the outcome of the event, and
must be taken into account while planning the event.
Access to the open data from the Sentinel satellites of the Copernicus
programme is managed through several data portals. The data can be accessed
through Data and Information Access Services (DIAS) or satellite data hubs
like the Copernicus Open Access Hub or EUMETCast. BSA partner countries
also have access hubs, like the Finnish Data Hub of the Finnish Meteorological
Spectator Platform, Cracow
Spectator tracks Earth-Imaging satellites
and provides tools for you to publish
meaningful information based on their
data. Spectator uses excellent satellite
programs such as Copernicus Sentinels
and USGS/NASA Landsat to access fresh
satellite images daily. Get full monitoring
information with satellite overpasses,
acquisition plans and archive data access.
Then build your real-time application.
They provide a website which delivers the
satellite data from Landsat-8, Sentinel
2-A and Sentinel 2-B. Free access is based
on easy to understand Graphical User
Interface: https://app.spectator.earth/
13
Institute5 and interfaces like the integrated Copernicus and Russian satellite data
interface6.
Open data portals usually have instructions on how to access and use the data, but
preparing guides tailored for the needs of your specic event helps the participants
to have a more ecient start to their work. The BalticSatApps project has prepared a
Data to Information kit that is tailored to aid participants of BSA events in familiarizing
themselves with satellite data usage.
Protected data
If the material used comes from a partner or partners who are the sole providers of the
data, it usually means that it can’t be distributed to the participants beforehand as easily
as open data. This might be because it is in some degree condential or cannot for other
security reasons be shared over the internet. If there could be some possibility to securely
share the data with attendees beforehand, so that they would have time to familiarize
themselves with it before the event, it could result in better ideas and solutions. This
would be good to discuss with those who provide the data.
If the data used in the event comes from a closed or protected source, would it be useful
to have additional open source data as complementary to the given data? For example,
if the solutions are using data from drones, there is a possibility that satellite data could
add some value to this data - even though they dier in resolutions, the satellite data
could provide dierent kind of data over the same areas than the drone data, leading to
a broader perspective and more data as a whole.
5 https://nsdc.fmi./data/sentinel
6 https://bsa.regionview.ru/
14
2.3. Outlining the event goals
It is very important that all of the participants have a clear picture of the
event objectives. Is the point of the event to think of new ways to solve certain
challenges, or is it to create completed products, computer programs, phone
apps, etc., or just to learn new things and have fun?
Company-authored challenges
If the premise of the event is to solve one or more challenges given by a
company participating in organising the event, the challenges are usually well
thought out and formed.
Transfer of solutions’ (intellectual) property rights to
companies If the challenges come from a partner company,
the solutions to these challenges are automatically owned
by the company, which leads to the fact that there is no way
for the teams to move forward with the solution without
the approval of the company. This is not an ideal situation
when thinking about the iterative development of ideas.
It could also be something that might keep people from
participating, because they feel they are just giving away
their ideas, even if the event granted great prizes. So it
would be best to avoid this kind of situation by any means.
Agreed upon company property right forfeit A solution to the
problem discussed above. If the partner companies agree for
the solutions to be used somewhere else, the team can proceed
by themselves, or it is also possible for them to cooperate with
some other company.
Team-authored challenges
Create new innovations and possible new business ventures! If the idea is that
the solutions created in the event will be cultivated to new innovations and
possible new business ventures, you have to consider how to proceed with
these solutions after the event. There is a lot to think about when creating new
innovations and business ventures. If you don’t have this knowledge within
your partners, or their partners don’t want to pursue the solutions towards
a new business venture, you have to look for this elsewhere. Local business
venture events and other similar events are good places to nd new partners
for further business development.
15
Remember to check who owns the rights for the challenges and the solutions! It’s
important that the ownership of the rights to the solutions is clear to all participants
since the beginning of the event. This way you avoid the situations where the people
who came up with the solution should have the rights to whatever they want with the
solution or deny anyone doing anything with it.
Up-for-grabs challenges
Can the solutions be used by others then the original participants and partners for
possible new business ventures? If neither the teams or the partner companies are
interested in using the solutions for further development, allowing other teams or
companies to take them over could be benecial for their further development. This way
the solutions won’t go to waste, and they retain their possibilities of leading into new
innovations and business ventures. It is a good idea to discuss these aspects with all the
partners before the event.
16
2.4. Identifying the event target groups
Attendees
It’s very important that you have the right attendees present in your event
so that you can have the best solutions and the best outcome. Some of the
possible target groups include:
Students. As opposed to other groups, students often have the
most exible schedules and are more eager to plunge into using
whole days for hacking events. Students have large knowledge
about their major eld of study, so if the event concerns a
very specic subject, students who are in a relevant eld are
ideal participants. Additionally, students from other elds and
specications bring valuable cross-disciplinary knowledge,
and attracting the attention of heterogeneous groups of
students is desirable.
Professionals. If you’re planning a short-term event around
a special topic that requires advanced knowledge, and local
universities either do not have students specializing in the
selected eld, or they would require extended training to be
able to work the subject, you should ask yourself would it be
easier to organize it with some corporations or organizations
that already have the know-how, having their professionals
participate.
Compared to students, professionals more often have full-time
jobs and their own families, so they have more limitations as to
how much time they might be able to allocate to events. If the
corporation they work in is a partner in the event, negotiating
for the possibility for work time to be used for the event enables
the employees to better commit to the event.
Mixed group of students and professionals. If the topic is
otherwise suitable for students but more complex than could
be expected for them to tackle by themselves, it might be a
good idea to bring in professionals of the eld in question to
complement the student groups. This would ideally provide the
students with reliable hands-on knowledge of the topic and
up-to-date understanding of the eld.
17
Specically selected groups of participants If the event topic and
challenges are very strict, it might be a good idea to restrict the
participants to a small group of specic people to solve these challenges.
This concerns topics on the eld of e.g. medicine or surgery, where the
knowledge of the eld is in the hands of the people who have studied the
eld and work in it.
Organizational partners
Having partners is always a good idea. They can be of great help when arranging the
basic stu - where, when and how to organize the event. Partnering universities or
companies can provide their premises as event locations and participate in the logistics,
for example. Sharing the load of organizing helps you to focus on other things like where
and how to get the right participants. Partners could also provide you with judges or
mentors for the event, and possibly prizes for the winning participants.
Sponsors Having sponsors can greatly broaden the range of possibilities
when holding an event. Unfortunately, successfully obtaining them is not
guaranteed. It’s a good idea to contact companies as well as both public
sector and non-prot organisations that work in a eld concerning the
event topic. If possible, the ideal rst sponsors for the event would be
your organizational partners or organizations already involved in the
event in the form of topic owners.
18
Keep in mind that providing money or prizes is not the only
possible means of sponsoring - for example, providing a
location to host the event or food for the event is equally
important. Sponsors and their roles in the event are further
discussed in their own section.
Topic owners
Topic owners are groups or organizations who have provided a specic topic
for the event. To make sure that the event’s results address the topics in a way
the topic owners have meant, engaging them in the event is strongly advised.
It is preferable to have representatives of the topic owners present during the
actual event to ensure that their knowledge and opinions are readily available
to the participants, but knowledge transfer can also be done via pre-event
training and information sharing. It should be noted however that all one-
way knowledge transfer methods (such as pre-shared material) are inferior to
two-way methods (i.e. having a representative readily available).
Companies are privately held organizations which generally
bring topics that are at the moment non-actionable to the
company themselves, but estimated to represent novel revenue
streams in the future. Companies generally withhold details
that are specic to their revenue generation, which may aect
the knowledge transfer on the topic. Topics from companies
are generally highly motivational, as they provide direct links
to the company, their revenue streams, and possible clientele
that aid participants in their career development.
Public sector consists of governmental organizations that
generally bring topics that are directly related to the purpose
of the specic organization. Public sector organizations often
have concurrently running projects which share goals with
the given topic, which generally provides excellent means to
provide further motivation for tackling the topic, as there are
possibilities of continuation as the project(s) outlast the event.
Non-prot organizations share traits with the public sector if
the organizations have funded projects and stang available.
In other cases, the non-prots may have very limited resources
at their disposal and this may aect how they are able to aid
the topic post-event. However, non-prots generally share
19
an unparalleled enthusiasm towards advancing the topics they nd
interesting (since this basically denes the non-prots’ existence). This
is a matter that should be used towards motivating topics coming from
these organizations.
2.5. Facilitators and other sta members
Facilitators are responsible for the concrete organization and execution of the pre-,
on-, and post-event actions. This section outlines key groups that are needed for the
event to succeed management-wise and oers suggestions as where to recruit people,
while their roles during the event are discussed more in-depth in the respective chapter.
Event organizers Planning the event is one thing but to actually hold it is another.
Having a clear picture of how the event should unfold and who is responsible of what
at any times is a must to make sure everything goes smoothly and is under control.
The best practice is to have the same people who plan the event also participate in its
execution since they have the best picture of all the “what, when and how” of the event.
Additionally, it is good to recruit volunteers to aid in carrying out all kinds of tasks
during the event. This means some extra costs even if the volunteers don’t get paid at all
-- they still need to be fed, and depending on the event, a place to sleep. The actual roles
present during the event and division of labor is discussed in chapter three.
Mentors Mentors can have many varying tasks during a short-term event, from
overseeing the participants to providing in-depth assistance or giving feedback to the
teams during the event. In many cases, mentors have more experience or skill level in
the topic than the participants so that they are able to help when problems arise, but
if the event is aimed for professionals or people who are already experts in the eld,
BalticSatApps Hackathon 2019, Cracow
Participants received mentoring during a
pre-event workshop as well as during the
actual event.
During the workshop, each participant
could benet from technical assistance,
mentors from various disciplines and
participate in a training course devoted to
making an excellent presentation.
During the actual event, a remote sensing
course was also organized. Mentors
answered questions related to satellite
data, its use in practice and interpretation,
business, business plan, and matching the
project to the appropriate audience.
Participants received many answers to
questions and problems related to the
scope of knowledge available to mentors
and organizers of the event. The mentors
included specialists from the private and
scientic sectors as well as representatives
of non-governmental organizations.
20
this might not be the case. When organizing an event for university students,
mentors can be recruited from senior students or those who have gathered
a good amount of practical experience in other ways. If there is a software
company involved in organizing the event, they might be able provide some of
their employees as mentors.
Judges While looking for judges for the event, you have to consider their
expertise and impartiality. The judges can often be chosen from within the
sponsors, partners or organizers, but in some cases it can be better to have
judges from outside the event organizers. This is the case when the organizers
themselves do not have the expertise to judge the contest or they have too
many connections to the participants to be able to judge fairly, which might
be the case if eg. alumni organize an event for students, some of which they
know beforehand.
As an organizer you have to have a clear idea of the evaluation criteria for the
solutions of the competition. This gives you a good idea where the judges for
the event should come from. The easiest way would be to select the judges
from the event organizers as mentioned above, but sometimes this is not
possible and you have to look for the judges elsewhere.
Universities and companies working in the same eld as the events topic is
always a great source for judges. But keep in mind that getting judges from
external sources usually means some extra costs at least in the form of covering
their traveling and other expenses, what has to be taken into consideration
when planning the event budget.
When recruiting judges from outside, they are usually not as closely involved
in the event design as the organizing parties, and thus aren’t as familiar with
what is intended to be achieved in the event. To ensure that everyone is on the
same page and the judging is done in a way that serves the intents of the event,
it is essential to dene what is to be judged and communicate it in a clear
manner. Sometimes you also might want to assign dierent roles for dierent
judges. If the challenges or parts of the challenges are specic enough that
they are to be judged by a specialist, it is better to communicate these roles
beforehand with all of the judges, so that they have a clear picture of what is or
isn’t expected from them.
Even with challenges that don’t need expert knowledge, you still have to
emphasize that the judges cannot evaluate in a meaningful way aspects they
21
aren’t familiar enough with. A gut feeling alone isn’t a solid base to have an opinion
on. Keep in mind to bring this up in a considerate and professional manner, as not to
accidentally downplay your judges.
Also take into consideration that people do things in a dierent manner so some people
need more time than others. In this case it could mean that some judge might do things a
little dierent than others. This doesn’t take away their expertise but it is one thing that
you have to think about when planning the events timetable. Make sure that you give the
judges enough time to do their work. By themselves and in a group.
2.6. Promoting the event
After mapping your topic and nding your target participants you should think about
how to reach these participants. Promotional activities should be carried out at least
2-3 months before the date of the event and conducted simultaneously on many levels.
Apart from analogue advertising materials such as posters and leaets, it is crucial
to use social media and to nd possible contact networks that could aid in reaching
potential participants.
In addition to reaching primary target groups, it’s possible to nd potential participants
who have their own point of interest in the event. Some could be interested in a certain
part of the topic instead of it as a whole, and still be eager to participate. People interested
in open data usage is an example of such topic enthusiasts, as they might be keen to
participate in events dealing with open data even if the other aspects of the event aren’t
too relevant to their interests. Identifying and promoting certain attributes could attract
dierent kinds of enthusiasts and bring diversity to the teams and to the event as whole.
BalticSatApps Hackathon 2019, Cracow
For the Act In Space Poland the promotion of the hackathon in 2019 started already in
December 2018, organizing lectures during the Christmas Mapathon, organized by the
Department of Geoinformatics and Applied Computer Science of the AGH University of
Science and Technology.
During the lectures, over 100 people participated in a lecture on the possibility of using
the Copernicus platform. The participants were also informed and encouraged to par-
ticipate in the hackathon as part of the BSA. In February 2019 a promotional campaign
was launched. The campaign included social media, blogs, thematic services, thematic
services or advertising materials.
22
Promoting through social media Facebook and Twitter are two of
the prevailing channels for reaching large numbers of people, and
promotional activities on them can be launched well in advance. In
recent years, other platforms, like Instagram, Snapchat or Discord,
have surged in popularity among young people. This is an important
factor to consider when you are contemplating ways to promote your
short term event. A website that is independent from any platform
but could be advertised through them is a possibility. Establishing a
blog may also be a good way to reach the audience throughout the
phases of the event.
Promoting through universities Connections to universities are
invaluable when trying to reach students. Information about the
event can be sent to student organizations and research student
groups, as well as academic teachers that could encourage students
to participate. Dierent faculties often have an email address that
you can contact directly and ask how you’d be able to promote the
short term event to the right students.
A considerable possibility is that academic sta could also be able
to validate participation in the event as a formal attainment of
the university, so that student participants could be awarded with
credits, which would increase the appeal of the event for students.
The event could also be tied to a guest lecture about satellite data
usage, as academic teachers are often open to having occasional
guest lecturers in suitable courses.
Requests for sharing of the event’s information could be sent
to all ocial press oces of the universities, as well as to people
who are involved in the promotion of particular faculties. It is also
worthwhile to involve and inform other universities which do not
educate students in the desired elds of study.
Promoting through organisations It is also a good idea to contact
local non-governmental organisations that work in the same eld
as the events topic. Some companies are very open working with
universities and other research institutions. Usually the companies
most open to collaboration are very active themselves to nd
partners to research or develop their products or services. These
23
companies are most often very open to the ideas of organizing short term
events to widen their perspectives and to get more ideas.
They can promote your event to their members and their contacts. They
can also give new ideas for organisations and companies that you could
contact and promote your event. It is worthwhile to create appropriate
promotional materials, including a lm discussing the assumptions and rules
of the competition, as well as make eorts to obtain a media patron. At the
promotional stage, it is worthwhile to local interest companies operating on
a similar subject as partners of the event and sponsors of individual prizes
(depending on legal possibilities). The prizes should correspond to the
interests or directions of the participants
One of the options is also establishing contacts with companies that are looking
for trainees - perhaps the reward in a hackathon could be an internship in one
of them.
24
2.7. Sponsors, awards and extra services
Acquiring sponsors that are able to provide resources or cover some costs
broaden the possibilities of an event. In addition to direct nancial aid,
sponsors can engage in the actual practicalities by oering the use of their
facilities as the venue for the event. Getting sponsors is highly recommended!
Sponsors can provide the event with eg. cash, space, food, event advertising
or apparel, with the expectation that they also get something out of their
support for your event. Sponsors might be recruiting/hiring, and are looking
to scout out your attendees, or they might be marketing a product they wish to
promote at the event. At rst, gure out the budget — all costs — so you know
how much in sponsorships you need. When the budget is somewhat gured
out, the very next thing is to get started on securing sponsors.
Sponsors can preparate presentations about their companies/activities in
an open session. Sponsor-provided issues/problems of the are often used
as challenges in events. Participants work on and prepare new solutions for
dedicated problems. Sponsors can use the participation in events to promote
themselves and to recruit new employees.
BalticSatApps Hackathon 2019, Cracow
Participants received a set of gadgets
at registration: a bag, a bow, an ID
badge, a pen, a participant’s book, a
mug, a T-shirt, and Notes.
Awards consisted of the main prize
was a voucher worth 1500 PLN and a
certicate and automatic qualication
of the team for the acceleration
program. The second prize was a
certicate and invitation to the
acceleration program and additional
starting points in the evaluation of
the application in this program and
a voucher worth PLN 1000. The third
prize was a certicate and invitation
to the acceleration program and
additional starting points in the
evaluation of the application in this
program and a voucher worth PLN
500.
Catering was implemented so that
participants were provided with a
coee break, lunch and afternoon tea
on day one and a coee break and
lunch on day two.
25
ActInSpace 2018 - BalticSatApps challenge, Cracow
During registration, each participant received a T-shirt with ActInSpace, BSA EU and
InterReg logos, a pen, notes, ID badge, and a folder with detailed information about the
hackathon and presentations of the proles of mentors and organizers and links to the
Copernicus platform, as well as information about the BSA project.
The main award of the hackathon was a funding for the winning team to travel to
Toulouse for the grand nal of the ActInSpace, and a kindle reader. The second prize was
a trip to Warsaw for the national nal, where the team also fought for the opportunity to
travel to Toulouse. All participants received additional prizes (according to the ranking of
projects) ranging in headphones, HDDs, pen drives, and mugs with BSA logo. The prizes
were awarded according to the total number of points received from individual members
of the jury.
Catering was provided for hackathon participants in the form of lunch and dinner on the
rst day, and breakfast and lunch on the following. As part of the catering, participants
were also provided with 24/7 access to snacks and drinks (also at night).
26
2.8. Registration
This section covers the basic concepts of registration of short-term event
participants. Depending on the event type (hackathon, workshop, info day)
it’s highly recommended to provide a sign-in form for gathering relevant
information of the registered participants or teams. This information can
be used to prole candidates or teams in terms of correlation with selected
challenges, intended target groups, participant statistics etc.
Registration through a dedicated website
For hackathons where participants need to register as a team, we’ve created
our own form, deployed on the balticsatapps.pl website. Our form contains
questions and elds relating to our specic events, allowing us to gather
information tailored to our interests. In addition, creating a form of our own
allowed us to implement features like ability to attach documents, regulations
for approval, setting a limit on the number of team members, limiting the
number of teams that could take part in the event, and a specic form that will
provide the opportunity to create a team and dene its composition.
In addition, it is necessary to include a condition for consenting to data
processing in the team submit form. Also, after registering the team, each
member receives an e-mail containing a link to through which they must
The registration process as a diagram.
27
conrm they have read the regulations and approve of necessary measures, including
those regarding data processing for the purposes of hackathon. By conrming their
participation, the participant declares they have understood where and when he event is
taking place, and conrms they will be present during the event.
A member registering the team needs to provide the following information:
Team name.
Some information about the team, like the story behind its creation.
Which one of the challenges they are selecting.
Describe the team motivation.
Contact details of each participant must be provided, such as:
Their full name.
E-mail address.
Their source organization or university.
Optional phone number.
Registration form for creating team and participants.
28
After sending the application, each participant should receive a conrmation
email. The message should contain:
Thanks for participating in recruitment.
What to prepare for a hackathon.
The agenda of the event.
The aforementioned link to conrm knowledge of the regulations and
provide consent for processing of their data.
Selection criteria should be based directly on the participant’s prole. The
application database is the output le for creating three groups:
Qualied people approved for participation in the event.
Reserve participants.
Rejected applicants - those who did not go through with approving the
conditions in the forms or the conrmation link. It is worth keeping such
a collective list in the event of security in the perspective of subsequent
recruitments.
Due to the dispersity of channels for locating qualied participants through,
it is worth focusing on proactive contact at several points of contact. The
registration process described allows to send conrmation emails to all
the participants entered through the registration team form. It’s highly
recommended to connect the registration form with an event page created
e.g. on Facebook. Thanks to that, we will have direct contact with users, who
join the hackathon by clicking the facebook page of the event and register for
hackathonthrough a link to the implemented form. With facebook we can
connect the registration button to our form.
Connecting the participants through email estabilishes a channel for long-
term contact. Through email, the participants can be reached to collect
feedback, to engage in past-event operations and to inform them of future
events. This ensures an automated process, direct access to all people. But
there is also a risk of skipping messages (e.g. SPAM). As a second mode of
connection, a social media site such as a Facebook event can be benecial.
There are of course some pros and cons of this solution. We can also automate
the contact process and rely on verication of reading posts and messages.
The major drawback of a light or automated process is that a lack of a proper
registration form reduces the feeling of commitment form the participants’
side, which can result in more people signing up but not showing up.
29
Event page of BSA-Spectator Workshop created on Eventbrite
Registration set up with Eventbrite7
For the purpose of registration participants, when creating a team is not necessary
we can use the online platform which collects all the events, promotes it, and provides
easy to customize tools to create booking page. It’s good to use such a platform as
Eventbrite in case of info days, workshops and one-day short term events. Eventbrite
is an event-planning web application, which provides a tool to create an event page,
register attendees, track attendance, and send virtual tickets online by email. With
this application we have complete control over how event page looks. Eventbrite also
gives the ability to promote created event through social media, to send out invitations,
and to have event be ndable through most search engines. It also gives the possibility
to track and evaluate participants’ registration in real-time. Unfortunately, it’s not
recommended to use that platform in case of bigger events, such as hackathons. This
is because we can’t set up team registration in it. Also creating a sign-in form is not
customizable. So the user can’t give important information such as source company,
university, or even motivation. Also is not possible to ensure a user method for selecting
challenges with Eventbrite.
But it’s good to point, that with the usage of Eventbrite we can easily create a participants
list to sign by each of them during the event.
Registration limit
7 https://www.eventbrite.com/
30
The registration form should have set a limit of participants for info days,
one-day events etc., teams limit in the case of hackathons, members of team
restriction (it’s recommended to build teams which consist of at least two
members, but no more than 5 participants). If the week before the end of the
process the number of registered participants does not exceed 40% of the
assumed, it is worth taking steps to increase the reach of potential participants.
We should constantly monitor interest in the event. All these limits should be
adapted to the possibilities provided at the event, the number of seats, the
number of mentors per team. Also good advice based on our experience is to
set the participants limit 10% above the organization’s possibilities. This is
because some teams register, approve all the regulations, but nally don’t
appear.
Regulations
Based on the above subsections we can see that participants’ registrations
should be dierent for specic types of short term events. Hackathons have
the problem for registering participants gathered in teams, so every team
member should be able to approve event regulations. However, in the case
of registration for one-day events, info day etc. there isn’t such a problem.
Both examples should pay attention to the limit of participants, monitor their
interest.
It is a possibility to register the participation of the team during the event,
without prior registration. Such a case should be included in the regulations.
Allowing registration on the day of the event has its good and weak points.
People who for various reasons did not have access to the event, could not
nd it on the network, and information was not delivered to them, may decide
to participate at the last minute. We had such a case in the BSA Hackathon
in Cracow 26-27th May 2019. One team asked us about the possibility for
registration, this is because they came from a far away city. Their interest in
that event was so high, that we as an event organizer allowed for that. This
team was formed from two participants, who presented a very high level in the
satellite data eld. They didn’t win that competition, but their idea was really
good amongst the others. Based on that people who decided to take part in
short term events may present very high knowledge and interest in the event
topic. However, there is a con, which is that other teams had to adapt to the
rules and register in a timely manner. This case should be precisely specied
in the regulations and should be decided by event organizers only in special
cases.
31
Taking this all into consideration we have three types of registration:
team formed in advance and registration as a team ,
registration as individuals,
a team formed during the event.
The rst can be problematic when in case of regulation and grant approvals. This can
be resolved in two cases, in the rst one people register individually, accept all the
regulations and terms with online form and form teams on the event day, before it
begins. Second, as we described in the rst subsection of this chapter, team captain
register team, describe how they form it, he provides emails and each team member
name and surname. The captain team accepts event rules, but after registering the
team, each member receives an additional link through which is required to conrm
knowledge of the regulations and provide the necessary approvals, including regarding
personal data approvals for the purposes of organizing the event. Only in the case if all
people from the team accept event rules, they can take part in the short term event.
2.9. Logistics, location, and practicalities
Choosing the right event location is one of the most important organisational decisions.
Optimal conditions for organising a hackathon discussed in this chapter include
accessibility, nearby services and utilities both inside and around the venue.
If you are not holding an exclusively remote event, the location of the venue plays a
big role in event practicalities, especially from the participants’ perspective. The
bigger the event, the more things there are to consider - if the event is for a handful of
students, held in their own university during one day, there might be close to almost
zero preparations needed.
It is worth mentioning that the attractiveness of the location may greatly inuence
a team’s decision whether to apply for participation. This of course mostly concerns
teams from outside the city in which the event is organised, but in some cases it might
aect the decisions of local participants, too.
Necessities There are certain requirements that are practically mandatory to be met
when organizing any kind of a hacking event as they play a major role in the participants’
experience.
Enough power and sockets for every participant.
A reliable wireless internet connection.
Enough workspace. Ideally, every team should be able to have their own room or
some other kind of designated space where they can work without disrupting each
other.
A common space which can hold all the participants for occurrences like info
sessions or judging.
Space for participants to relax - a zone of silence, equipped with comfortable
armchairs or sofas.
32
A catering space or canteen, especially if there are no nearby shops or
restaurants.
Coee, energy drinks and/or snacks.
Accessibility Is the location right in the city center, or is it further away? It
is good to check routes and public transport connections to the location and
provide participants with suitable instructions, as well as sucient parking
space. If there are participants arriving from elsewhere, locations that are
easily accessible from the local bus or train station are preferable. Remote
locations might be more aordable, but short distances are easier on people
without cars, e.g. most students.
For camp-like events where participants are supposed to stay at the site for
the whole duration of the event the distances are not as crucial, and it might
be even preferable to have a camp in a more remote location. If the venue is
not accessible with public transit options, managing carpooling or renting a
minibus to transport participants to the venue aids those without a car.
Accommodation Participants coming from outside the locality or even from
other countries need places to reside in during the event. Does the location
have rooms that can be used as dormitories, or is there a budget to book hotel
or hostel rooms to accommodate the participants? On-site accommodation
in sleeping bags is a prevalent solution especially in many events aimed
at students, but other audiences might prefer more comfortable sleeping
conditions.
If the accommodation is organized at the venue, sleeping areas should be
separated from others to ensure peace and quiet for sleeping participants
regardless of those awake proceeding with their work.
Refreshments, snacks and food During the event, participants need to eat,
and for them, nourishment provided by the event organizers is the most
comfortable option. There is a generalization of pizza and energy drinks being
the food of choice at hackathons, and it is true in many cases, because it is
an easy solution, but especially in longer events, consider healthier and more
variable options. A simple way to provide basic nutrition and refreshment is
to constantly have water, coee and some snacks available and to gather the
participants before each mealtime to ask their preferences and then order
food for everyone at once. Remember to keep in mind food allergies and diets!
33
ActInSpace 2018 - BalticSatApps challenge, Cracow
The hackathon took place on 25-26.05.2018 in the modern building of the Krakow Tech-
nology Park in Cracow at 60 Podole Street. These were the regional preliminaries of the
international ActInSpace
Participants were provided with access to a modern, air-conditioned open-space room,
wireless network, meals, snacks, toilets and showers. Each participant could rest and relax
in designated places; take a break from work. Additionally, rooms for rest, small group
work and sleep are provided. The competition lasted 24 hours during which, under the
guidance of mentors, participants developed solutions related to the processing and use
of satellite data and space technologies. The disadvantage was the distance from the city
centre, bus stops and a denite decit of parking lots.
Before organising the next event, it should be discussed whether there is a possibility
and need to change the event location. The city center may encourage more participants.
The decision can be based on a survey that will be posted on the event website. The
survey can also be sent to former participants of the hackathon or students. In the case
of a decision to change the place of the event, it should be considered whether there is a
chance to organise it in the second location of the KTP (Czyżyny) or one of the University
buildings.
The above assumptions were fully implemented by the organisers, as the event took
place in one of the buildings of the Cracow University of Technology, located in the very
centre of Cracow. Compared to the rst event, the number of participants has almost
tripled, and one of the reasons for the increase in attendance can be seen in the change
of location of the hackathon.
34
Surroundings and nearby services Locations that have sucient shops and
services nearby are often the best choice for any event. Being able to shop for
their own foods and supplies at any time is usually preferred by participants,
even if the base meals are provided by the organizators. Find out in advance
what shops and services there are nearby, and provide directions for all
participants. Restaurants with takeout possibilities are a particularly sound
option to have nearby, especially for joint food orders of participants and
organizers alike.
Possible locations If any of the organizing partners or sponsors have facilities
that meet the requirements for holding the event, it’s practical to make use
of them as the venue. Companies’ oce and meeting spaces, universities’
lecture halls and classrooms might be great spaces for the event as they are,
or with some temporary adjustments. In other cases, it is best to check your
connections and ask around if others who have organized hackathons in the
area would have recommendations, and if they’d introduce you to their venue
providers.
Renting a venue could easily multiply the expenses of the event, and striking
a deal where the venue owner’s gains are immaterial would be preferable,
especially on a tight budget. Some companies might be happy to get a chance
to promote themselves as a compelling employer for the participants, or to
join as a sponsor.
In addition to private spaces, a hackathon could be held in a public space like
a library. If there are any local hackerspaces or similar community-oriented
actors, make sure to check them out, too.
Remote events An event can also be held partly or wholly remotely. Team
members can participate through video calls or group chats or similar remote
solutions. In a wholly remote or virtual event, there is no need for an actual
venue, as everyone can participate from the comfort of their own home.
35
2.10. Planning the event timetable
When the essentials are planned in advance, it’s easier to keep track of what should
happen and what shouldn’t. Both the participants and those running the event feel more
content when they know what to expect next, as opposed to making everything up on
the y. A well-planned schedule doesn’t need to track every minute, and it is actually
better to leave some room for maneuver in case something takes a longer or shorter
time than expected.
Hackathons generally follow the agenda of introduction of the event and challenges,
group or other arrangements, hacking, and evaluation of the solutions developed.
Additions and tailorings of the event are generally built around this premise.
Working shifts For the sta, mentors and volunteers the most important schedule
aspect is to know when they are working their shift, so alongside the participant
schedule it’s advised to have a separate sta schedule as well. For the sta, it’s good to
also have the contact information of everybody in charge during the shifts so it’s easy to
check who to contact at which time if something happens.
Tue 17 September Wed 18 September Fri 20 September
09:00-09:15 09:00-09:15
09:15-09:30 09:15-09:30
09:30-09:45 09:30-09:45
09:45-10:00 09:45-10:00
10:00-10:15 10:00-10:15
10:15-10:30 10:15-10:30
10:30-10:45 10:30-10:45
10:45-11:00 10:45-11:00
11:00-11:15 11:00-11:15
11:15-11:30 11:15-11:30
11:30-11:45 11:30-11:45
11:45-12:00 11:45-12:00
12:00-12:15 12:00-12:15
12:15-12:30 12:15-12:30
12:30-12:45 12:30-12:45
12:45-13:00 12:45-13:00
13:00-13:15 13:00-13:15
13:15-13:30 13:15-13:30
13:30-13:45 13:30-13:45
13:45-14:00 13:45-14:00
14:00-14:15 14:00-14:15
14:15-14:30 14:15-14:30
14:30-14:45 14:30-14:45
14:45-15:00 14:45-15:00
15:00-15:15 15:00-15:15
15:15-15:30 15:15-15:30
15:30-15:45 15:30-15:45
15:45-16:00 15:45-16:00
16:00-16:15 16:00-16:15
16:15-16:30 16:15-16:30
16:30-16:45 16:30-16:45
16:45-17:00 16:45-17:00
17:00-17:15 17:00-17:15
17:15-17:30 17:15-17:30
17:30-17:45 17:30-17:45
17:45-18:00 17:45-18:00
18:00-18:15 18:00-18:15
18:15-18:30 18:15-18:30
18:30-18:45 18:30-18:45
18:45-19:00 18:45-19:00
19:00-19:15 19:00-19:15
19:15-19:30 19:15-19:30
19:30-19:45 19:30-19:45
19:45-20:00 19:45-20:00
20:00-20:15 20:00-20:15
20:15-20:30 20:15-20:30
20:30-20:45 20:30-20:45
20:45-21:00 20:45-21:00
21:00-21:15 21:00-21:15
21:15-21:30 21:15-21:30
21:30-21:45 21:30-21:45
21:45-22:00 21:45-22:00
Tue 17 September Wed 18 September Fri 20 September
Advanced Training School on Remote Sensing "Applications of Remote Sensing in the Baltic Sea region"
Coffee break
Entertainment
Dinner
Short lectures
(Velle Toll, Krista Alikas,
Sven Lilla)
Integration of Geospatial
Data for Monitoring Land
Use and Building 3D
Models (Fuan Tsai)
Schedule
Lunch
Opening of the training session.
Copernicus - European Eyes on
Earth (Anu Reinart)
5 min presentations
Icebreaker
Coffee break
Dinner
Transfer from Võru Kubija to
Tartu
Sea ice searvices for the
Baltic Sea (Juha Karvonen)
Sea ice service infosystem in
Estonia
(Jekaterina Služenikina)
ESTHub training 2
(Brockmann)
Transfer to Võru Kubija
Lunch
Sun 15 September
Lunch
Excursion to South Estonia
and drone demo
Dinner at Suur Muna
Mon 16 September
Introduction to Remote
Sensing: Baltic Sea (Rivo
Uiboupin)
Remote Sensing Application
in Agriculture (Kaupo
Voormansik, Toomas Tõrra)
Dinner
Group exam
Sun 15 September
Mon 16 September
Coffee break
Preparations for excursion
Lunch
Thu 19 September
Walking to town Võru
Introduction to Remote
Sensing: Active Remote
Sensing (Jaan Praks)
Thu 19 September
ESTHub training 3
(Brockmann)
Coffee break
ESTHub training 4
(Brockmann)
Water quality - water
measurment demo at
Lake Kubija (Krista
Allikas)
Using Satellite Altimetry
to detect Sea Level
Changes (Kuo-Hsin
Tseng)
SAR interpretation (Jaan
Praks)
Remote Sensing of
Atmosphere (Johanna
Tamminen)
Coffee break
Satellite-based fire
monitoring (Ivan Csiszar)
Lunch
ESTHub training 1
(Brockmann)
Coffee break
Future missions
(Rene Laufer)
Workshops
General intoduction to
Remote Sensing (Piia Post)
Introduction to ESTHub
(Ants Vain)
Introduction to Sea Level
training (Fuan Tsai, Kuo-
Hsin Tseng)
Using Satellites and Gliders
to study partical dynamics in
Coastal Waters (François
Bourrin )
5 min presentations
Coffee break
Dinner
Color-coding allows for a quick overview of the event structure.
36
Pre and post events Pre-events and training sessions can be held at the
start of an event, or in advance. For local participants a pre-event held in
advance is usually no problem, but for those coming from far away it might be
inconvenient to make many trips due to one event, if the separate pre-event
is just a couple of hours of training. So for participants coming from far away,
make sure the pre-event feels worthwhile if it is held separately. For post-
events the same applies.
Starting times Not everyone is a morning person, and even on weekend
events it might be better to initially start no earlier than noon. This would also
accommodate people coming from out of town, so they aren’t forced to travel
by night or arrive a day early to be able to be on time. While the event is in
progress, participants might have dierent rhythms, and some will work well
into the night waking up equally late, so it might be good to extend breakfast
times and refrain from scheduling crucial activities really early in the morning
to ensure the late nighters may also participate.
Activities. In some events, the entire duration might be dedicated to
hacking, but especially during longer events it’s good if participants can put
their minds on something else every now and then. Creative breaks enable
new perspectives to emerge when returning to work. This can be done by
arranging common activities like gaming sessions or light workouts together,
or having independent activities available for everyone to engage whenever
they feel like taking a break. Board games, party games, and such have proved
ecient entertainment. Remember though that not everyone might feel like
participating and the activities should be voluntary.
Food and mealtimes Regardless of how you are planning to feed the
participants, if food is provided by the organisators or if everyone is supposed
to bring their own, it’s good to remind participants to take a break to eat by
scheduling common mealtimes. Everyone also gets a possibility to hang out
and socialize with others during these breaks.
The grand nale When the event is nearing its end, it is good to remind the
participants of the remaining time by announcing when there is one hour of
hacking time left. There might be a short break after the deadline, after which
the teams present their solutions. The presentations might have a time limit,
but it is again good to estimate some of them going overtime or to leave time
for some discussion. Leave also some room for celebration and laid-back
conclusion of the event after the judges’ decision.
37
Program example from Tartu SpaceApps Event, Tartu
Friday, 20th of October
At 5:00 pm we opened the check-in for participants, and at 6:00 pm we started the Welcome session:
All gathered in the main auditorium. We started with some introductory words, explaining the general
program, the available locations and important housekeeping notes for the weekend.
As part of the Welcome session we had two expert Earth Observation / Satellite Data presentations:
Starting with Dr. Anu Reinart, the Director of the Tartu Observatory, who discussed the value of freely
available satellite data and how applications of remote sensing can solve various challenges on Earth.
And followed by Aimo Kõva, the Vice President of International Sales at AS Datel, who demonstrated
what type of applied remote sensing applications are used to solve immediate planning issues in the
world’s cities.
We introduced the mentors, who would be around on the hackathon for at least about 2 hours per day
and give feedback about the work that teams have been doing. Then suggested topics were presented
in short pitches. Several topics were brought in by participants, and several were proposed by spon-
soring companies or from UT scientists. Teams had to be composed of people with dierent comple-
mentary skills and have at minimum 3 up to 5 (in exceptional cases maybe 6) members. Eventually,
from all pitched ideas, 8 teams could be formed successfully and we formally announced the start of
the hacking time!
On Friday and Saturday evenings the building (Vanemuise 46) had to be locked by 11:00pm and
participants had to leave and were encouraged to get some sleep. On the mornings of Saturday and
Sunday it was reopened at 8:00 am to the participants again.
Saturday, 21st of October
Day is completely dedicated to hacking.
During the course of the event, the raised funding from sponsors was used to arrange food and drinks.
Snacks, fruits and sandwiches were made available throughout the event, prepared by the volunteers.
Friday dinner was pizza delivery sponsored by Datel, and Saturday and Sunday complete catering was
sponsored by Tartu Science Park.
Sunday, 22st of October
Around noon we gave the teams a short upgrade on their pitching skills with a short presentation on
things to consider to make the nal presentation (the pitch).
4:00 pm (Final presentations and awards ceremony): All work had to stop, teams had to upload their
results to public repositories like GitHub and update their dedicated NASA Space Apps project websites.
Everybody gathered in the main auditorium again. The teams then presented their results in fasci-
nating captivating nal presentations. Each team had a presentation of 3 to maximally 5 minutes.
After the presentations the panel convened and graded all the teams by their presentation and results.
After the decisions were made the two winning teams were revealed and the prizes and certicates
presented to the teams and the event concluded.
38
2.11. Ensuring success with pre-event
preparations
Accessing and using some kinds of data can be complex, and hard to manage
for someone that has not used it before. This is also true for satellite data. It
might be useful to give some lessons before the actual event in how to access
the data and how the data can be used. This way participants are less slowed
down by guring it out in the beginning of the event.
Materials and other subject-specic information
Depending on the event topic, it is sometimes benecial to give out information
of the upcoming event so that the participants can have some idea of what is
coming up. The information given beforehand can vary from dening a vague
topic to giving out detailed information about the challenges.
If the challenges are very specic, or tied to a specic eld, providing this
information beforehand gives participants time to get to know the topic and
to familiarize themselves with the challenges a bit. This will save your time
presenting the challenges, and it also gives an increased chance to get better
solutions since the participants are able to do some background work before
the event.
Some ideas on how to distribute subject-specic information to the participants
include short visual presentations by the challenge owners to provide insights
in how the challenges might be approached, and short lectures by the subject
experts to share knowledge about data and methods and expand the vision
and scope of possibilities in the participants’ minds. These presentations
could also be pre-recorded and presented as videos on the website or at the
beginning of the event. Providing online links and access to information and
materials for self-study is also a good way to share knowledge.
Copernicus-specic details and training sessions
We already know from previously organized hackathons that accessing and
using Copernicus satellite data can be very dicult, especially for people
who are not familiar with satellite data. So, if the usage of Copernicus and
other satellite data is the central point of the upcoming hackathon, it would
denitely be benecial to have a training session before the actual event.
Copernicus pre-events can be arranged as an info session and/or data training.
39
Info sessions are short lecture-like sessions, where a eld expert or several experts
hold a speech about the state of the earth observation technology and data application
and how they are linked to the purpose of the event. It is important to ensure that the
participants have understood the types and potentials of the Earth Observation data, to
maximize its use and to be able to brainstorm innovative ideas by using it.
Data training is a more hands-on approach, and whereas info sessions could be attended
by a broader audience, data training sessions are usually restricted to registered
participants only, since it is more resource-intensive. EO data training is particularly
relevant for teams with no or little experience working with EO data. Here EO data access
of selected platforms and APIs is shown to the participants. Also EO data processing
demo is carried out, by introducing some free softwares (e.g. SNAP and QGIS) or by
providing basic processing codes (e.g. in Python, R, Google Earth Engine). Some more
specic training, on demand, can be provided after the events for the selected teams.
BalticSatApps
40
While planning these training sessions, it is good to start from sorting out
sources for existing know-how. People who have organized and managed
these kinds of training sessions before can possibly be found from the partner
organizations or universities, but Copernicus support oce can also be
contacted for possible training managers.
It is not always possible to have a training session manager physically present
at the location, but the sessions can also be organised via Skype or other
software.
One important thing is to recognize how much training is needed. Is a few
hours in the afternoon enough, or do you need to have a day-long training
session, or even one that lasts over a whole weekend?
A training session can be held at the beginning of an event, or some time
in advance. As mentioned before, the manager can share their knowledge
remotely, but it is also possible to organise a wholly remote session so that
also the event participants attend remotely, which brings room to maneuver
in planning. Remote sessions or even assignments given to participants in
advance give a chance for the participants to familiarize with open data usage
to better prepare for the upcoming event.
Practicalities information
The amount of information you have to give from the event itself is directly
proportional to type of the event. For example, for a one-day hackathon held
for local participants you only need to announce the purpose of the event,
the challenges if necessary, the location at which it is held and how to get
there. For an overnight or weekend event participants have to be informed
about accommodation, if there are meals provided, and possibly about nearby
grocery stores and other essentials.
Duration and location are the most important pieces of practical information
for the participants to know beforehand, in theory everything else could be
disclosed on-site when all participants have arrived. The dates and duration
should be available well in advance so that potential participants know if they
are able to attend in the rst place.
The location can be decided and revealed later in the organization process,
but it goes without saying that participants have to know where they should
be heading to before the start of the event. If there will be participants from
41
ActInSpace 2018 - BalticSatApps challenge, Cracow
“To make the events more accessible, the following actions can be taken: it is good to
provide the participants with short breaks during the hackathon itself. It can be in the
form of a lecture, or even a short music concert. It is important for them to have one
or two breaks longer than 30 minutes where they can relax, after which they can focus
again. For example at the Act in Space event the participants could listen to the possibil-
ities of satellite navigation use in integrated applications and options on how to develop
them.” - Critical comments after organization of the short-term event
out-of-town it’s important to have good directions on how to get to the event from the
airport, train station or bus station.
Making a leaet with the essentials on it, like the timetable and maps of the location is
often a good idea. It can be distributed to the participants via email before the event or
dealt out at the beginning.
A good example for an informative leaet to share to the participants of the event is the
leaet used in Hack for Sweden 2018, which can be downloaded at
https://bit.ly/3cTCbnL. (outside link)
42
Step 1
Create a core team for Hack Online vol. 1
Tasks for BSA Teams
BSA KPT Team - media, prepare participants for rst days, mentors’ group
BSA CUT Mentors Team and Company using Copernicus Data
prepare hackathon topics,
prepare and present workshop for participants,
present one topic about Copernicus data on the rst day of hackathon,
every day be available to help participants for minimum 2h - online, on the rest
of the day give support using #slack platform (on your free time),
on the last day form the jury consisting of mentors for the nal presentations.
BSA CUT Team - manage all tasks START/STOP
*All materials for lectures (on the rst day) and workshops must be uploaded
onto our web page and google cloud - google drive - links should be accessible
via #slack platform.
Communications for the Core Team
For this event we use #slack application (channels, text, voice, video and docu-
ment storage) for communication during the preparation stage.
Step 2
Dene groups of participants. A standard group of hackathon participants was
extended by the JUNIOR group (9-14 y.o)
The creation of the JUNIOR group increased the interest of not only children but
also their parents who took an active part in the entire event.
7-day online Hackathon: Satellite Data Challenges
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not possible to organize a
stationary event. This forced the organizers of the 7-day Hackathon to modify
the preparations preceding the event. This process can be described in 6 steps.
43
Step 3
Mentors are to prepare topics on using Copernicus data in 6 services areas: atmosfere,
marine, land, climate change, security, emergency
During Hack Online vol. 1 mentors should support, train, motivate, advice, guide
hackathon participants.
44
Step 4
Prepare the plan for Hack Online vol.1 - before
Pre-event harmon
Activity Details Due date
Event date 18-24.06 14.05.2020
Title, initial agenda and date
of the event 15.05.2020
Graphic materials and
promotional content 19.05.2020
Regulations and awards Regulations for All
UE people 19.05.2020
Registration system /
ticketing system name, surname,
email, team, GDPR 19.05.2020
Speakers / mentors Topics / dates 15-22.05.202
Lectures / workshops 15.05.2020
Promotional campaign (to
whom, where, how) • Universities
• Companies
• Mails database
Thematic websites
• Industry partners
• Facebook
Buy access do
groups
15.05.-
10.06.2020
Hackathon online tests 19.05.2020
10.06.2020
End of registration for the
event 18.06.2020
Mail to participants - info
about tools Mail, Facebook,
WebPage 28.05.2020
Mail to participants -
preparations Mail, Facebook,
WebPage 01.06.2020
Mail to participants - a
reminder Mail, Facebook,
WebPage 03.06.2020
10.06.2020
17.06.2020
45
Step 5
Choose online tools. At the Hack Online vol.1 we used the following online tools:
#slack - main soft for communication with participants,
ZOOM - soft for webinars and online meetings,
mail - additional information,
webpage, facebook - schedule about hack online and information for the press
and media
Based on the Hack Online surveys, it is advised to use one software to communicate
with participants for this type of event. Therefore, based on our experience, we propose
#slack and google drive.
Step 6
#slack conguration
It is best to create the following all access channels:
#hack-online-vol1-2020 - information and communication with participants,
#materials - all materials dedicated for the event.
A dedicated channel must be created for each team to communicate within the project
group as well as to communicate with the core team.
The schedule for the Hackathon can be found in the Appendix.
46
3. During the event
3.1. Participants and their roles
During the event you should have a clear idea who is responsible for
everything in the event. One person can’t be responsible for everything so
you should divide the responsibility as much as possible. Of course this is not
always possible if you don’t have enough people who are organising the event
or volunteers. Also, please refer to Section 2.5 wherein dierent stakeholder
groups are described.
When people have a clear idea of their responsibilities it is more ecient when
something happens and you need to react fast and usually something like this
will happen especially in events that last more then one day. Never forget
Murphy’s Law.
Mentors Mentors usually have two main tasks during the event- keeping an
eye on the attendees’ wellbeing, and helping the teams keep on track.
Sometimes, when people are really focused on something, they might forget to
eat, drink or rest, so it is good to be on the lookout for tired or hungry attendees
and remind them to take care of themselves. If the event lasts longer than one
day, it might be a good idea to have mandatory breaks so that once in a while
the attendees have to do something else than sit on a computer. Bringing up
the fact that people work better when not tired, dehydrated or hungry might
help motivate some of the more strictly goal-oriented attendees to take time
o.
Helping the teams keep on track can be done by doing rounds and checking
what each team is doing from time to time. If they are stuck or deviating from
the initial goals for the solutions, mentors can help to steer them back on the
right track. It’s a complete waste of time for everyone if the team or teams are
doing something that has no meaning for the competition.
Some participants might not be comfortable asking for help for various
reasons, and the mentors should remember to ask the teams if everything is
ok from time to time and to make it clear they are happy to oer assistance.
47
If the teams have been formed during the event, it is more than possible that the
members of each team don’t know each other from beforehand. If mentors are able to
support teambuilding and encourage people getting to know each other, it can really
enhance how the team works together.
Facilitators carry partially the same responsibilities as Mentors, but the emphasis with
this role is on facilitating the event ow rather than being able to help the teams with
expert knowledge or any solution related matters necessarily. A facilitator is often
a volunteer who is interested in the topic and likes to join the event by working in it.
This should also be taken into account when facilitating the facilitators entry (e.g. via
allowing enough free time). As main responsibilities, the facilitators should see to that
all other stakeholders follow what was initially planned; groups work on activities, but
hold breaks and come to joint sessions when needed, judges gather enough information
to facilitate decision making, mentors are available and teams are steered to contact
them. Generally, the facilitators make sure that a controlled creative chaos persists
throughout the event.
Judges A role of the judge in the event is to evaluate the solutions provided by
the participants. If the judges come from the organizers, they might have other
responsibilities during the event, but when the time comes to evaluate the solutions
there should be only one thing in their mind. To give fair and impartial evaluations of
the solutions. The roles of the judges and how to recruit them are described in more
detail in the Section 2.5.
ActInSpace 2018 - BalticSatApps challenge, Cracow
“The evaluators should come from several
disciplines. People who are familiar
with programming techniques, able to
detect reprehensible errors in the code,
people with knowledge of earth sciences,
able to determine the correctness of
selected environmental assessment
techniques. People with comprehensive
knowledge of the Copernicus platform
and representatives of business and
marketing who would be able to assess the
commercial or social potential of a given
solution. The following issues should be
assessed: Coherence and correctness of
the IT code. Suitability of the proposed
solution. The amount of data used from the
Copernicus platform. Business perspectives
and revenue generation potential of each
application. Marketing potential and the
number of potential recipients. Substantive
value of the project and its innovativeness.
Completeness and operation of a ready-
made idea. Possible future improvements.”
- Report
48
3.2. Evaluation criteria
Dependent on the function and aims of the event, evaluation may take part
in order to dierentiate competing solutions from one another. Herein, the
evaluation criteria is crucial. As discussed in previous parts, the evaluation
part should be taken into account as part of advertising, the criteria should be
made clear by event start at latest, during introduction the criteria should be
visited and exposed for comments and feedback.
The criteria should be formulated according to the objectives of the event.
There are several dierent methods for setting the criteria, but generally they
consist from viewpoints or characteristics which are derived from the goals
and allow gauging the solution for longevity, intuitiveness, and applicability.
While the organizer can set the goals, the criteria is often best constructed
together with neutral stakeholders, like judges and facilitators to get diering
viewpoints and the working context fully accounted for. Having partially
overlapping criteria is not necessarily a challenge, but special care should be
exercised to not bias the criteria towards one goal and also to not introduce
criteria that are mutually exclusive.
Finally when exercising the criteria, the evaluation is made against an output.
This output can be the solution itself, and the judges take their time to
acquaint themselves with it. However, if the event dictates that the output is
some sort of a presentation of the solution, then the evaluation should take
this mediation into consideration: some teams may require help with putting
together a presentation for an excellent solution or other teams might require
aid in delivering a pitch for their groundbreaking innovation. To ensure that
the best solution is picked, the criteria needs to be exercised against it and not
its proxy.
49
ActInSpace 2018 - BalticSatApps challenge, Cracow
The regional stage of the ActInSpace Hack-
athon was a part of Baltic Sat Apps project.
9 teams of 2-4 persons took part in the
elimination. Teams had the right to choose
one of the ActInSpace challenges, which
had been listed in information materials
provided by the main ActInSpace Hack-
athon organizer. All teams chose the Baltic
Sat Apps challenge and the conception of
the regional stage of the hackathon in KPT
was retained. Teams had to prepare apps
that could utilize satellite data, especially
data obtained from the Copernicus plat-
form. Innovativeness and possibility to use
in business was a signicant part in the -
nal mark of proposed apps.
The competition lasted 24 hours from the
announcement of the start. The partici-
pants did not leave the building, and their
struggle also lasted all night. The start was
at 16:00 on 25.05.2018, and the end of
the competition was 15:30 on 26.05.2018.
During the competition, mentors talk-
ed individually with the teams, answered
numerous questions about the Copernicus
platform, provided advice on the use of
services and possibilities of the platform.
Afterwards, the jury went to a meeting
room, specially prepared for this purpose.
The presentation was discussed, and com-
ments on the projects were exchanged. The
result of the meeting was a ranking list of
projects, according to which the winners
were selected.
The criteria to be followed by the jury
should include:
a) Use of Copernicus data
b) Evaluation of the business plan
c) Innovation
d) Possibility of project implementation
e) The level of advancement - assessment
whether the team presents only concepts,
or a working demo of the application The
team of evaluators should consist of peo-
ple with experience in business, especially
related to the implementation and man-
agement of IT projects/space technologies,
scientists, remote sensing specialists and
investors
50
4. After the event
Arguably the aftermath of the short-term event is even more important than
the event itself. As the event pursues a suitable method to systematically
combine correct stakeholders with one another in order to nd challenge
solutions or to innovate on particular topics, the post-event activities will
serve as validators of these combinations and as valuators of the event in
serving the outcomes to follow up activities. This pertains to having an
organization for the continued development of outcomes through an iterative
process. This chapter discusses three groups of follow-up activities: for the
solution, for the participants and for the event itself.
4.1. Solution follow-up
The group of activities for solution follow-up can be considered as those actions
that target the outcome of a particular group’s work in a particular event.
Arguably the solution follow-up should have the most attention: carrying
the combined eort of a group of committed participants and concretizising
an innovation into an exploitable, scalable, and further developable entity.
Incubation team feasibility with owner team support as well as property rights
are notable factors for following the solution with support.
Incubation feasibility and owner group enhancement
As we focus strongly on the usage of short-term events, we inherently discuss
a method where a new solution emerges from an often lightly established
group of people who work on a new topic that has just been introduced to
them. No explicit supports (like an established company) exist other than the
possible comradery and interest of the people involved. Hence, the solution is
a prime candidate to be one and should be linked to activities where it can be
emergent to an explicit supporting function.
Incubators are private and/or public organizations that pursue creation of new
established business. This support allows the solution to be transformed into
a supporting structure, a business, which enables longevity for the solutions
development in the way of associating exploitable resources to it.
When a solution emerges from a short-term event, its incubation feasibility
should be identied and explicitly associated to it. The authoring group then
51
may decide if they pursue this venue. If there are matters aecting the feasibility,
immediate support should be given to the solution that intends to increase it. From the
perspective of iterative development, the main candidates identied here are further
delegating the solution as an entry to a new, more advanced short-term event. This allows
the hosting group to also acknowledge possible new resources and/or stakeholders to aid
in advancing the solution. For solutions with high incubation feasibility, the incubator
should be instructed to approach the solution holders. If approaching is left for the team,
they can be unfamiliar with the processes and thus refrain from committing, risking the
solution from never progressing into a sustainable business.
ActInSpace 2018 - BalticSatApps challenge, Cracow
The hackathon resulted in six ideas for
apps that use Sentinel satellite data, rang-
ing from agriculture and forestry to path-
nding.
Vine crop monitoring The app could assess
the condition of vine crops and suggest
agricultural treatments resulting in better
harvests. In a further phase of this project,
authors of the solution plan to extend the
scope of the app for other kinds of crops.
Considering the powerful potential of com-
mercialization and possible benets, the
app was marked very high and won the re-
gional stage of the ActInSpace Hackathon.
Forest monitoring and forestry manage-
ment An app dedicated particularly for the
State Forests organization units in Poland.
The app could detect illegal forest-cleaning
works or wood stealing.
Disease and pest detection The third pro-
posed app would detect diseases and pest
infestations in croplands with high preci-
sion. The app could also detect deciency
or excess of nutritional substances used in
agriculture, and indicate a solution which
would have the minimum environmental
impact for each farmland participating in
this project.
Pathnding for hiking routes The target
group of this app are tourists, especially
hikers. The app would suggest the shortest
and most comfortable ways to the trip des-
tination. Moreover, the app could be used
by rescue services during a rescue opera-
tion to indicate the fastest and easiest way
for injured persons.
Solar energy forecasting Apart from in-
dicating potential locations of solar pow-
er plants, the app could forecast potential
power production at a given time. For this
purpose, the app would use data from a few
dozen years of observation on solar radia-
tion and cloudiness.
Finding locations for housing The app an-
alyzes a series of satellite images, search-
ing changes in land use and urban area in
a given place and indicates best-suited lo-
cations for construction based on dierent
user groups’ preferences.
More details of the solutions can be found
in the appendix.
52
SpaceUp Acceleration Program 2020, Turku
Turku Business region in association
with the University of Turku held an
Acceleration Program in the spring of
2020 called SpaceUp. SpaceUp was
an intensive program for leveraging
business ideas with space connection
into viable companies. SpaceUp oers
mentorship, training and networking
necessary to validate your business
idea.
All the winning teams of the We-
SeaChallenge had an invitation to the
spring 2020 SpaceUp Acceleration
Program. Registration for the pro-
gram started in the beginning of 2020
and the program was held from 3rd of
March to 27th of April.
Since not all the teams in the SpaceUp
program were from WeSeaChallenge
or other events held by BaltcSatApps
project partners the teams were in-
troduced to the possibilities that Earth
Observation has to oer. Also, the
BalticSatApps project and its partners
were introduced to the teams and ex-
plained that all the resources of the
project were in the team’s usage if
needed.
Each team was given the individu-
al mentors whose assignment was to
support the team during the program
and if needed give extra guidance on
the subjects needed by the team. In
the beginning of the program each
teams’ technical needs were discussed.
All the participating teams had either
a background on IT or were otherwise
familiar with EO so the need for tech-
nical support was very little.
Two teams from the WeSeaChallenge
enrolled in the program. A winner
team from the sustainable aquacul-
ture challenge and a team that was
formed by two participants of the
WeSeaChallenge. Both of these par-
ticipants participated as individual
teams in the sustainable aquaculture
challenge.
The winning team went through the
program which meant an iterative de-
velopment of the business idea and
53
the technological solutions that the team
had come up with in the competition. The
team was introduced to the idea of start-
ing a project with a possible client for their
solutions but unfortunately this partner-
ship didn’t take place. Due to the team
members’ busy schedule in their personal
life they decided not to continue with the
idea after the program.
The team oered their technical solution
to the other team from WeSeaChallenge to
use so this way the work the team had done
in the competition and in the SpaceUp pro-
gram didn’t go to waste. One of the ideas
in the short-term events held in the Bal-
ticSatApps project was to have a continuum
for the ideas and solutions presented in the
events. One way to do this is to have the
ideas given to other parties that are willing
to develop the ideas further if the teams
that had the original idea didn’t want to
continue with it.
The other team that was combined from
the two teams of the WeSeaChallenge
competition decided to take part of the
SpaceUp program with the idea that was
further in the development process and
forget the other idea for the time being.
This team also went through an iterative
development process with the business
idea and technological solution. For this
team it was clear that they would continue
with the idea after the program and were
very keen on the topics of the program.
The team had worked with the idea and
developed it further between WeSeaChal-
lenge and the SpaceUp program and were
hopeful that participating in this program
would help them nd possible customers
or partners that they could further develop
the idea. Luckily a local company contact-
ed Turku Business Region for help to nd
a partner that could support their business
plan by providing a solution for satellite
data analysis.
The two parties were introduced to each
other by the SpaceUp program and after the
rst meeting both parties made an propos-
al for the upcoming collaboration and when
the terms were agreed with both parties an
agreement was made in the late spring of
2020. They started to work in a common
project that would be tested in the eld in
the summer of 2020. After the agreement
the team is now putting up a company with
the help of the SpceUp program and the
experts in the BalticSatApps program.
54
Property rights (intellectual)
As said earlier in chapter 3, it is very important all the participants know who
owns the intellectual property rights to their ideas or solutions. This becomes
even more important if the idea of the event is that from the teams ideas or
solutions are taken forward to create business.
If the teams own the property rights to their solutions, which is usually the
case depending on the property rights laws in dierent countries, then they
have a right to do as they please with the solution. The question is that if a
team had a great solution but doesn’t have the means or time to continue with
the idea is it possible for some other team or group of people to do so.
4.2. Participant follow-up
It is important to follow up on the participants of the event, and not just the
winning team or teams. Even if people don’t win they might still be very
enthusiastic about the event’s topic. A good example of this is given in the
previous chapter about teams in the SpaceUp program.
One reason for the follow-up is that if you have events coming up with a similar
topic that you just held you have a base for participants in the next one. And if
your event was relatively small so that you had an opportunity to get to know
your participants a little bit more than just by name. This gives you a great
start to the next event because you already know some of your participants
and their skills so you might be able to guide their work more eciently.
With following up with the participants you can keep their interest in the topic
alive in the future. You might not have any more events coming up about the
topic but someone else might and they will need good participants for their
events. And even if the next event isn’t even about the same topic or eld at
all. People who are innovative and can come up with new ideas on the spot are
needed everywhere and in any eld that you can think of.
Also it is not a bad idea to have connections to people that were interested in
the topic so much that they were ready to participate in an event about it. There
might be a need for a good employee in the organization that you represent or
in the partner companies you organized the event with. A rst job even if it is
just a part time job could mean the world for a student or unemployed and why
not someone how’s thinks about changing the eld they work in.
55
4.3. Event follow-up
To gather useful information of the participants’ opinions and experiences after the
event, it is a good practice to give out a questionnaire covering all essential aspects of
the event. Aim to get honest opinions of what everyone thought went well or worse. The
more questions you have, the more information you can gather from the answers, but
participants might not be interested in lling out very long questionnaires.
The questions should also be relatively short. Yes or no questions, or numeral scales for
rating dierent features require the least eort from participants, and small text boxes
for short written answers leave room for voluntary verbal answers. You could also leave
an open word box at the end of the questionnaire, so that those willing to give more
feedback are able to elaborate.
One thing to be taken into consideration is that if the event has lasted over the weekend
or even longer, it might not be the best idea to give the questionnaire right after the
event ends. At the end of a longer event the participants might be tired and possibly
sleep deprived, so the answers might not be that thought out. On the other hand, you
shouldn’t wait too long to send out the questionnaire.
Feedback from the organizing parties and everyone who worked to bring the event to
life can be also collected through questionnaires, but actual debrieng sessions can be
more fruitful. A debrieng could be held right after the event and the observations could
later be compared to the results of the participant questionnaire.
Following is an example of a questionnaire prepared for to gathering feedback from
participants. This can be one of the main tools for organizational evaluation of the
entire event. Based on the results obtained, each subsequent event may be characterized
by better adaptation to participants and higher quality.
Iterative development process in BalticSatApps.
All the winning teams and teams that were interested to move forward with their idea
after short-term events where given the opportunity to take part in iterative develop-
ment process. Although some of the short-term events had the opportunity to summit
also innovative ideas and not only technical solutions to the challenges it came very clear
that because Earth Observation was either part of all the challenges or just one challenge
in the short-term events the solutions provided by the participants were technical and
some cases highly technical with well thought business side also. This fact reduced the
need for Iterative development process on the technical and business side in many cases
when the ideas from short-term events were moving forward for example to Accelerator
Programs.
56
BalticSatApps Hackathon 2019, Cracow
The questionnaire used in the hackathon is presented below. The survey was
preceded by an introduction thanking for participation.
Question 1: What was your decision to participate in
Hackathon? (required and multiple choice) distribution of answers
The possibility of making new friends. 6. 4% (10)
Willingness to learn new tools and technologies. 62 .3% (38)
Willingness to establish cooperation with the
environment focused around the subject. 14.8% (9)
The opportunity to win prizes. 1 4 . 8 % (9)
A search for inspiration. 29.5% (18)
The opportunity to face unique challenges. 47.5% (29)
Other (open answer). 8.2% (5)
Question 2: How did you nd out about the event?
(required and single choice)
Through Facebook. 6.4% (10)
Through the BSA project website. 62 .3% (38)
Through posters. 14.8% (9)
Other (open answer):
Academic teachers: 29.5% (18)
Friends: 47.5% (29)
Organizers: 8.2% (5)
Question 3: How do you rate the individual components of the event?
(required and assess each answer)
(1 = very bad, 2 = bad, 3 = average, 4 = good, 5 = very good):
answer
average
Registration process 4,5
Agenda of the event 4,1
Technical organization of the event 3,9
Introductory lectures on the event 4,1
Assistance from support sta 4,4
Overall assessment of the event 4,2
57
Question 4: How do you assess
the availability of satellite data?
(required) (from 1 to 5, where 1 = very
bad, 5 = very good)
Average result 3,9
Question 5: What data sources did you
use in designing and developing the
solution? (required, open question)
Copernicus Open Access Hub 48
Sentinel Hub 8
Mentors 4
ESA 3
EUMETSAT 3
BDOT 2
Geoportal 2
Index DataBase 2
NDVI 2
Not specied / Internet 10
Question 6: Has participation in the event
increased your interest in satellite data
processing?
(required) (from 1 to 5, where 1 = denitely no,
5 = denitely yes):
Average result 3,7
Question 7: Do you have any comments
or suggestions for the event?
(open question)
19 suggestions were made, related to:
time for work and presentation of
the solution
task topics
WiFi problem
event timeframe
Question 8: Age (required, open question)
Average result 23,3
Question 9: Year of studies (required, open question) distribution of answers
The rst year of study 3,3% (2)
The second year of study 11,5% (7)
Third year of study 1 4 . 8 % (25)
Fourth year of study 29.5% (10)
Fifth year of study 47.5% (11)
After studying / working 8.2% (6)
58
BSA 7-day online Hackathon: Satellite Data Challenges
As with previous events, a feedback survey was prepared. Some of the results
are as follows:
1.How would you rate the access to satellite data?
1 - bad access
5 - very good access
2. Has participation in the event increased your interest in the subject of sat-
ellite data processing?
1 - not at all
5 - very much
59
3. Do you have any comments or suggestions for the event?
Important excerpts from the comments:
“Later hours of events if the event is during work days.”
“It was a little too long for me. A week is a lot of time to get mentally tired and at
the end I lacked motivation.”
“I think that more ideas would arise if the participants were provided with a high-res-
olution satellite data sample for the event”
“Personally, I prefer 24-hour events on site, I hope that this event will take place
next year :)”
Conducting the survey allowed for the following conclusions:
Duration for hackathon should take max. 4 days
Hours, we assume that - our participations are busy (working/studying) and we
should start afternoon about 17:00 do 21:00
Online hackathon should have hybrid option. And should take two days.
One application for communications and presentations.
Agenda for BSA 7-day online Hackathon: Satellite Data Challenges
Course of the event:
Day 1
Welcome, lectures introducing the processing of satellite data from the Copernicus platform.
Lectures should last up to 30 minutes. Finally, the plan of the event should be presented.
Every day at the INFO ROOM (#slack channel) in which at least one person from the mentor group
is available.
This person helps to solve technical problems and/or directs participants to an appropriate mentoring
in substantive matters.
Day 2-6
Each project day is divided into 3 blocks:
INFO ROOM,
Workshops - our mentors show hackathon participants how to use Copernicus data,
Mentor hours - each team can have a meeting on the slack with a selected mentor.
Day 7
The course of the nal day:
time to sent the presentations,
presentations (5 minute presentations, 10 minute question time from mentors),
after the presentations - a meeting of mentors takes place to select the best project,
announcement of results,
thanks - online joint photo.
60
5. Appendices
5.1. References
Rosell, Bard & Kumar, Shiven & Shepherd, John. (2014). Unleashing innovation
through internal hackathons. 1-8. 10.1109/InnoTek.2014.6877369
Chounta & Manske (2017). “From Making to Learning”: introducing Dev
Camps as an educational paradigm for Re-inventing Project-based Learning
Malve-Ahlroth, Lankiniemi, Knuutila & Virta (2019). Innovation camp manual
Gama, Alencar, Calegario & Neves (2018). A Hackathon Methodology for
Undergraduate Course Projects
Trainer, Chaihirunkarn, Kalyanasundaram & (2014). Community Code
Engagements: Summer of Code &
Hackathons for Community Building in Scientic Software
61
62
5.2. Schedules
Previous page: Schedule for BSA 7-day Online Hackathon
Next page: Schedule for BSA Hackathon 26.-27.04.2019 in Cracow
5.3. Posters
Pages 54 & 55:
Poster for WeSeaChallenge Data training day, 30 October 2019 in Turku and
Helsinki
Poster for WeSeaChallenge competition, 2019
Pages 56 & 57:
Poster for ActInSpace 2018 - BalticSatApps challenge, Cracow, 25.05.2018
Poster for BSA-Spectator Workshop 09.12.2019 (Polish version)
Poster for BalticSatApps Hackathon, Cracow, 26-27.04.2019
5.4. Miscellaneous products
Page 62
T-shirts from BalticSatApps Hackathon, Cracow 26-27th April 2019
Pen design used during short term eventsMaterial bag BalticSatApps Hackathon,
Cracow 26-27 April 2019
Mug design BalticSatApps Hackathon, Cracow 26-27th April 2019
5.5. ID badges
Page 63
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
5.6. Webpages and social media
WeSeaChallenge https://balticsatapps.eu/weseachallenge
SpaceUp Acceleration Programme h t t p s : / / s p a c e u p a c c e l e r a t i o n .
turkubusinessregion.com
BalticSatApps Polish webpage https://www.balticsatapps.pl
71
Selected Facebook post about organized
Workshops, Hackathons and short
term events in Poland (https://www.
facebook.com/BalticSatAppsPoland/):
72
73
74
75
76
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.