Hack 4 Environment - Tunisia “Post-event Summary”

Post-event Summary

Your full name is: ​ Sohayeb Belghith

Your name on the platform is: @Sohayeb

  1. About the event

Hack 4 Environment Tunisia was one of the 4 Hackathons organized simultaneously in the MENA region, which I have coordinated with @Nadia as part of the Edgeryders’ festival 2019.
Tunis event was coorganized with the student club JOKER ESEN (represented by @RaouaaZ on the platform, the local organizer) and a local development NGO Enda inter-arabe. It took place at the Higher School of Digital Economy on the 22-23-24 November 2019.

Event Link on the platform: https://www.facebook.com/events/484066512196705/

Event Link on Facebook: Hack 4 Environment Greater Tunis

  1. Event agenda
Main activities and topics Participants reflections /Questions Outcomes of the discussions
Day 1 * Presentation of different partners and supporters
  • First call with Nadia, to present Edgeryders, Open Village and OCI Lab

  • Icebreak exercice by Enda (energizer)

  • 1st workshop on SDGs and it transformational approach by Imen Hamza, Gender’s programs responsible at Enda inter-arabe

  • 2nd workshop on responsible food production, responsible consumption and fair trade in Tunisia by Hanen Missaoui (Fair Trade project manager)

  • The Product Design session by Suzanna (connection problems prevented us from attending the whole workshop, but we shared the video afterwards)

  • First workshop on ideas development and expected deliverables

  • Edgeryders Icebreaking activity.

  • Participants spent all night in venue to start working on their project ideas|* What are the SDGs ? How SDGs guide social entrepreneurs to tackle urgent issues

  • To tackle environmental issues, is creating a green startup is the only way? why can’t we create enterprises that are environmentally responsible, and not necessarily working directly and only on an environmental problem (is easier for revenue streams)

  • How an international community can support projects in a local context ?

  • What do we mean by product design? how can we put the client at the center of our innovation ? why is it important ?

  • They understood that to start a business or a social business, we have to think first of what need or what social issue must be addressed, not to come up with an idea and try to look for customers.

  • There is was a confusion between prototype and mvp for most of the participants.|* Learned more about SDGs, how it can guide them in addressing environmental issues and in designing a social enterprise

  • Got familiar with Edgeryders, its model and what value its community could bring them

  • Understood that environmental issues could be addressed from different perspectives|

|Day 2|

  • 8 hours coaching sessions, 1 to 1, with all teams on business modelling
  • Live chat on Storytelling and pitching for Sales by Matteo.
  • Participants started to work to finalize their Projects and required deliverables.
  • Pitching simulation and P2P Mentoring.
  • Participants spent all night in venue to develop their project ideas, a small prototype (app interface, small drones, platforms interface. etc.) and finalize the deliverables|* Participants have a lot of ideas, how to organize them ? how to realize them? Where to start?
  • Sometimes, their fear of bureaucracy, of regulations etc. (which in many cases is not justified), put ‘unnecessary’ limits to their imagination and their innovation
  • Something also got my attention, many participants, when tackling environmental issues, designed their projects in first in a way that the state is their main clients, which is not sustainable (too much bureaucracy for a startup if you do not know the right people). Through the coaching sessions, participants reworked their business models in a way to consider the state as an important stakeholder, but not the only or the main client.
  • Questions about how to make money when tackling environmental problems (how to develop a viable business model and how to validate it)|* Participants have a lot of creativity, energy and awareness of environmental problems, yet lack the a clear methodology how to turn their ideas into viable projects. this was addressed through the coaching sessions, where they learned the basics in this, however expressed further support in the future.
  • Participants were introduced to the best practices for pitching, and many liked the call of Matteo (the energy, being interactive, easy english etc.)
  • Being in a workshop with other participants from other countries was exciting. It helped them open their horizons, and gain sometimes more confidence when seeing their peers from other countries having similar ideas and tackling same environmental issues
  • Participants were introduced to the best practices for pitching, and many liked the call of Matteo (the energy, being interactive, easy english etc.)
  • In the pitching simulation, Each team presented their work in front of their peers. This helped to gain feedback and share experiences. But what was interesting in this session, that when each team has been trying to defend their project ideas, they were sensitizing each other about the importance of the environmental issues they were trying to solve, without being aware of this. For instance, one of the teams worked on smart sensors to be installed in fishers boats, so wherever they go, it will their initiative to gain valuable data on pollution in oceans and seas. Presenting figures to defend their idea, and discussing them with their peers helped to put a light on this issue, which has been ignored before.|
    |Day 3|
  • Participants kept finalizing their prototypes and their deliverables
  • Participants put with the support of local team their deliverables on the platform
  • Pitching session with Enda inter-arabe and Dar Blockchain to select winning teams (for prizes from local sponsors)|* Aside from questions around the deliverables, the Many questions were asked about the OCI Lab, how mentoring will take place, the language, the frequency, etc.|* In the pitching session, 11 teams have presented their ideas and their prototypes. Not all teams completed their work, designed well their projects or completed the prototypes. However, they expressed that this Hackathons made them reflecting and having a deeper understanding of environmental issues even that not necessary will be working on them in the future.
  • 5 teams were able to develop their ideas into a social business and prepare a prototype (The minimum required to advance to a next stage with the right support).|
  1. Projects list:


Green Hat



flying savior

Bike to the future.





fi thniyti

  1. General remarks

Which teams did/do you find especially interesting or credible and why?

Many teams had interesting ideas but they need to further do reasearch to refine them, better understand the issues and the market. They might need have trainings to acquire the necessary skills before start working on ventures/businesses. However the Hackathon was a good opportunity to gain better understanding of the environmental problems in their communities. Awareness issue was mentioned in almost all projects but many projects talked also about that, though people are aware, yet they are not sensitized to take action. Many have suggested to use “gaming” as a way to address this, including two projects (GTherapy and Leafs, though the teams’ members are aged 17 years old, but with great potential). Other team have presented another perspective for carpooling, by getting inspired from Uber. The idea is to create a system of trustworthiness that allows drivers who have available places, to pick up people in their ways, and the latter to trust back drivers. We have become aware also of how pollution in Tunisian seas is threatening the fishery ecosystem.

These 5 teams, with the right support, could turn their ideas into beautiful social businesses and green startups:

  1. Stats
  • Number of participants: 51
  • Gender balance: 27 M / 24 F


  1. English language was a barrier for a lot of participants. It was too difficult for them to follow when the speaker is speaking too fast.
  2. You have to make an effort to engage a large group in a workshop, and when it is online the effort must be doubled.
  3. People liked Matteo session because it was interactive and they got the chance to work with him. His english was easy to understand, and he showed great enthousiasme.
  4. Some suggested may be it has been better that each event has a seperate call with speakers, as we had many participants in Tunisia (though I think it is a little bit difficult to do and manage this)
  5. The participants had great issues when trying to work on and complete all deliverables in time, though they have spent 3 days straight in the same venue (almost all of them spent their nights in the venue)
  6. Concerning the 5 first teams, GThearapy, Leafs and Fi Thniyti would need assistance both in developing and refining their business model, have a better understanding may be on international market as they might have the potential to go internationally once their business model is validated and they have their MVP. They would need also technical assistance on the technology aspects of their projects. They will be supported by Enda and Dar BlockChain, and Edgerdyers could offer an international perspective for their projects. The remaining other two projects, they need to better understand their market and refine further their value proposition before tackling product development.




Thanks for sharing!

@Sohayeb have you come across any of these people yet? 191205 Open Source Hardware Workshop Hebron.pdf (6.3 MB)
They’ve done some things in Tunisia and are planning another project to be launched soon, including another Hackathon in early September I believe.
(more background for German speakers here: https://youtu.be/aGREh53OyLs?t=55)

From what I’ve heard from @matthias and @hugi this might be interesting. I am currently talking with them about potentially launching an online challenge in the run-up to the hackathon (probably on launchforth.io). I think we’d all have some Arabic speaking staff to help out with this if it is needed.


@zmorda is the person to talk to if you need er support for that

1 Like

Awesome - thank you!

@zmorda I’d love to connect at some point and see if there is mutual interest. The aim would be to prototype and build a medical device for people with special needs so they aren’t restricted in their mobility. Ideally the final design(s) would be then published as open source hardware.

I would imagine this might also tickle some old OpenCare.cc folks’ fancy. Guys in charge would fly in winners and host a hackathon with fairly heavy machinery on site.


also @elewa94 @Dorsaf @Sohayeb @costantino