PanEuropeanHackaton #EUvsVirus - 24-26 April, Corona/Covid-19

Maybe of interest?

The European Commission is organising a pan European Hackathon aiming at developing innovative solutions for coronavirus-related challenges.
The event will take place from the 24th to the 26th April 2020 and is open to the European community of innovators, start-ups, makers, retailers, public and private buyers, end users etc. #EUvsVirus hackathon is co-organised by the European Commission with a number of Member States.

Registration deadline is 19 April.

More details here


Thank you for sharing!

It looks like a rerun of the German initiative WirVsVirus. @matthias, you were a part of it: do you recommend it? And to whom? What kind of skills are needed to be productive?

The German one was big (~42,000 people) with a lot of mixed skills. Besides developers, there was always a demand for marketing, visuals, video skills, lawyers etc… It’s totally worth the experience … one was able to just run around there in Slack and collect people for ones team. For everyone looking for (longer term) teammates for an open source project anyway, this is the perfect meeting point. A friend called it “bazaar of skills”.

In retrospect, it has the typical shortcomings of a hackathon though: a flurry of activity during a weekend during which there are many great ideas but no time to finish anything. And afterwards the enthusiasms is much lower, people have their day job etc. and even less gets done. After #WirVsVirus, they set up a 6 months support program to help finish 130 projects of the total 2,000 that were started during the hackathon. If, of these, 60 make it to a finished products, it’s as good as it will get in terms of tangible results. But still, it’s fun, you can meet new people etc. .


Good enough. I’m in. Shall we make an Edgeryders team? Anyone interested? I am only a humble networks guy, and have no idea to propose. But, as a company, we do have the Distributed collaboration manual, and @nadia is leading the charge to turn that into a full-fledged resource accessible to all (manual + MOOC + help desk?).

@nadia? @owen? @hugi? If there are 3-4 of us, we can think of putting out a call…


sure yes I can be on a team + @owen and @hugi maybe it makes sense to work on the webkit stack?

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Sounds fun. It’s a good idea to go for it, but how does the webkit address coronavirus-related challenges?

Are we thinking about in the context of quickly being able to turn community sourced action into websites for communication?

Building a solution that appropriately connects fast fire exchanges on messaging apps where people are currently doing a lot of the coordination, to discourse platforms - where the information can be structured, interacted with, maybe even up and downvoted etc makes sense. And then back to that you can get a kind of flow between chatting and receiving structured,vetted info in your phone… I thought we could work on the solution @Owen is already experimenting with…

Especially if we can then get in machine learning based solutions for translation between languages.

I am thinking of this context:


I will take the lead of whoever wants to take the lead. My thinking was:

  • developer will be in high demand.
  • I do not have a cool tech idea, and even if I did I do not have the skills to help with it.
  • the Distributed collaboration manual is already there, open source, and relevant. And VERY high quality.
  • plus, it is easy to envision a role for non-developers:
    • for the MOOC: make videos, devise quizzes, exercises, etc.
    • for the manual itself: translate it! I already translated the intro into Italian for an early phase COVID initiative.
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Another option could be to work on something related to the PayCoupons initiative @matthias just launched. That also fits under the SciFi Economics hat.

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A challenge (in my eyes, and its not the main but a critical and underrepresented idea, but YMMV) is that people go into technical and corporate dependencies with classical business models like crazy (zoom, microsoft teams, this-or-that-tracking-app), many of them “bugged” with that classical business model or other dependencies (Live in Iran? Bad for you, cannot use zoom nor any other software from US-based companies, sorry have to be excluded from our companies meetings. Need privacy-enforcing operating system because of governmental, political or other oppression or simply want to use your hardware in the way you want or fancy a privacy-when-i-want-life? Bad for you - cannot use Microsoft team or some Android app - sorry have to be excluded from our company meetings, …).

In this cooperation (sometimes I think people accidentally put the second “o” :wink: ) - times, businesses and technologies that allow for or build on cooperation (e.g. based on Open Source) should be supported. And also there is all the other privacy, Freedom-of-Speech and Closed-Data nightmares and stuff that happens…


Would be honoured to. But that needs Matt himself to take the lead, and TBH I am not sure I have any skills that he could use. I am getting pretty good at cleaning offices, though! :rofl:


Would love to! I see a couple of potential ideas mostly revolving around the Discourse API and front end development (as that’s what I’m most familiar with). But happy to help with anyone else’s project too.

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Something interesting in this context would be the ability to easily turn a topic on the platform into a conversation channel on Telegram or WhatsApp.

It would carry the conversation over there, and relay back the responses here on Discourse.

Not sure how close it is to COVID-related, but it would be an interesting concept for us to explore, given how mobile-centric most online conversations are now.

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Here’s one more idea. Will just leave it here as I don’t have the time, but it’s a “low probability of high impact” intervention. So:

A grassroots study of plant-based prophylactics for COVID-19

Run a grassroots organized, placebo-controlled, double blinded study of the effects of various harmless and freely available substances for prophylaxis of COVID-19. Basically mail tablets around (half of which are placebos) and let people report contact numbers, symptoms, COVID-19 diagnosis, severity of disease etc. in a software.

Prophylaxis would not have to mean that people don’t get sick at all, but that serious cases (and permanent lung damage) should be prevented. Multiple molecules have been identified as potential prophylactics, and multiple of these are herbal-based, over-the-counter nutritional supplements that should be reasonably safe for a grassroots organized study like this. Among them are quercetin and luteolin. For more information:

It is not very likely but totally possible that one would find a seriously protective effect that (given wide use of the prophylactics) transforms the pandemic from “life-disrupting” to “just annoying”. It does not seem like any institution is interested in doing any large study on these substances, as they rather want to find therapeutics (and even there, study progress is way too slow so far). So if we want to know, we’d have to find out ourselves. Sounds like a good case for citizen science to me, as it’s not really dangerous, cheap, DIY-able and fills a gap left open by institutionalized science.

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“The European Commission, in close collaboration with the EU member states, will host a pan-European hackathon to connect civil society, innovators, partners and investors across Europe in order to develop innovative solutions for coronavirus-related challenges.”


The challenges include:

  • health & life
  • business continuity
  • remote working & education
  • social & political cohesion
  • digital finance
  • open category

All info here:

I registered us.

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Way to go!

I just run into another opportunity for submitting coding solution for community cooperation, remote education and similar connected to Covid emergence.
The prize is funded by the IBM (and the call asks for using IBM Cloud services), so, not really sure this can be Edgeryders’ cup of tea - or ethically appropriate… However, here is the call: IBM 2020 Coding Challenge: COVID-19 Call for Code | HeroX

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thanks for sharing! I signed us up to the Paneuropean Hack. Here is the link in case you or anyone else would like to join This typeform has moved