As part of the celebration of the Days of Europe in Ukraine, the Zhytomyr Oblast Universal Scientific Library hosted a Hackathon (contest of ideas) on May 16, 2015; it was entitled “My European City”. Participants in the Hackathon prepared and presented four interesting projects, on which judges voted.
Modern Format organized the event in cooperation with The Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine. Twenty-six active Zhytomyr residents participated; they brainstormed and identified problems the city faces including sport, aesthetic value for tourism, energy efficiency, and city dynamic.
Zhanna Solovyova, event moderator and Chairperson of Modern Format, opined that the “Hackathon is a youth platform for the creation of projects that will help Zhytomyr become open-minded, competitive, attractive to investors, and even more European. The aim of the hackathon is to enable young people to identify the actual problems of Zhytomyr and to propose changes that are realistic for implementation.”
The results of the group work were the following projects:
1. “Zhytomyr, City of Heroes – Zhytomyr Presses for a Record” – a sports project aimed at setting a record in Zhytomyr for a mass bike race;
2. “Warming Up Your Home”- an information educational campaign aimed at raising the awareness of the people of Zhytomyr around energy efficiency issues;
3.”Zhytomyr Tourist” – a project full of interesting events, cyclists, and excursions to historical monuments and places of interest in Zhytomyr, which aims to make Zhytomyr an attractive tourist destination;
4. “LitFest” – an annual festival at city hall aimed at uniting people of different age groups and promoting the formation of a socially active community.
The winning project for the contest was ‘Zhytomyr City of Heroes – Zhytomyr For the Record’, and they will receive information and consultation from the EU Delegation and local authorities. All participants were enthused with the idea that they decided to hold the event on June 28, and preparations are already underway. The group also decided to provide support for a second-place project, ‘Warming Up Your Home’, an informational and educational project that will receive additional and sustained support from authorities.
The day was full of speeches from a variety of interesting speakers: Lidat Davydov, First Secretary, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia to Ukraine, was among those who addressed the participants.
Vitaliy Osmolovsky hosted the guest panel; he is a Zhytomyr resident and missionary student currently studying in Nairobi, Kenya. Osmolovsky shared his experience with international organizations and implementing projects for vulnerable populations with participants.
Yuriy Zhukovsky, a public activist and recently the deputy director of the economic and financial part of the ZhDYSSH, spoke about the restoration of the Spartak Stadium and the attraction of resources.
Upon completion of the event, all participants received certificates.
Addendum: The project “Zhytomyr Pressed for a Record” was implemented by participants the following month, in June 2015.
Details in local news media: