A virus is throwing a spanner in the works for businesses and organisations around the globe. At the same time, we are witnessing a surge in innovation, creativity and flexibility from all parts of society. Open Knowledge Belgium wants to take on the challenge and be part of the solution. How? With Open Summer of Code, we provide both private and public organisations with the opportunity to tap into the creativity of digital natives and build a prototype for digital projects in only 4 weeks time.
Changing times call for thinking out of the box
Open Summer of Code will be celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer. This unique summer program – where student teams devise and develop innovative digital solutions for societal and other challenges – has become an institution. Throughout the years, we have managed to make Open Summer of Code grow with more students, partners and impact.
As a result of the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, we’re ready to take on a new challenge: organising #osoc20 as a fully remote edition. Thanks to our experience and solid supporting network of coaches and partners, we are confident and excited to turn this fully remote aspect into an opportunity for more and faster digital transformation.
We are currently adapting our program in such a way that we make it work remotely. Here are a few changes that you can expect for this remote edition:
- Set-up of the infrastructure for effective remote collaboration
- Review of our code of conduct so it works remotely
- Documentation will take precedence over explanation
- Supporting coaches with tutorials & an online skill board
- Demo day: live-streaming all project presentations to a broad audience.
Does this imply that we’ll never meet each other face-to-face? Not necessarily! We want to keep the door open for small physical meetings. If governmental measures allow, we might organise smaller team gatherings, but remote work will be the norm. In case it’s difficult for students to work from home, we will provide them with a desk.
Open is the key to innovation
The pandemic has forced many of us to isolate but this hasn’t stopped the world from coming together to fight the corona virus. Traditional silos are being demolished while new ways of collaboration are popping up everywhere. From researchers to makers, from app developers to citizens with a sewing machine, … Magic happens when all noses point in the same direction. As an umbrella organisation for the open community in Belgium, we are proud that Open Knowledge, Open Data and Open Source have played a significant part in these developments. We strongly believe in the power of open as a motor for innovation.
All applications and solutions that are developed during Open Summer of Code are Open Source, and often based on Open Data. This way we can introduce the projects and partners to the (Belgian) open community while training a next generation of open advocates. Of course we ourselves try to practice what we preach by using as many open alternatives when organising Open Summer of Code. Even more so now that we are preparing for a fully remote edition.
Together with you, we want to develop the world of tomorrow
This year’s edition of Open Summer of Code provides a unique opportunity: it combines the societal need for more digital transformation and the strong motivation of talented students in a remote setting. 171 students have already submitted their application to be part of #osoc20. Today, we’re still looking for more partners who want to build a prototype for their digital project and give a team of students the chance to put their skills into practice.
In previous editions of Open Summer of Code, teams of students have built prototypes for many different kind of projects – to highlight a few:
- Prisma, a web application that helps caregivers connect with the residents of care homes through personal stories, known as Soulcenter (https://soulcenter.be) today.
- Bike for Brussels route planner (https://routeplanner.bike.brussels), a cycling route planner which allows cyclists to find bike-friendly routes in Brussels.
- Reliability Score (https://osoc.be/editions/2019/reliability-score), helping people catch their train by predicting delays.
In short, what can you as a project partner expect to get out of Open Summer of Code?
- The opportunity to turn your project idea into a prototype in only 1 month thanks to the digital creativity and dedication of a talented team of students and coaches.
- Joining a network of organisations, coaches and nearly graduated students who are eager to make a difference.
- Social impact, as thanks to you students get the chance to work on an impactful digital project.
- Becoming a digital pioneer and gain visibility before, during and after the program with your next digital project.
- Being a part of a larger innovative hub where synergies arise spontaneously.
Do you recognize yourself or your organization in the description above? Then osoc is what you’re looking for! You can become a partner by contacting us directly via firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, take a look at: summerofcode.be.