ONLINE: Hack4SocialGood – Innovation Workshop for Inclusive Digitalisation

An event for those interested in innovation in the social sector. At the Hack4SocialGood individuals from the social and technical sectors will work together to solve Challenges given by Social Sector organizations to develop prototypes.

11.12.2020, 14.00 o'clock until 13.12.2020, 12.00 o'clock – Online

What’s it about?

Digitalisation creates new challenges and opportunities and it is important that social organisations keep up with the pace of change. Unfortunately, social service professionals are often unfamiliar with the possibilities while technical specialists are unaware of the social sector’s needs. The Hack4SocialGood will bridge that gap.

Due to Covid-19 we will host the Hack4SocialGood online. We have also organized a special event for Friday evening: Renato Kaiser live.

We look forward to an inspiring digital event together!

Mehrere Personen stehen um einen Laptop herum.

Special Guest @Hack4SocialGood

Renato Kaiser


  • Start date 11.12.2020, 14.00 o'clock
  • End date 13.12.2020, 12.00 o'clock
  • Place Online
  • Application deadline December 3rd, 2020
  • Costs Voluntary suggested donation of 20 CHF

Why should I participate?

 Social Innovators

  • Learn about diverse challenges in the social sector
  • Expand your professional and social network
  • Collaborate with diverse people to solve social sector problems
  • Learn about cutting edge technical innovation in the social sector
  • You might win a prize
  • Fun and conversation with different people!

Technical Innovators

  • Use your skills to make the world a better place

  • Expand your professional and social network
  • Learn about the social sector
  • Develop innovative concepts in an informal atmosphere with a diverse team
  • You might win a prize
  • Fun and interesting conversation with different people!

Discover our blog knoten & maschen

Bild Blogbeitrag
Read the interview about the Hack4SocialGood!

The Challenges

Based on structured text, a system will be created that helps social workers profile asylum seekers and summarizes their potential needs and possible needed services. In addition, the system will assess the urgency of the various potential interventions.

Relevant Skills

Text mining, programming interactive assessment interfaces, an understanding of the needs of asylum seekers, training, and the labour market.

Logo von Socialdesign
BFH Logo

The goal is to create an adapted learning environment with curated content for interpreters on the move. Interpreters often change their institutional and technical context, requiring support in terms of contextual knowledge and technical glossaries as they move between assignments.

Relevant Skills

Content curation, Customer-Journey, Learning Experience Platform (LXP), Next Generation Learning Environments ike Degreed or EdCast. An understanding of interpretation needs in the social sector.

Logo von Caritas

Sometimes social workers have to submit requests to a special committee to request unusual payments. An internal application should enable social workers to automatically send requests and manage outstanding tasks for the committee. After the committee decides on the individual requests, results should be saved in an electronic system and a paper letter drawing on personal data from the case management system should be generated.

Relevant Skills

Application development, online intra-net applications

Logo Soziale Dienste Wohlen curates daily news for social work professionals. Sometimes this information can be overwhelming because of the diversity and quantity of content. We would like to develop an app prototype where personalized filters can be set, allowing users to access the information that is relevant to them more quickly and accurately.

Relevant Skills

Database management, Programming, Expertise about social sector information needs.

For this challenge we will provide data from an ongoing SNSF project on inequality and poverty in Switzerland. The data includes information at the municipal level on income, wealth, inequality, and poverty. Participants should creatively think about and analyze potential structural factors underlying poverty and inequality.

Relevant Skills

Data management and analysis, data visualization, knowledge about poverty and inequality

The Cubo Guardian Angel is a small light cube that an individual can carry with them or place on a table or other surface. Different functions can be displayed by tilting the device. The Cubo “DIY-Kit” is aimed at inspiring creative applications for the elderly or other target groups. The kit includes the hardware (30mm x 30mm e-paper display, a position sensor, Wifi, Bluetooth and optionally: microphone and speaker) and cardboard foldable housing.


The cube should allow those who do not want to use a smartphone to access the digital world. What are possible uses? What content could be displayed? How could people be connected? Could there be new ways of interacting or communicating? Games? A solution for loneliness? And based on the user’s actions, could one collect useful information about challenges that the user might be facing?

Necessary Skills 

Social innovation, social work, user experience design. Optional:  Technical know-how, Arduino Programmierung, C, Pattern Recognition, UX-Prototyping.

Cubo Challenge

When social workers begin a new job, there is a lot to learn. Changing job location or focus means having to update one’s knowledge of local services that are suitable to the specific client group. Even after being in one’s job for some time, it can be hard to keep up to date with how services have evolved: Are there new providers? New programming? Which providers and services have been discontinued?  


What sorts of information do social workers need to be updated? How could the tech/IT sector support them with regularly updated information?

Necessary skills

Data bank management, Interface Design, Programming, Knowledge about social service provision and labor market integration.


How can you manage decentralized employees working across Switzerland and abroad, with diverse languages, work permits, and working models? For several years Caritas Cares has been managing workers employed in Eastern Europe who come to Switzerland as 24-hour caregivers.


This challenge is focused on developing an integrated platform that can engage individuals in the source countries through every step of employment including recruitment, application, job interviews, and jointly filling in employment documentation and contracts. The platform should be accessible in multiple languages and offer all the relevant information appropriate to the given applicant.

Necessary skills

Backgroud Knowledge: Legal conditions of employment as well as some knowledge of the 24-hour care market and human resources.
Technical Knowledge: Data bank management, user experience.


Caritas Schweiz

Logo von Caritas

Further Information

Friday, 11th of December


Start & Begrüssung


Inhaltlicher Auftakt
3 Referate à 15 Minuten
mit Fragerunden à 5 Minuten

15.15   Pause

Vergabe Digitalisierungspreis Sozialinfo


Praxispartner stellen die 8 Challenges vor (à 5')

16.30   Pause


  • Allgemeine Infos
  • Teambildung und Start der Projektarbeiten

***Auftritt Renato Kaiser***


Saturday, 12th of December


Hacking all day long - mit Coaching und Mini-Workshops

Sunday, 13th of December

9.00 Einreichen der Projektarbeit
11.00 Preisverleihung


Do I need a project idea or a team to participate?

No. At the beginning of the hackathon, project challenges are presented. You can work on the project idea that inspires you the most.

Is there an open WLAN network in the building?

Yes, there is the OpenWifi bfh-open. If you log in there, you can register via a login window with an SMS code.


Do I have to stay on site for 24 hours?

No. It is important that you discuss with your team when and where you will be working and that you contribute to the success of the chosen project.

Can I be reimbursed for travel and accommodation costs?

No. If you need a certificate of attendance for your employer, we will be happy to issue it for you.

Are there any rules?

The development of technological innovations is not an end in and of itself. The priority is to benefit people. All projects must ensure the dignity and integrity of people. Innovations should promote inclusive social change, taking into account the needs of the most disadvantaged. At Hack4SocialGood all people are welcome, regardless of gender, nationality, or condition. These basic values are binding standards for all work within the Hack4SocialGood.



  • Bern University of Applied Sciences, Department of Social Work: Oliver Hümblin and Debra Hevenstone
  • Bern University of Applied Sciences, Department of Engineering & Computer Science: Arno Schmidhauser
  • Bern University of Applied Sciences, Department of Economics and Business: Nada Endrissat and Beat Estermann
  • Caritas Switzerland
  • Bern University of the Arts: Fabienne Kilchör, Leader of CAS Data Visualization
  • Open Data: Oleg Lavrovsky, Open Knowledge Representative
  • University of Bern
  • (Gold Sponsor): Christine Mühlebach
  • Soziale Innovation Bern Accelerator SIBA: Urs Guggenbühl, Head of Start-Up at be-advanced AG and Start-up coach
  • Stiftung Bonjour

This event is supported by:

BFH_open knowledge
*Gold Sponsor*
Logo der Universität Bern
Logo Caritas Schweiz