As part of our project in Serbia, we conducted local activities through the promotion of the project in order to increase visibility, held educations in the field of climate justice and presentation of the project in several high schools in the south of Serbia, as well as educations at faculties and in a center that works with vulnerable youth and migrants on south of Serbia. All these activities had a great impact on citizens and youth because a large number of them became interested in the project and gave us support for further work.
One of the most important events for young people in the field of climate change took place in Nis, on December 10, 2022 in Nis. This event had great significance for the youth in the region, and in Serbia in general. Young people had the opportunity to present themselves publicly and to present their ideas related to reducing the impact of climate change to experts in this field and government representatives. In addition to the fact that the voice of young people could be heard at the national level, there was an opportunity to adopt their idea and realize it through the StartUp idea. In addition, young people with the best ideas had the opportunity to present their skills and ideas at the EU level.
The topics covered at the hackathon in Serbia were Transport and Energy. Most of the reported ideas were on the topic of transport, which additionally speaks of the problem of pollution that exists in Serbia, which is caused by transport. Another topic is energy, due to the fact that Serbia does not have alternative sources of energy and these topics are interesting for our market and a good idea can have a great impact and perhaps be applied in some part of the economy.
At the very beginning of the hackathon, young people were introduced to the rules of the hackathon, mentors were introduced to them, while the presentation of the jury was left for the next day. All young people had formed teams of 5 members each, 7 teams participated in the competition. At the beginning, we had organized online training in these two areas, held by experts in this area:
– energy – Nenad Jovanović, PhD – energy consultant
– transport – Jovan Mišić, PhD – professor at the university.
After the education, coffee break and energizer, the young people started working on their ideas.
On the second day, at the beginning of the event, the jury was introduced and the young people greeted them and continued with their work. During the work, members of the jury cooperated with the young people and gave them additional guidelines for working on ideas. At the end of the day, the young people presented their ideas, and grades were given based on several criteria – idea, innovation, presentation, teamwork, possibility of implementation, financial possibilities for implementation and the like.
At the end of the day, the two best teams, the two best ideas at the national hackathon were announced. As a prize, these two teams received a trip to Vienna and participation in an international hackathon, in which the best teams from other partner countries will participate. All participants received certificates of thanks for participating in the hackathon, the winners received diplomas for the best ideas, and mentors and jury members received certificates of thanks for supporting our hackathon. In addition to the plaque, everyone received promotional material and gadgets with the logo of our project.
The national hackathon was covered publicly, a wider audience was informed via 2 local television stations. For those of us working on this project, this had a great impact because the visibility of the project was at a high level and a large number of young people came forward with the desire to participate in such projects and events. The fact that we have achieved great success means that there is a great interest of young people in holding such an event again and that such events for young people should be organized every year in Serbia, especially in the field of climate justice, because the awareness of young people about this topic in Serbia is at a low level, until now.