From climate change to equality, financial security to housing, the opinions of Europe’s young people are often underrepresented when it comes to decision-making. Yet they will be the most affected in the long-term.
Hack4Votes is the first Brussels-based hackathon to directly tackle the issue of youth representation in EU politics by focusing on voting at the EU elections. Historically, politicians have shaped their policies to appeal to those who vote. Increasingly, this is an ageing demographic. Our big challenge: how to encourage more young people to vote so that politicians prioritise the issues they care about the most instead of focusing on the demands of older voters.
Who can participate?
This is a multidisciplinary hackathon. Its main goal is to foster and promote new ideas that have the potential to make a real impact on engaging young people with the voting process around the 2024 European Elections.
Our doors are open to people of all backgrounds and levels of experience, including coders, programmers, developers, civil society groups, activists, artists, creative professionals, designers, AI specialists, tech professionals, entrepreneurs, politicians, and students.
Don’t know how to code? Not a problem! We can help you form a team with experienced people who will appreciate your input and skills.
The Hack4Votes challenges are designed to target different kinds of young voters – from the disengaged to the interested but forgetful – with different tasks.
Target – engaged voters.
Some young, engaged voters face practical and administrative barriers that eliminate them from voting, e.g. pre-registration several months in advance, complicated procedures for remote voting, etc.
How can early reminders and the necessary information be effectively delivered at the right time, in the right country, to the right people (i.e. engaged youth) to help them set themselves up to vote?
Target – somewhat engaged voters.
During the voting day/week, young people often forget or deprioritise voting, even when they intend to vote.
How can simple digital tools or communications campaigns help young people to prioritise voting on the day? Consider focusing on groups such as first-time voters, female voters, and others who are likely to vote and just need a little nudge.
Target – distant voters
Young people look carefully at what their peers do online and in the real world and often act similarly. Genuine influencers can also change the behaviour of their followers. This makes social media and real-world social networks a potent tool to engage less-motivated voters.
How might we "hack" influencer networks to show a wave of influencer support for voting in the run-up to the elections? How might young, engaged voters leverage their real-world social networks (and their online networks on social media) to bring their less-engaged friends to vote?
Target – disengaged voters
A large section of young people don't vote. Apathy, anger, anxiety and structural barriers all play a part in this.
How can youth apathy – or anger – be transformed into action at the ballot box with digital tools or campaigns? How can rural youth be engaged and supported?
The Hack4Votes programme guides participants through collaboration and idea generation before plunging into an intensive build-and-test session. It begins with a series of short briefings around the overarching goal of the event and the individual challenges, moving on to ideation and connecting participants around specific ideas to create multidisciplinary teams. There is space to develop ideas and test assumptions, engaging with experts from different fields before exploring technological solutions and deployment models. At the end, you will present your outcomes to an expert jury, who could support the further development of your idea beyond the hackathon.
JANUARY 27, 2024
BECENTRAL DIGITAL CAMPUS
Ideate and team up
Registration and breakfast
Welcome and opening briefing
Two rounds of challenge insights and ideation sessions
Lunch and idea gallery
Briefing and team formation
Hacking time and experts check-in
Dinner with refreshments
We will contact you to confirm your participation and share more information as the event approaches.