Virtual Hackathon Case Studies

Kitchener-Waterloo Social Impact Hackathon

In the Waterloo region, youth aged 19 to 29 make up 15% of the population and with the concentration of post-secondary institutions like University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College; there are an estimated 65,000 post-secondary students in the Region. This makes the region’s population average age younger than comparable municipalities across Canada and one of the fastest-growing region in the country. With the region being composed of three municipalities it is vital to interrogate: How can we bolster social connectedness within and between our communities? What is the future of community connected work? To answer these questions we focused on the three areas of community care, the creative economy, and the tech bubble.


The Kitchener-Waterloo Social Impact Hackathon was a great success! 17 passionate youth worked together to create four exceptional initiatives to address the future of community connected work in Kitchener-Waterloo. See some of the ideas that were generated below.

Community Connection Board

The Community Connection Board is an online platform that would provide opportunities for students, residents, and organizations to connect in various ways. Individuals could use the board to ask for and receive mentorship, located volunteer opportunities, or make new friends. This initiative would foster relationships between members of the community, especially during COVID-19 when in-person opportunities are limited.


DTK_Rot is an initiative that would address the lack of a composting program in multi-unit dwellings. This would include a food waste collection program for residents of such buildings, offering both free drop-off and paid pick-up of waste. By offering a composting program to individuals who currently lack access to one, this initiative would reduce food waste and foster connections between residents and their local food systems.


Move4Movies is an initiative that would screen local and independent films in various places in Kitchener-Waterloo. These viewings would happen in parks, parking lots, and other public spaces and encourage residents to explore different parts of their community. These free events would support local filmmakers through donations and build community among those who attend.

KW Tech Deck

The KW Tech Deck is a resource for new graduates that are entering the tech industry. The online tool kit would provide important information on topics relevant to job seekers, such as average wages in various fields. In addition, this information would be complimented by other resources such as advice on resumes or cover letters, and information on labour rights. This toolkit would provide the necessary information to ensure that new graduates are not being taken advantage of as they enter the workforce.

Ottawa Gatineau: Healthy City

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has triggered a state of emergency around the world in a way that has never been seen before. COVID-19 has effectively decimated national and international economies, forced a re-evaluation of our socio-cultural standards and practices, all the while highlighting the inequalities and disparities within our communities.

While acclimatisation policies and strategies target the Canadian population as a whole, the nuances necessary to understand the reality of Canadian youth and to mitigate the impacts that are unique to this demographic have not yet been taken into account. How do youth find a job in this climate? How can we improve connectivity between young people during a pandemic to support mental health? Has the loss of physical connection had an influence on physical activity among young people and what are the ways to recover it post-pandemic? These are some of the questions that have already arisen in this moment of crisis.

The Youthful Cities Ottawa-Gatineau Hackathon was offered in partnership with RBC Future Launch and ImpactHub Ottawa.

The Question

How can we explore and improve the youth employment spectrum in Ottawa-Gatineau during and after the COVID-19 crisis?


The Dimensions

The question was explored through three dimensions: financial health, mental health and physical health.


Get it, Don’t Spread It

Get it, Don’t Spread It aims to create better health and safety practices to protect frontline workers, particularly youth, and fill gaps in the Government’s pandemic response while holding employers and customers accountable through campaigns and guidelines that are enforceable through a safety ecosystem.

OG Fruit Basket

OG Fruit Basket seeks to be a community space for professional, Queer youth in the Ottawa-Gatineau (OG) area to connect online with employers and an actively queer-friendly network.


#MentalHealthBack seeks to decolonize mental health services for youth in Ottawa-Gatineau through increasing funding for mental health access and compiling a searchable catalogue of mental health resources for Indigenous youth.

Capital Connection

Capital Connection is a free online platform to be used as a personal finance resource repository with resources relating to budgeting and understanding money and opportunities for youth to connect with a financial advisor that looks and/or thinks like them.

Saskatoon: The Future of Sustainable Work

The Saskatoon Hackathon is a virtual 5 day Hackathon to bring together 20 youth (between 18 and 29) in Saskatoon to create and launch innovative ideas for their community. Under the umbrella of the ‘Future of Sustainable work’ the event was centered on local food systems, climate action, and tech innovation. As we look towards recovering from this pandemic and recession, we can focus on the future of sustainable work in order to foster an equitable and inclusive recovery for our local community.

Partnership with RBC in recruitment drive, providing mentors to support delegate groups during the live Friday session, $3000 funding for launching projects post event.

Partnership with the University of Saskatchewan in outreach, content design, mentors, and coaching the groups after the event.


Saskatoon Solar Shelter

Heated bus shelters in downtown Saskatoon using solar energy.


A waste management app that tracks the amount of waste produced.


Using hydroponics to grow fresh produce for students, communities, and food banks.

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