April 27 Note

#FTILHackathon

It has begun!

We’ve actually been underway for a full day in most of Asia and Australia! We’re in the middle of the first day in India, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, and the Americas are still asleep!

As far as statistics go, we’re at over 1,400 participants from more than 160 organizations and 60 countries! More than 160 challenges have been posted to the world’s legal industry, and more than 40 projects have been proposed. That’s more than 50% growth in the past two days!

Some new features of the GLH website

Preferred Contact Information

Add your preferred contact method in your profile (navigate to your profile from the dropdown menu in the upper right of your screen). This will allow other participants, and especially potential project team members, to contact you. It is completely up to you to decide how you want to communicate with other participants – email, phone, Whatsapp, WeChat, etc.

Project Comments

We have enabled comments on each project that has been created for a challenge. The project creator is the moderator, fyi. You can use the comment stream as a way to begin community discussion of the project strategy, technology, team members, etc.

Social Sharing of Challenges

On the detail page for a challenge, immediately below the graphic for the challenge, you will find a sharing icon which will allow you to share the challenge and its description via Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. It is important to use this special link, which will make the challenge visible to the public without the need to log in to the web site.

Full Search

We have enabled full keyword search of organizations, participants, challenges, and projects. This will allow you to browse the rapidly growing number of challenges and projects for topics that interest you.

It’s time to start exploring the challenges and projects

The event is three weeks long, so you don’t need to rush to join a team. Take some time to view the challenges and projects. Use the comment section to ask questions of various projects. And more challenges and projects will be posted throughout the hackathon, so keep looking if you don’t find something that inspires you or fits your specific interest. And if you can’t find something, then you should probably create your own project!

The dynamic creation of project teams is part of the magic of hackathons. It can be stressful, and it can be exciting. You will have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. You may find yourself among a team where nobody knows anyone else – those are some of the best teams, historically. Embrace the opportunity to research challenges, explore projects, and find a team where your interests and skills are a good fit, in combination with other team members.

If for some reason you are not able to join your preferred team, seize the opportunity to learn something new by joining another project for a different challenge – perhaps in area of interest where you are not an expert but would like to learn more. Sometimes such a fresh perspective can be invaluable to a project team.

And finally, consider creating your own project, which will allow you to follow your specific passion and form your own team to turn that passion into reality. There are many challenges that don’t yet have associated projects. Lead the way – create a project, and other hackathon participants will follow!

Project Creators

Thank you for creating a project! Now that the hackathon has begun, it’s time to start forming your project team.

First, make sure to update your profile with your preferred contact method, as described above.

Unlike the annual Global Legal Hackathon which is conducted during one intense weekend, the FTIL-GLH Challenge is three weeks long, which should give you plenty of time to assemble the perfect team. If other participants have “followed” your project, start to engage them directly or via the comments section of the project page. If you know what you need in terms of skills, please be specific. Remember that we have participants from over 60 countries who speak dozens of languages, so be clear, direct, and respectful of other participants who are interested in joining your team. If you only plan a certain number of team members, indicate that in the comment section. If you are looking for specific skills, indicate that as well. And if you’re not quite sure, then that is okay, too! That’s what the comment section is for – group discussion.

You are not required to include project followers in your project team, and the fact that participants have followed your project does not mean that they have committed to join your project team.

The method of project communication and team communication is left to your discretion. Slack works very well for group chat, and Zoom is a great way to do video conferences for the team.

Thinking of creating a project?

Every project needs someone to create it. You might not feel prepared to lead it, or you might not have led an innovation project before. That’s okay! This is one of the best possible ways to learn, at minimal cost and risk. Creating a project starts the process of attracting other participants with common interests. You can use the comments sections to start a dialogue, and you may discover that a lot of people are interested in what you have proposed! Trust the dynamic team formation process and communicate openly. In many cases you will find other participants ready and able to assist in project team leadership. A major part of what can be learned from a hackathon is the extraordinary power and effectiveness of ad hoc teams of committed team members.

It’s easy. Find a challenge that inspires you. Create a project name and description. Watch the world’s legal innovators come to you, form a team, and build something amazing!

Joining a project?

Following a project does not mean that you automatically join that project team. Project team members are selected by the project creator. You should follow many projects that interest you, as a means to show your interest to project creators and start conversations – either directly or via the comments section of the projects.

When you join a project team, remember that everyone is volunteering their time, including the project creators. Communicate clearly and respectfully – remember that this is a remote event, so good communication is essential. Actively work to share the responsibilities. Help and support the project leader.

Some critical tips for initial remote project team launch

1)    Create a list of team members and contact information

2)    Select team communication tools, such as Slack and Zoom

3)    Create a shared drive where all team files can be located

4)    Set a daily communication schedule

Social Media

Share the challenges with the world and add the hashtag #FTILHackathon. We’re going to keep the platform open for new organizations, new participants, new challenges, and new projects throughout the duration of the event.

And finally

PLEASE make sure to update your profile, including preferred contact information (new feature), personal statements, and social media links.

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