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Rural participation piloted through social hackathon "Vunki Mano" in Voru

On September 23-24 held the sixth social hackathon "Vunki Mano". This year, almost a hundred experts, community members, officials and several mentors took part in the creative initiatives, who supported the teams in the development of the idea.

Vunki Mano is a recognised event, in which 55 ideas, 389 participants have taken part in the previous five years, and the creative starts initiative has been implemented in several other Estonian counties following Võru County's example.

"Võru county was the first in Estonia to solve social problems through creative initiatives in cooperation with communities, municipalities and entrepreneurs, and thus give a boost to the development of the county", said Tiit Toots, board member of the Development Centre of Võru County.

As of today, a total of 64 ideas have been developed in teams at the Vunki Mano social hackathon so far.

Over the last 6 hackathon events, the general profile of the raised topics has shifted from small, isolated projects to addressing systematic, change-oriented problems. This time, many topics revolved around relationships between different actors and the identified need to change the qualities of relationships and power. An exemplar of this is how to develop the child-friendly city of Võru - how to move on from one event (Võru children festival) into a systemic approach where children’s needs for a safe physical and psychosocial environment are constantly noticed and prioritised by all actors.

The winning team "Competitive education for every student" started to create a local open education system that binds together different schools, youth centres and community assets, the goal of which is to provide students with education at home, which would give them the opportunity to move in the direction they choose in the future. It is about designing systems that fit local needs and opportunities and exceed the boundaries of institutions.

Part of the winning team: Margus Timmo, Urmo Uiboleht, Raul Kudre, Helena Elgindym, Liina Palu, Karin Viljus, Liis Samuel

Another idea which stood out was "Rõuge Akuraator" from the small rural parish Rõuge - circa 5300 inhabitants in a sparsely populated large territory. The idea was inspired by the situation where municipal officials often receive appeals that are not related to their duties. As a solution, a systematic approach was proposed so that community information and feedback reaches the right channels and the right people. As a result of the process, the work of officials becomes more efficient and problems can be properly taken into account in the service design.

At the end of the creative process, teams presented solutions developed from ideas, and the jury recognised the best teams and their work. The value of the distributed prize fund was more than 5,000 euros.

Awards went to:

A competitive education for every student

The jury assessed that the team had a solid schedule and a precise plan, and the creative start-up team is eagerly awaiting the implementation of the idea.

Prize: Study trip worth 2000e for the team to learn about best practices (EUARENAS project).

Cooperation group of support networks

Strong presentation and a strong problem-based solution.

Prize: 1000e worth of mentoring support and consultations to implement the idea (Võrumaa Arenduskeskus).

The child-friendly city of Võru

The team works to create a livable living environment and ensures that it does not age too quickly.

Award: Teamwork seminar: "Practical solutions for social impact planning and communication related to social innovation in shrinking regions" (KINESIS project).

Rouge Accurator

This solution contains a strong technological component: data is taken and people's lives are made better with it. The idea perfectly corresponded to the basic values ​​of the European Union.


- Team participation in Impact Day 2022, the largest sustainable business festival in the Baltics (EUARENAS project and Impact Day 2022). - EUROPREMIA worth 500e (Europe Direct Võru).

Backwards Antsla

The idea had a humorous approach, and when presenting the award, it was stated that the jury believes that a joke can save the world!

Prize: 1000e worth of mentoring support and consultations to implement the idea (Võrumaa Arenduskeskus).

The jury included: Aivar Nigol (Development Centre of Võru County), Erkki Kubber (Network of Social Entreprises), Triin Kübar (KINESIS, Tallinn University), Katriine Mõttus (Rõuge Noorte council), Kertu Vuks (representative of mentors), Astrid Org (Europe Direct Võru), Tiit Toots (Development Centre of Võru County).

What happens next with the awarded ideas?

In each team, people from different fields and sectors contributed, which is a good prerequisite for idea realisation. "The world around us is full of problems that cannot and should not be placed on the shoulders of only one party, we all have to contribute to solving it", said Mai Timmi, supervisor of the mentors.

The ideas developed at Vunki Mano have so far received a lot of positive responses and feedback on social media. Liina Kersna, a member of the winning idea team, expressed her hope that the regional educational innovation idea developed by her team was given a good start position, and also added a list of specific activities that can be started today in her social media.

You can learn more about each idea by listening to the presentations of ideas and on Vunki Mano's website.

Photo credit: Ula Malińska-Mark


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