The project leader has lived in and visited countries with high youth unemployment. He was prompted to open Play4Work up again for this hackathon by a student who took a course on “Distributed Ledger Technologies for Technology Entrepreneurs” that he was assisting with, after it first won 2nd prize at a Startup Weekend competition in 2015, and was accelerated before burn-out and team breakup. His interest in coaching and assisting youth in exploring their own career journey was kindled when he hosted a 9-week internship program with Play4Work at a Social Innovations Laboratory in Lithuania, culminating in a "Startup Europe Comes to Universities" event at Rise Vilnius. In the current situation, he saw the potential of a DLT-based application that drew on already existing HR-oriented games, some of which can’t be patented or can be done differently, and in the combination saw a way to disrupt the current recruiting and onboarding system. The key idea for a balance to the ecosystem was the topic of the Precariat. The project leader attended a conference on precarity in 2016, and from that realised the significance of this rising “class” or “network” or "cohort" of people. The COVID-19 pandemic has expedited the need for additional solutions for the Precariat, which business-technology-community platforms aim to provide and help deliver. A veteran entrepreneur in the ecosystem in which the project leader works today, supported him, and gave him energy, enthusiasm, and direction to complete the navigation to project completion at the hackathon. An upcoming call on Monday after the hackathon to discuss solutions for youth unemployment attests to that trust.
What it does
The prototype completes a single User Story in the digital ecosystem of Play4Work: Youth getting an internship in a Company by visiting our platform & “playing a game” related to an internship offer, with an associated challenge. At the platform Youth browse the internship ads, find one they’re interested in, and sign-up to play a game associated with that internship offer. They thus register at Play4Work, getting a "wallet" and public key. Then they play the game and receive rewards of the digital platform's token: testBIS. They are also able to send testBIS to other wallets, if they copy the address in “Receive” and exchange that address with someone, who can Send & Receive testBIS also. The new User then receives an Internship Challenge invitation, books an appointment to receive the challenge, receives the challenge by email. Once they complete the Internship, and for each stage completed, they receive testBIS. Telegram and Facebook Messenger chatbots drive traffic to the platform.
How we built it
React, Node and Hedera SDKs. Miro whiteboard software for design, illustrating, conversation-mapping, and planning. Dialogflow. UserRoll. Email & Telegram for team organization and file sharing. Check out our Telegram chatbot: @play4workbot
Challenges we ran into
We faced many challenges in organising, keeping together, and communicating among the team. This is because we were in two almost 12-hour opposite time zones, and there were lengthy internet problems in one location. One challenge, from an implementation perspective, was that we initially faced token transfer not working. Eventually we found the cause of the issue and solution. We had used two Issuers from different apps for the same token, which caused token transfer to fail.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
All our team members were very dedicated to the project and worked in a highly collaborative way. We completed the app with one key end-to-end user story within a short period of time. This is what we are most proud of. We managed to stay focussed on completing the prototype, rather than losing our main aim for the demo, by getting distracted with broader concerns and issues.
What we learned
Miro whiteboard software is awesome! We learned the importance of the Event Storming approach to model business processes. Each member shared new models that became part of the design and planning, and we learned new open source software options to choose from. We learned that Dialogflow is a long road of commitment, rather than a quick fix solution, such as UserRoll. We learned that sometimes sprints reveal tempting longer races we could have gone on during the hackathon, that easily could have become detours or dead ends.
What's next for Play4Work
Our technical roadmap is included in the slide deck. In the short term, bug fixes and enabling features that weren’t functional in the way we had planned. Working towards chatbot improvement to widen the use of Dialogflow & continuing our “born global” strategy. Acceleration towards scaling after a “spark” event at Hedera 21.