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  • Online session 6: Apps and websites without coding skills #nocode
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Date

10:30 - 12:00

Participants

  • Erwan Kezzar & Alexis Kovalenko, Founders Contournement and Social Good Accelerator EU members. Together with organiser Jeanne Bretecher both speakers will report back on the event "Associations, foundations: accelerate your digital transition, with no-code tools" that will take place on 14/5 (only in FR). Both are experts in tech for good and coding easy to use applications and software for social enterprises. They will share a panorama of these tools, through examples of associative projects that have implemented solutions for their members and / or their beneficiaries, quickly and at low cost, without having to call on developers.
  • Rosa Castizo, Frena la Curva is a citizen platform where volunteers, entrepreneurs, activists, social organizations, makers and laboratories for public and open innovation, cooperate to channel and organize social energy and civic resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, giving a response from civil society complementary to that of the government and essential public services. By other hand, she is also related with a designed platform to digitize the wisdom of elders, the generation we are about to lose. The platform is connected with main NGOs calling to elders to give them psychological support.

Objectives

As a result of our collection of best practices from Social Economy and civil society in the fight against the Corona virus, we decided to share some of them in thematic on-line sessions.

This will give the chance to analyse and understand the modus operandi and allow learning opportunities for other regions, cities, ecosystems and social enterprises. We have selected for this session the topic of "Apps and and websites without coding skills" in cooperation with Social Good Accelerator EU and Generation 2 Coop. This session might give some more insights in existing tools and practices provided by Social Tech providers and Digital Commons to promote social economy's digital presence and use of technologies without extensive coding knowledge and experience.

The meeting format is classic: 15-25 min presentation 10-15 min Q&A and discussion.

Registrations

Please request participation by sending an email to GROW-SOCIAL-ENTERPRISE@ec.europa.eu

You can register until the meeting starts. The participation link will be provided by email.

Points of discussion

Overview discussionTimeslot recording

Jeanne Bretecher, Erwan Kezzar & Alexis Kovalenko, Contournement and Social Good Accelerator EU

The power of no-code technologies

Traditionally, to make computers do what you want them to do, you have to be able to speak the language that machines understand: computer code. This session showed how also non-experts who have never learned code or computer programming can embark on achievements that would have required the work of several experienced engineers 10 years ago. This trough tools called “no-code technologies”.

These technologies allow to:

  • create an advanced website or basic to more complex mobile application without writing a single line of code;
  • design tailor-made digital tools for yourself, to better manage your work and to automate everyday tasks
  • create web or app plugins without coding such as chatbots, connected objects, video games, augmented reality, virtual reality, etc.

The advantages are:

  • Democratic control for those who want it, according to their needs (starting a business, creating an application, equipping an initiative or a team, automating a process, optimizing personal productivity, etc.);
  • Take advantage of these technologies with high added value also for social and solidarity purposes, at relatively low cost;
  • Pave the way to have a digital presence for small start-ups, projects, individuals or any organisation with little resources to invest in intensive coding services;
  • It allows organisations and projects to learn themselves without much prior IT skills and grow in their digital process and presence, it's empowering;
  • More control = less dependency = relocate more value creation? Control (cost and design) is at the level of the owner as it allows experimenting and modular structuring.

What are the limits?

  • Once very complex processes are required the step towards coding is necessary;
  • No-code doesn't mean the tools are open-source and for free; its rather a cheaper way as you build mainly yourself and the tools are modular and basic. Still, many are (partly) open source;
  • The more complex and the more features you expect the more guidance is needed;
  • It is not developed 'for the user' as a service. It rather offers the tools and helps the user in a “do it yourself” mode.

No-code doesn't mean 'anti-code'. For some it will be just an intermediate step towards real coding, for others it will perfectly satisfy their needs in terms of digital presence and (partly) online business activity.

As no-code works modular, it allows to grow in the process and walk a learning curve by adding more 'blocks' or features in a website or application such as maps, goods stocks and e-commerce, communication features, payment methods, ...

How to empower non-profits and Small business in no-code tech?

● Spread the word, and showcase successful examples (conferences, events, traditional media, etc.)

● Produce and provide free resources to learn

● Produce and provide specialised templates to make their projects easier

● Train them to facilitate and accelerate their up-skilling

● Help them choose the right experts if they externalize

Overview of basic no-code technologies available for business/organisational apps and website

  1. website builders : Weebly, Strikingly, Squarespace, Carrd.co and Webflow
  2. Tools to automate and improve productivity: Zapier, Integromat and airtable
  3. Web and mobile applications
    1. Web app builders:
      Bubble.io + Zeroqode
      Boundless
      Infinable
    2. Mobile app builders :
      Adalo
      Thunkable
      Draftbit

4. Others (EU based) nocode basic tools: Makerpad, minsar, celestory, helloasso (online payments for associations and clubs), assoconnect (managament tool)

Specific features to include in websites and apps

  1. Simple and efficient tools to make free and paid newsletters Substack, Mailchimp, MailerliteConvertKit
  2. Transform a database into a website, from a Google Sheet: Sheet2site or Airtable base Table2site
  3. E-commerce: shopify and gumroad. Also: Webflow, SquareSpace, Stripe Checkout, Glide
  4. API (Application Programming Interface) which is basically the core structure how no-code technology works. In building applications, an API simplifies programming by abstracting the underlying implementation and only exposing objects or actions the developer needs.

5. Scraping (extracting data from websites):

6. Chatbots, Create chatbots for Facebook or your own website without coding: Chatfuel, Landbot, Manychat.

7. Vocal assistants, Create Alexa skills or features for Google Assistant trough Voiceflow

Advanced no-code applications exist to integrate (for tools see slides):

  • 3D and Virtual Reality
  • Video Gaming
  • AI and Machine learning
  • Blockchain applications
  • IoT (Internet of Things)

Presentation





00:00:00 - 00:53:15

Rosa Castizo, Frena la Curva

Frena la Curva - Flatten the Curve 

Frena la Curva is a citizen platform where volunteers, entrepreneurs, activists, social organizations, makers and laboratories for public and open innovation, cooperate to channel and organize social energy and civic resilience in the face of the Covid19 pandemic, giving a response from civil society and addressing the challenges of Covid19. 

Frena la curva (with means “flatten the curve”) started in Spain the 14th of march 2020 with 10 people and has grown now into a community of over 1200 volunteers in +20 countries and 4 languages (slides 4 to 6). 

It has developed some tools that are worth to be mentioned as experience to promote and connect social economy initiatives with no-code technologies:

  • Open innovation labs: six different innovation labs have been made during these weeks to promote deeply projects which solve COVID19 challenges with a clear scope on social economy (slide 7 and from 14 to 16)
  • Open source maps: based on ushahidi technology that locates individual needs and offers of help. Only in Spain, more than 12.000 pins and +40 organizations have been located in the map (slides from 8 to 13)


Depending on the country, the maps have helped to different realities

  • In South America, they have been used specially to map the needs for “common pots” in vulnerable communities (Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina)
  • In Central America, all the countries are involved in the same map and the community, connecting information and needs especially around children, women and food. 
  • In México, the map has help to locate public services mapped in times of pandemic. Every State has its own community and use of the map.


To sum up, “frena la curva” has developed tools and initiatives that have been able to reach +800.000 people in two months inside the international community. You can learn more about the impact in Latin America in this report (in Spanish).

Overview of basic no-code technologies available for business/organisational apps and website

From the sile 18, you will find some tools & websites without coding skills (#nocode) that have help our projects and partner social economy organizations to work in these time of pandemic: 

  1. Time banks and complementary currencies: they are excellent tools to help the exchange of good and services without money. It is tremendous useful when companies do not have cashto pay or in time of financial crisis. We have been supporting communities that have used them for having access to food, or for starting their businesses. Clickoin.com is an easy app and platform that facilitates the creation of time banks and complementary currencies
  2. Ushahidi.com is an open source software for customazing interactive maps. It was started by a Kenyan group of women and in 10 years has more than 100 use cases.
  3. Kaleidos.net is a social company that develops open source software as taiga.io, which is an excellent organizer of the most complex tasks. Frena la curva has used it together with ushahidi map. 
  4. Citibeats.net is a social company that uses ethical AI to understand people’s needs based on text analysis. They have developed a Covid19 Observatory for Latin America which is helping extremely to anticipate problems and prevent with solutions.
  5. OS.City is a social company that helps social economy organizations to develop blockchain certificates. They will be useful during covid19 and post covid19 to create transparency in value chains and traceability of products. 
  6. StopCovid.io is using also blockchain for traceability, in this case for funds and impact indicators, which help medium and small companies to receive donations during covid19.

Regenerahub.com is helping social economy organizations to work with a regenerative development approach, taking into account the lessons learnt from Covid19 to prevent the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss. Regenera Hub is working specifically for social economy organizations in rural areas, with a tailored toolkit that shows how to regenerate soil and landscape, and connect you with international funds and communities.

Presentation

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ANFpQ8VE8PdmlQsMrAt-QOU34Fon4ahF/view

Links

https://frenalacurva.net/



00:53:15 - end