Hackathon: Manifesto for Ethical Sourcing

Sustainable? Responsible? Accountable? 

UPDATE: For the full Cohort Report from the Hackathon, please see here.

What can we do to ensure Construction is open, transparent and fair?

Isn’t it time the industry took a stand on Ethical Sourcing?

As Facilitator, I am delighted to be supporting Loughborough University in a groundbreaking UK project: a Hackathon to create a Manifesto for Ethical Sourcing in Construction.

This APRES/AESOP project brings together a broad mix of representatives from leading commercial organisations and academic institutions, both from within Construction and beyond, selected for their expertise and insight.

The Manifesto carries the potential to make a profound and thought-provoking statement on behalf of Construction, challenging perceptions and energising the wider debate around business values and purpose. The Hackathon format itself should also prove dynamic and fun for participants.

What is a ‘Hackathon’ and how will it work?

The term ‘Hackathon’ comes from the world of computer software and is used to describe an intensive collaborative event where developers, programmers, designers and engineers come together in a spirit of co-creation to write and re-write software and applications, with their teamworking approach speeding and optimising development.

We are adopting this innovation model for Construction to co-create a sector-wide Manifesto for Ethical Sourcing:

Firstly, we are assembling a Construction Cohort of experts from industry and academia to contribute to the authoring of a provisional draft manifesto;

 Secondly, this initial draft will then be opened up to team of specialists from across the built environment and the wider business world, to act as ‘Critical Friends’, whose job it is to question, amend and augment the original, performing a re-write;

 Finally, the process culminates with both the original Cohort and the Critical Friends getting together to pool knowledge and ideas, plus debate points of difference, in a collaborative ‘Hackathon’, in which an agreed, definitive version is produced – the official Manifesto for Ethical Sourcing.

The Ethical Sourcing Hackathon will take place on Monday 15 June 2015, at the Royal Academy of Engineering, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DG. The event starts at 1pm, with lunch and will conclude by 5.30pm.


The Action Programme for Responsible Sourcing (APRES) is run by Loughborough University and headed there by Professor Jacqui Glass. For 2015, the programme is extending (with EPSRC funding) to develop AESOP: An Ethical and Social responsibility Portfolio for construction professionals. The APRES team at Loughborough can be contacted by email here.

AESOP will be producing an Ethical Design Guide for property and construction – on which Responsible Solutions Ltd are leading as authors and developers – as well as hosting the Hackathon to create a Manifesto for Ethical Sourcing, from which the outputs will be written up as a formal report.