Events in 83 cities will mark National Day of Civic Hacking by using publicly available data and entrepreneurial thinking to spur innovation
WASHINGTON — This weekend, more than 6,000 individuals representing businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and local citizens will team up to participate in 96 events throughout the United States as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. The effort’s goal is to make people’s lives better by working together to solve social challenges facing local communities.
A civic hacker is someone who uses a minimum amount of resources and a maximum amount of brainpower and ingenuity to solve a problem. Participating civic hackers will develop new solutions to old challenges – from an app that allows rural communities to track private water wells and prevent water supply contamination to developing platforms that
expand access to energy consumption data.
Intel Corporation, as a headlining sponsor of National Day of Civic Hacking, is paving the way for how individuals can benefit from increased access to data and information. On June 1 and 2, in cities across the country, civic hackers, government and businesses are stepping up to the challenge of how to use technology to improve the quality of life in their communities.
“The world has been madly digitizing everything from music and books to business transactions and scientific data,” said Dr. Genevieve Bell, Intel Labs Director, Interaction & Experience Research. “There is a gold mine of insight and wisdom that lies within all our digital information, but we have only begun to understand its potential when put in the hands of citizens. The National Day of Civic Hacking is critical to educating and engaging citizens in this emerging ‘data society’ so people can start to explore how to harness the power of digital information and share it with others to unleash new, unexpected and serendipitous opportunities.”
Many of the weekend’s challenges will incorporate an unprecedented amount of shared data from over 22 federal agencies including the White House Office of Digital Strategy, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, NASA, the Department of Labor, the Census Bureau, the National Science Foundation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Peace Corps, USAID and dozens of local and state governments across the country. Civic hackers will relay this data to the general public through tools, apps and platforms that aim to make people’s lives better.
“Imagine all the good that can be done by developers and other innovators with the growing troves of data the federal government has been making available – data on everything from hospital pricing to drinking water safety to natural disasters and much more,” said Todd Park, Assistant to President Obama and U.S. Chief Technology Officer. “Americans paid for these data resources and deserve easy access to them, and we applaud the many innovators who are leveraging this information to create apps and services that help address key challenges, improve lives, and grow the economy.”
The National Day of Civic Hacking is the largest convening of civic hackers to ever assemble and is part of a growing grassroots trend. Increasingly, savvy individuals are using their talents to tackle problems they encounter in their daily lives and see within their communities. Those responsible for driving this recent trend are not only tech professionals from Silicon Valley; they are also everyday citizens from communities across the United States who use a minimum amount of resources to create or enhance open source solutions.
As part of National Day of Civic Hacking, the foundation founded by pop icon will.i.am is hosting an event focused on engaging young people in civic hacking in Los Angeles. “Everything we can do to engage local communities, especially our young people, in technology and innovation helps us to create a stronger LA and a stronger America. I’m proud to support this amazing event in Boyle Heights, and I can’t wait to see the apps and ideas that come out of it,” said will.i.am.
National Day of Civic Hacking is being led by SecondMuse with organizing support from partners including: Code for America, Innovation Endeavors and Random Hacks of Kindness. The sponsors of this initiative include Intel, Edelman, CodeForGood, Rally Software, Elance and Socrata.
For more information about National Day of Civic Hacking’s partners and challenges, visitwww.hackforchange.org .