First National Day of Civic Hacking Announced | TechWell

First National Day of Civic Hacking Announced

The White House wants to stage the first national hackathon, so mark your calendars and be prepared to “Roll Up Your Sleeves, Get Involved, and Get Civic-Hacking." It’s an interesting idea—merging the notion of community volunteer initiatives, such as Hands On Atlanta Day, with a hackathon, where coders and others collaborate intensively on a project over a short timeframe. In this case, the lofty ideal is to “develop technology that will make the world a better place.”

The first National Day of Civic Hacking, announced by the White House Office of Science Technology and Policy, will take place over the weekend of June 1–2, 2013, along with Code for America's Brigade meetings. Billed as “a collaborate effort working together to improve government,” the event is modeled after the Innovation Endeavors’ Super Happy Block Party.

Federal agencies, such as NASA, the Census Bureau, and the Department of Labor, will be offering specific challenges for hackers to work during the event. The public is also invited to submit an idea for the challenge.

Who can participate?

  • Anyone. “We are looking for engineers, technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, students, entrepreneurs—anyone who has a passion for changing their community and is willing to contribute.”
  • Organizations. Support could range from contributing data, code, or a challenge to providing resources or funding to helping plan a local event.
  • City, state, and federal government agencies. Government entities are encouraged to contribute data, code or a challenge; help promote the event; and provide subject matter expertise.

The plan is for the National Day of Civic Hacking to take place in at least one city in all 50 states. Activities are already being planned in Augusta, GA; Alexandria, VA; Asheville, NC; Austin, TX; Bend, OR; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Grand Rapids, MI; Honolulu, HI; Lexington, KY; Miami, FL; Oakland, CA; Palo Alto, CA; Portland, ME; New York City, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Sacramento, CA; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Tucson, AZ. 

Your employees may find participating in the National Day of Civic Hacking a good team building exercise—and a welcome change from the annual bowling or rafting outing.

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March 8, 2013

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