Join us for the National Day of Civic Hacking in Chicago

On May 31st – June 3rd, Chicago will have three separate events in coordination with the National Day of Civic Hacking.

National Day of Civic Hacking is a nationwide effort being coordinated by Random Hacks of Kindness, Code for America and the White House to help organize civic minded developers, designers, writers, and data scientists help create innovative solutions to civic problems.

This day— the first of its kind in the nation— has been a long time in coming. Back in January, I wrote about what it takes to turn civic hacking into civic innovation. Here’s a snip:

The civic hacking community in Chicago has produced a variety of civic web applications based on open data provided by local government here in Chicago. These apps do things like show economic indicators in fun ways, let you know if your car was towed, and how & where to get a flu shot.

There are lots of reasons why civic hacking works here in Chicago— a rich baseline of data and technology, an engaged developer community, real discussions with government about policy and data, and the support of institutions are all important factors.

But what we’re missing most is sustained engagement with the residents of the city of Chicago. That’s how we can turn mere hacking into real innovation. The magic combination of government, developers, and community members is what we’re after.

So that’s our focus here in Chicago. While cities across the nation participate in the essential baseline tasks of civic hacking, we’ll be tackling this broader work, seeking to expand the movement we’ve built.

It’s time for all Chicagoans to “meet the movement”– to work hand-in-hand with hackers in order to make our communities better. We hope you’ll join us. Here’s a list of events:

ChicagoMigrahack at Cibola (May 31st – June 2nd)

The purpose of Chicago Migrahack is to foster the use of technology and open data to innovate information around immigration. In Spanish, the word “migra” refers to immigration.

We want to bring together our communities to create innovative platforms around one of the most debated topics today: Immigration

This event will kick off Friday, May 31st with a day of training around civic hacking and data. There will be $7,000 in cash prizes given away for the best projects.

Civic Hack Day for Youth at Adler Planetarium

Image courtesy of Greg Briggs – Creative Commons License

The Adler Planetarium is holding a youth-focussed Civic Hack Day on June 1/2 where Chicago youth, mentors, and highly skilled STEM professionals will work together in teams towards solutions to Chicago Issues. Youth team members will bring problems with them that they, or members of their communities, face on a daily basis, as well as a vision for a technological solution. This unique, youth-focused event is being run in collaboration with the Hive Chicago, Mikva Challenge, the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Free Spirit Media Working. Young people, their mentors and STEM professionals will shape and build working prototypes of their solutions over an awe-inspiring 28-hour period.

Hack for Chicago at 1871 (June 1st)

We’ll be having several different events at 1871 during the weekend. You can register for these events here.

App Design Workshop with the Knight Lab

Miranda Mulligan from the Knight Lab will give a workshop on designing apps that meet the needs of users.

National Civic Hacking 101 Workshop with Code for America

Christopher Whitaker will give a short primer on civic hacking to help orient people who are new to hackathons and civic innovation. This class will be broadcast nationwide in cooperation with other cities.

OpenStreetMap Edit-a-thon with Ian Dees

OpenStreetMap is an open source map that anyone can edit. Users can add data to the map including information about their favorite restaurants, cultural venues, and more. We’ll be adding more data to the map all weekend long. You can register for the event at the Chicago OpenStreetMap Meetup Page here.

General Hack Session with OpenCity Apps

We’ll also be having a general hack session if you’re already working on a civic app.

We’ll be sending more information about the event as time gets closer. Look forward to seeing you at one of the events!


Here’s some coverage of the event.

Chicagoan’s prep for massive civic hacakthon
WBEZ Datum blog

Chicago: City of Big Data and National Day of Civic Hacking
Code for America Blog