Friday, June 5, 2015

Ideation Session For Non-Code-Focused Civic Hackers

At tomorrow's DHMN Civic Hackathon/Appleton 2015, we'll start registration at 8:30 AM, then have a kickoff talk by a city of Appleton rep at 9 AM. We'll also cover the logistics for the day and review the basics of what civic hacking is.

After we get the preliminaries taken care of at the start of the hackathon, we'll split into two groups. One group will be people who want to work on computer code-focused civic hacks, like Mike Putnam's AppletonAPI and "Is It Recycling Week?" app. The other group will be people who, at least for the start of the civic hackathon, want to talk about and work on non-code-focused civic hacks.

After we break into two groups, each group will go through an ideation session (sort of like brainstorming) to talk about civic hacks people want to work on and other civic hacks that people might want to consider working on today or in the future. After the ideation sessions, the hackathon participants who can stay and work on a civic hack will organize into teams, ideally formed around a leader who is very strongly interested in the civic hack and may continue to work on it after June 6.

Kevin Wirth from Skyline will lead the ideation session for the code-focused civic hackers.

I will facilitate the group discussion about non-coding civic hacking that’s been done in other cities. The non-code-focused group will then generate a list of Appleton or NE Wisconsin civic hacks people in the group can work on during or after the June 6th hackathon.

Just what we'll talk about in the non-code-focused ideation session will depend on who is in the group. If all the civic hackers who show up for the start of the hackathon want to work on code-focused civic hacks, my job will be very easy. I'll just sit in the back and listen during the code-focused ideation session, answering questions anyone might have for me. If one or more people want to talk about non-coding type civic hacks, we'll focus our non-coding ideation session on topics of interest to those in the group, using the list below as a guide, if needed.

  1. Using a 21st century tool kit to improve your city, county, region or country.
  2. Appleton or NE Wisconsin problems that civic hacking might address.
  3. Appleton or NE Wisconsin opportunities that civic hacking might seize.
  4. OpenStreetMap and other mapping parties.
  5. Little Free Libraries.
  6. Guerrilla civic hacks.
  7. Air or water monitoring.
  8. Other citizen science civic hacks.
  9. Civic hacks for better voting.
  10. [freespace]
  11. 3D printing civic hacks.
  12. Oakland / Appleton Answers.
  13. Smart cities.
  14. Grant writing for civic hack grant proposals.
  15. Work with city and coders to get more city open data online.
  16. Beta testers for NE Wisconsin civic hacks.
  17. Social media promotion of NE Wisconsin civic hacks.
  18. Help organize future civic hacking activities in Appleton and NE Wisconsin.
  19. Recruit other civic hackers and sponsors of civic hacking activities.
  20. What Are Some Non-coder Activities In Civic Hacking?
  21. Do Non-Programmers Participate In Civic Hacking?

In closing this last blog post before the civic hackathon on June 6, 2015, I'll do one last shout-out to anyone who's interested in the event but hasn't yet signed up.

If you want, you can still register on Eventbrite. But even if you don't register, come on down to the Esch Hurvis Room of the Warch Campus Center at Lawrence University, 711 E. Boldt Way, Appleton, WI, 54911, and see what's going on. You may decide to spend part of your Saturday as a civic hacker!


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