☰ Sidebar
Voting period for this idea type has passed

SXSW Interactive 2013

Empowering Communities with Civic Science and Data

In a data driven world, how do individuals contribute? Do you question where your data comes from and who owns it? This panel will explore the recent surge of grassroots movements empowering communities of citizens to understand more about their world through data, the scalability of these projects, and their future in our Internet-reliant society. From maker-centric Pachube/LogMeIn to environmental justice based Public Laboratory, open-source communities are popping up that are taking on broad social and environmental issues. Tools for collecting and interpreting data are cheaper and more ubiquitous than ever before. Undeniably, this movement is largely due to the ease and proliferation of communities on both local and international levels, thanks in part to the Internet. We’ll discuss how grassroots projects are reimagining the way communities engage with their environment through the use of open hardware and software tools for monitoring and data analysis.

Share this idea

Related Media

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. When building a community, is it the goal, technology, core values, or something else entirely that attracts active and consistent participation from a group of people?
  2. How do you balance the value of open sourcing a design with more standard commercial approaches of dissemination, and how has this helped or hindered engagement and growth of a community?
  3. Can “DIY” tools and systems compete with industrially manufactured sensors for accuracy and reliability?
  4. Modern Citizen Science has been around since before the Audubon Society’s Bird Counting in 1900. Has it proven effective? Does it work? Who’s actually gaining from this movement?
  5. What are the implications of community driven research and civic engagement on education? How is early education evolving to incorporate these new and more accessible toolsets?



Shannon Dosemagen, Director of Outreach and Partnerships, Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science

Meta Information:

  • Tags: environment
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Government and Civic Engagement
  • Level: Intermediate
Show me another idea

Add Comments

comments powered by Disqus

SXSW reserves the right to restrict access to or availability of comments related to PanelPicker proposals that it considers objectionable.