SXSW Interactive 2013

Hackathon for Civic Participation - PDF: Applied

Civic engagement is greatly expanded when government, non-profits, corporations and the tech sector collaborate. In this session, we review our “PDF: Applied” hackathon (NYC 2012), which brought innovative thinkers together with real-world practitioners. We will discuss learnings, and collectively engage with the audience to discuss next steps to build on the momentum from this and similar events.

Some key themes:

- Government and non-profits need to learn from tech innovators
- We must capture the energy and excitement from hackathons and build a sustained movement so they're not isolated "one-off" events
- We need to build a comfort level within organizations to release data, and demonstrate the advantages of doing so
- Corporate participation in civic events can yield far greater results PR and marketing benefits than paid media

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  1. What organizations are focused on the potential and what are they doing to use tech to advance civic engagement? How can we build on the success of efforts to date?
  2. How can the SXSW community join in to build collaboration among government, non-profits, corporations and the tech sector?
  3. What is an appropriate model for expanding civic hackathons beyond one-off events to build sustained interest and results in cities across the US (and beyond)?
  4. What are some of the roadblocks within government, non-profits and corporations, and how can these best be addressed? What are some challenges to achieving collaboration among various sectors and in different cities?
  5. What are some of the more promising areas of focus? Healthcare? Transportation? Housing? Election participation? Finance / banking? Good government?



Richard Robbins, Founder / CEO, Upper West Strategies

Meta Information:

  • Tags: innovation
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Government and Civic Engagement
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate
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