Late in September the Open4Citizens project organised their first open data hackatonthon in Barcelona. This event also marked the launch of the local OpenDataLab, which will support citizen open data initiatives in the Catalan capital.
Over the course of three days, a diverse crowd gathered to explore the opportunities for creating social value that an effective use of open data can provide. A large number of attendees were enticed to take active part in the hackathon, forming groups across the hackathon themes of health, urban services and local culture. The Open4Citizens methodology structured their innovation process, streamlining their creative energy from the identification of the social challenge, to conceptualising the solution, to selecting the open data, and finally onwards to planning the implementation of their scenario. In this process, participants made use as well of the OpenDataLab online platform, which provided a set of tools and training materials for both novice and advanced users.
Six citizen projects were presented, addressing topics such as pollen allergy amelioration, the fostering of participatory urban governance, citizen reclamation of empty plots, safer urban cycling, reducing harm in substance abuse, and the teaching of civic values in schools. In the months to come, these citizen projects will benefit from the OpenDataLab post-hack support package. This package is composed of a set of activities of technical, user experience and financial sustainability mentoring. In this regard, the Open4Citizens vision is that these projects will find in the local OpenDataLab a supportive environment in which to bring their project to real life, thus bringing the value of open data to the citizens.
The OpenDataLab Barcelona is the first of a double cycle of hackathons for the Open4Citizens project. The first cycle will include four other hackathons in Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Karlstad and Milan.
Further information at: open4citizens.eu