On the 16-18 of September, the Open4Citizens project organised their first open data hackathon in Barcelona. This event also marked the launch of the local OpenDataLab, which will support citizen op data initiatives in the Catalan capital. The hackaton was done in Fabra&Coats, an old building reconverted into a city council equipment.
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 group formation was made in an open session where the attendees can choose wich topic they were interested in and wich backgraound had every of them, so the groups were ruled by the axis of multidisciplinarity.
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.
Also, the hackaton set up three separated spaces, one was the “ideation room”, where the groups had several displays with the available datasets and the inspiration cards. The other one was the conference spaces, were the groups can do speeches and test the final expositions. The last space was the creation area, where all the methodology process was displayed along the walls and the groups can create and explore their projects. The mentors of the hackaton scorted the groups in all the process.
The ideation room
The process of the topics were developed via co-creation methodologies, encouraging the groups to explore all the potentials of the data and the potentials of improving urban problems, that were detected in a previous process of ethnographies.
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 following months, these citizen projects were offered the OpenDataLab post-hack support package. This package was composed of a set of activities of technical, user experience and financial sustainability mentoring. In this regard, the Open4Citizens vision is that these projects would 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.