Let's start with some self promotion. We had several City of Austin employees participating, including 4 brave souls pitching as project champions!
- Stefan Wray - Find My Open Park
- Shirley Rempe - Mapping Austin's Culture
- Kerry O'Connor - Crossfit for Democracy
- Julia Robbins - Permit Application Wizard
Spoiler Alert - Julia's team took home the "Best Design" category! Congrats to Julia and her dream team!
So how can I best describe all the brain power gathered, crazy ninja skillz in action, creative minds collaborating, juxtaposition by a ridiculously compressed weekend time line with unlimited snacks and caffeine, and a rare pass to make all the noise and disruption that the 2 story St Edwards Munday Library can handle?
Friday began with a relaxed dinner, networking with hackers and project champions, and a great lineup of inspiring keynotes - Mark Strama from Google, Michele Grieshaber from Silicone Labs, Becca Blazak from Code for America!
But Saturday was a blur of activity! Morning quick pitches and team formations were in full throttle. Innovation is the name of the game with unique approaches to engage with new team members helping tackle these civic problems. There was an "ice-breaker" team building exercise,
ATX Hack for Change 2016 (360 degree) - Team building exercise
newbies and seasoned hackers joining forces, groups huddling in masses, folks sharing their sought after skills with other teams in need, cool Virtual Reality equipment getting set up, regular request for open data ran through the data-needs Slack channel keeping us busy locating City data that our awesome Open Data Liaisons published to the portal (data.austintexas.gov), chalkboard usage was on display,
a flurry of updates and announcements sent by the amazing St. Edwards, Open Austin, and City of Austin volunteers lighting up the Slack channels, rivaling the emergency broadcasting system...
As the time ticked down that evening, one more mandatory moment of calm was requested for the evening project Check-In to provide teams last minute instructions and announcements for the big show Sunday.
ATX Hack for Change 2016 (360 degree) - Sat Evening Check-In
The Sunday event was finally here! And what was the result of 3 days, 200+ people gathered in a library, ranging from public citizens and volunteers, private companies and entrepreneurs, educational and government institutions working towards solving real world problems in our local community?
24 amazing and passionate teams presented solutions to their fellow hackers and supporters. They varied from well thought out ongoing plans and mocks to some impressive live working prototypes! We saw a health monitoring system for disabled athletes, apps using map technology, a math teaching virtual reality demo, ways to leverage open data, and even a functional smart sprinkler system prototype. But there were 4 that took home the prize. As final supportive thoughts were given by Open Austin's Mateo Clarke and City of Austin's Kerry O'Connor, the judges came back from deliberation and made their announcements. The winners are...
- Best Design - Permits Application Wizard
- Best Use of Data - ATX Green Atlas
- Best Hack Forward - The internet of Austin Bees
- Judges Prize - Expunge my Record
* list of all submitted projects HERE
Congratulations to this year's winners and all the teams that participated! And to all who were involved coordinating, volunteering, sponsoring this epic event. . .a personal thank you and I can't wait for next year!
By: Marbenn Cayetano, Open Data Team -- City of Austin