Next steps for Hack Winchester!

In case you’re visiting this site for the first time, here’s a quick recap:

  • Winchester City Council held its first ever unconference in May – it was awesome. Lots more about that on the blog.
  • Unconference participants identified three priorities they would like to see addressed at a community hack event. These are:
    • Supporting local businesses (both urban and rural)
    • Attracting and retaining young people
    • Co-working spaces
  • Winchester City Council and the University of Winchester are holding Hack Winchester! on Saturday 8th September – see the announcement blog post for details. It’s a community hack, and the overarching theme is:

How can technology and data be used to help tackle issues affecting people and businesses in Winchester?

This post updates you on preparations – including our informal meetup on Thursday 30th August – and introduces our ace MC and facilitator for the hack.

Introducing Lucy Knight

I am delighted to confirm that Lucy Knight will be facilitating Hack Winchester! on 8th September.

Until very recently Lucy was the data lead at Devon County Council, and in July she joined the Food Standards Agency as Lead Data Scientist.

Deep in thought: Lucy at a ThingsCamp event

Amongst many other things, Lucy is a member of LocalGov Digital – the organisation for digital practitioners working in and around local government.

She is also a co-organiser of Open Data Camp – the unconference for the Open Data movement, and is a founder of ThingsCamp.

Lucy says

“I’m thrilled to have been asked to help run the day; community-led open space events like this are my favourite format, and I’m always impressed by the commitment and the range of skills that participants bring. I’m looking forward to seeing what ideas everyone brings!”

Informal networking event

The Westgate

As I mentioned last time, we will be having an informal meetup on Thursday 30th August. I am pleased to confirm that we will be meeting at The Westgate from 5pm until (around) 7pm. In case you’re not familiar with it, The Westgate is about a five minute walk from Winchester rail station at the top of town.

It is for anyone attending or interested in Hack Winchester! If you are planning on joining us on Thursday, please drop an email to MKolmer@winchester.gov.uk to let us know.

Who’s coming to the hack?

So far, around 40 people have signed up. Judging from job titles and organisation names, there’s already a really interesting mix of skills and interests.

Here are some of the organisations who have signed up so far

We will share more information soon, including a Twitter List of everyone who has registered and volunteered their Twitter ID.

Just to reiterate that everyone is welcome, and #womenintech are particularly welcome! As ever we’d love to see a truly representative gender balance. We’re at roughly 60:40 but we think we can do better, so please register.

Data signposting

In our next post we will share some more detail about what we expect – hope! – will happen on the day, and signpost to some of the (lengthy and lengthening) list of data sources we think might be ‘interesting’ and / or ‘useful’ on the day.

In the meantime, if you have any favourite data sources or individual data sets, please leave a comment at the end of this post, or use the contact form.

Guest posts welcome

If you are coming to the hack and fancy writing a guest post on the blog – for example to discuss an idea for a project, to explore a particular technology, or get in touch with potential team members – please ping me an email, or use the contact form. Please remember this is a community hack, and we aren’t looking for sales and marketing material.

Thank you

Hack Winchester! is only possible thanks to our sponsors. We are very grateful to Sarah Duggan of Nexus Konexus for sponsoring.

Many thanks also to The Economy and Arts team at Winchester City Council, led by Kate Cloud. for instigating both the unconference and hack, and University of Winchester for hosting at the Winchester Business School.

From left to right: Alison Woods, Mollie Kolmer, Carol Hussey, and Kate Cloud.

Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to help on the day of the day, and to Stefan and Paul at IBM, Dan at GetTheData, and Chris at Know Now Information for help so far in identifying and helping make data available – more about data in a future post.

Not too late to sponsor

It’s not too late to sponsor Hack Winchester! If you are interested, please get in touch.

That’s it for now. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading.

Photo credits

WCC Economy and Arts Team selfie – thanks to Kate Cloud

The Westgate – thanks to Paul Gillett http://www.geograph.org.uk/more.php?id=2487879

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