April 23 2014

Champaign Meetup: IL OpenTech Challenge

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Thursday, December 6, 2012

6:00 PM To 8:30 PM
Champaign Public Library (200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL) 

      Join us for the first Champaign meeting in the Illinois Open Technology Challenge (ILOpenTech).

ILOpenTech brings governments, developers and communities together in a common mission to use public data and create digital tools that will serve today’s civic needs and promote economic development.

This multi-month initiative aims to make Illinois’ open data platform,Data.Illinois.Gov, available statewide, and host government trainings, community meetings and hackathons that will bring together developers in technology with civic-minded individuals and organizations. Our goal is to help develop a real community where we will see sustainable civic results and developers will prosper.

At least $75K in total prize money will be awarded to any individual, or team of individuals for developing innovative software applications that utilize open government data to best address the challenges in one of our communities: Belleville, Champaign, Rockford and South Suburbs.

The most relevant data for the Champaign community can be found at www.data.illinois.gov.


Here's how we see our evening together:

6 - 6:15 Introductions

We'll go around the room, introduce ourselves, and say a brief statement about what you’re interested in achieving. Examples: “I have an idea for a app, and I need to meet a developer”, “I’m an expert at land use and I’m interested in talking with community members”, “I’m a government official and I’m looking to connect with developers”—things like that.

6:15 – 6:30 Kickoff

We’ll hear from ILOpenTech Challenge team about the current state of the contest and review the requirements. We’ll talk about timelines, judging, and so on.  Our role is to manage the Challenge and help guide participants as they form teams and brainstorm ideas, so we want to hear from you.

6:30 – 7 Ideas + Matching

This is the time for anyone with an idea to present it to the group in a more complete fashion and make a pitch for people to join them. We will have lots of materials that will help you express yourselves—easels, large postits, markers, etc. You’ll want to talk about what data you’d like to use and what community issues you want to solve. One way to get an early jump on this is to use post to the discussion on the Meetup page.

We also ask you two questions when signing up for the Meetup—the more thinking you do before the event, the more you will get out of it

-- Do you have an idea for an app that you'd like to submit? Let us know!

-- Do you have a community issue you'd like to address through data and technology? If so, can you describe?

7 – 8 Team Work

Teams will split off into groups and start planning their work. Since this is just the planning stage, feel free to walk around and hear from lots of people and teams.

8 – 8:30 Reports

We’ll regroup and hear from each of the groups and plan next steps.


About Daniel O’Neil

Daniel O’Neil is the Executive Director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, a civic organization devoted to making lives better in Chicago through technology.

Prior to the Smart Chicago, O’Neil was a co-founder of and People Person for EveryBlock, a neighborhood news and discussion site serving 16 cities. He was responsible for uncovering new data sets through online research and working with local governments. In August 2009 EveryBlock was purchased by msnbc.com.  After acquisition, O’Neil participated in the open data/ open government movement, advising governments and candidates on policy. Prior to EveryBlock, O’Neil spent 10 years as an Internet strategist and project manager for Streams Online Media. He created a number of sites for municipalities, including the first Web site for the Chicago Inspector General.

Since 2002 he’s run a number of independent Web projects, including CTA Alerts/ CTA Tweet and CityPayments.org. He’s developed dozens of Web sites for nonprofits, schools, and small businesses using easy-to-use and inexpensive tools such as weblogs, wikis, and social networking sites. In June of 2011 he was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for Technology and Innovation. 


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