At the Summit on Data-Smart Government, Louisville CDO Michael Schnuerle offered recommendations for hosting hackathons that produce actionable and sustainable innovations in city government. According to Schnuerle, all effective hackathons should seek to build community, engage a diverse group of stakeholders, and produce innovations that address key problems.
Schnuerle provided recommendations for before, during, and after hackathons, including ensuring that required data is ready and accessible, maintaining clear and consistent communication, and following up afterwards to sustain innovation. Louisville in particular has experimented with non-traditional hackathons, like an analog hackathon with no computers or technology that sought to remove the technological barrier to entry.
Speaker Bio: Michael Schnuerle is the Data Officer in the Office of Performance Improvement in Louisville. Schnuerle has spent over a decade in civic tech. His first product was an online crime map built using open records requests and Google Maps in 2005. That grew into open data advocacy and building civic services around real-time transportation, public safety, geocoding, and open data APIs. He founded the Civic Data Alliance in Louisville with like-minded folks in 2013. The CDA later became an official Code for America brigade, which has since had 18 meetups, run 9 hackathons, worked on 35+ civic public projects, and donated over 7,000 hours of volunteer time.