Open Gov Hackathon presented by Tropo to take place in conjunction with BCNI 2011

Feb 28, 2011   //   by Christopher Wink   //   2011, blog  //  5 Comments

Philly Datacamp, a civic hackathon organzed by Code for America and Azavea in February. Photo by CFA fellow John Mertens. Used with permission.

A big part of journalism innovation in the future lies in data and development. Journalists and developers need to come together. You know that. So do we.

That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that, running concurrently with BCNI, we’re hosting our first Open Gov Hackathon presented by Tropo. This further cements BCNI as an anchor event of the first ever Philly Tech Week. It is also a great fit to the municipal government data and transparency coverage we’re doing with Technically Philly.

“There are some exciting open government developments occurring in Philadelphia as part of the Digital Philadelphia Initiative, the Code For America program and Technically Philly’s “Transparencity” project,” said Mark Headd, a ‘developer evangelist’ for Voxeo Labs, which develops the cloud communications API Tropo and will be helping to organize the hackathon. “The results of these efforts will come together during Philly Tech Week and form the basis for some exciting announcements and activities. One of these exciting activities will be the BCNI Open Gov Hackathon.”

The hackathon portion of the event will bring together software developers, designers, civic coders and journalists to engage in a one-day sprint to develop useful applications that utilize open data from the City of Philadelphia. Journalist-heavy BCNI attendees will be encouraged to brainstorm and work with hackathon participants in the morning. BCNI sessions will be held normally and run concurrently with the hackathon.


Hackathon projects will be developed during the day and presented to a panel of judges at the conclusion of the event. The grand prize for the event will be a trip to the Glue Conference in Broomfield, CO on May 25th and 26th. There, the winner of the BCNI Open Gov Hackathon will compete against winners from other parts of the country for a national grand prize.


Tropo is a cloud communication platform that makes it easy for any developer to quickly add Phone, SMS, IM and Twitter functionality to their applications. Tropo has a long and special interest in supporting open government application development, having supported open government events all over the country. Telephones and telephone-based applications can play a key role in the delivery of government services, and are critical to the success of effort to develop a new generation of “Gov 2.0″ applications. The telephone is the most ubiquitous communication application in the world and the one citizens rely on most for communicating with and getting service from their governments.


Mark J. Headd is an experienced voice, mobile and web application developer. He currently works as a Developer Evangelist for Voxeo Labs, where he helps developers build open government and civic applications using theTropo and Phono platforms.

He holds a Master�s degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and is a former adjunct instructor at the University of Delaware teaching a course in electronic government.

He served for three years as the chief policy and budget advisor for the State of Delaware�s Department of Technology and Information. He has also served as Director of the Delaware Government Information Center and as Technology Adviser to former Delaware Governor Thomas Carper.

Mark has built open source solutions using open government data and APIs for the District of Columbia, the Sunlight Foundation, the New York State Senate, and the cities of New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Baltimore and Philadelphia.


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The details:

When: Sat. 4/27/13. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Doors open at 9 a.m.)
Then? After Party at Draught Horse
Where: Temple University, Annenberg Hall, 13th and Diamond streets
Cost: $5, free with valid student ID.

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