South Bend Civic Hacking Event Aims to Use Coding Skills for Good

computer-code

The word “hacker” often brings to mind vandalized websites and stolen personal information. But a local group known as Hack Michiana aims to use their skills for good.

These “civic hackers” will meet at an event hosted by Hack Michiana and Code for America on the campus of Indiana University South Bend on Saturday from 9 am until 5 pm inside the newly renovated Education and Arts Building. Participants will build apps and tools that benefit the local community using open government data.

The civic hacking event is part of Code for America’s 4th annual CodeAcross, a weekend civic hacking event held across the country each year.

“We’re excited to see what residents will develop,” says Beth Harsch, South Bend’s Code for America brigade captain. “We’ll address how data can be used to have more honest and productive conversations that lead to more efficient and effective use of public resources.”

The theme of the event is “Organize for Results” with a focus on using government data to improve communication between public safety agencies and the residents that they serve in South Bend.

The civic hacking event costs $10. Participants are asked to pre-register at HackMichiana.org. Lunch and Wi-Fi are provided, but attendees will need their own laptops.

Code for America has been involved in the community with other projects as well. The organization helped the city gather input from city residents through an award-winning call-in system known as CityVoice. The Parks and Recreation Department used CityVoice to gather input during the development of the city’s five year parks master plan.

Image Credit: Lunar Logic, flickr

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