Bright young minds deep dive into government data

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South Australia will host scores of data “hackers” in the volunteer-run annual GovHack event next month.

Teams of competitors will gather to use open-sourced government data to generate ideas for social, economic and environmental challenges.

The GovHack competition is held simultaneously across Australia and New Zealand, over a 46-hour period to create concepts, mashups and models with open government data, to examine the challenges facing government and communities in innovative ways.

Hackers compete against each other to pitch the best idea that could lead to new products, services and initiatives that can make a big difference to the lives of others.

The event is open to people of all ages, backgrounds and professional disciplines.

Some last year’s winning entries from South Australia included real-time reporting of COVID-19 cases, a digital employment service and an agricultural disease management tool.

GovHack State Lead for South Australia Hoss Mohsenian is excited about the series of events to be held on the weekend of August 19-21 in Torrens University in Adelaide.

“We’re excited that in a matter of weeks, we’ll be welcoming teams of talented individuals volunteering their time to use government data in new ways to improve the lives of people in South Australia and beyond,” Mr Mohsenian said.

“It’s a place where geeks, digital creatives, data analysts, story-tellers, entrepreneurs and civic society enthusiasts can all work collaboratively to find pioneering solutions to complex issues.”

The event plays a unique role in connecting citizens with government and industry, to help unlock the social and economic value of open data.

“This year our hackers will focus their efforts on how we can accelerate our progress in environment, social and governance in a post-pandemic way of working,” Mr Mohsenian said.

“In past years we have been amazed by how our hackers have been able to take existing data and gain innovative insights that can be applied to come up with some incredible, and potentially life changing concepts.”

Having clear time constraints is an important part of the process.

GovHack provides participants a mini start-up experience where failing fast is key.

“GovHack provides a special opportunity to apply your skills in a different way, make friendships and networks with new people and win some great prizes along the way,” Mr Mohsenian said.

Visit govhack.org/ to learn more and register to participate.

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