The U.S. government is hoping that hackers can help make the nation a better place.
The White House announced today that it will kick off a "National Day of Civic Hacking" on June 1 and 2 and is inviting those with tech know-how to use their coding skills to improve communities across the country.
"Civic Hacking Day is an opportunity for software developers, technologists, and entrepreneurs to unleash their can-do American spirit by collaboratively harnessing publicly-released data and code to create innovative solutions for problems that affect Americans," the White House wrote in a statement.
The National Day of Civic Hacking was put together by a coalition of organizations, companies, and government agencies that includes Random Hacks of Kindness, Code for America, NASA, Department of Labor, and the U.S. Census Bureau.On Civic Hacking Day, different activities such as block parties, hackathons, and brigade meetups will commence across the country.
From Augusta, Ga., to Denver, Colo., the participating agencies will give hackers government data with coding challenges that are specifically targeted for helping local neighborhoods, cities, and states. While the government has specifically asked for the help of techies, anyone can participate.
According to the event organizers, here are some of the benefits of getting involved:
- Demonstrate a commitment to the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration.
- Exercise a government's interest in using open data and technology, in partnership with others, to address your local community's felt needs.
- Liberate open data that can inform better problem solving in every community.
- Continue to collectively map a national innovation ecosystem and create new access points to that system.
- Engage citizens in cities with little technology infrastructure to contribute to changing their community through open source, open data, entrepreneurship and code development.
- Promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education by encouraging students to utilize open technology for solutions to real challenges.
- Encourage large scale partnership and mutual understanding.
"This is an opportunity for citizens in every town and city across the Nation to roll up their sleeves, get involved, and work together to improve our society by cultivating an ecosystem for innovation and change," the White House statement said.