[open-data-day] Open Data Speed Dating

Luke Closs me at luk.ec
Tue Dec 11 14:29:58 GMT 2012

Hello ODD-ers,

I just attended an Open Data hackathon in Ottawa this weekend, and they put
on a "speed dating" event.  Initially i was a bit skeptical, but once it
started, I realized it was an awesome idea.  I want to spread this idea
around, as I think we should do it in other cities.

The hackathon organizers got about 6-8 city staff from various departments
- parks & rec, roads, waste, transportation, ... - and they all sat on the
inside of a big circle of desks. Then all the hackers would go talk to them
and ask questions.  Then every 5-10 minutes they'd ring a bell and (in
theory) the hackers would move to talk to the next person.

I overheard and participated in some really amazing conversations during
this exercise.  It was totally awesome to connect the hackers with staffers
and explore what other data is available, how it could be released and what
that data could be used for.  At several points I saw the city staff
furiously taking notes about ideas that were generated.

I'm going to try to get this exercise happening in Vancouver for ODD, maybe
some of you will consider this for your events, too.

Luke from Vancouver.
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