[OpenSpending-discuss] Hackday Apps4Italy - Everybody is Welcome!

Dirk Heine dirk.heine at okfn.org
Sat Jan 28 02:21:46 UTC 2012

Dear folks interested in OpenEconomics, Visualisations and supporting Italy!

I just wanted to send a small reminder that today (Saturday) we have our
hackday for the "Apps4Italy" contest, where we want to contribute an app
that will

   1. help visualise developments in core Italian social indicators, at a
   time where these indicators are undergoing dramatic change
   2. thereby create a tool with which other Europeans can better
   understand what is going on in Italy, get sensitized about problems and get
   thinking about solutions (first steps to solidarity might be realization of
   the social dimensions - and visualising data could be a good way to create
   that understanding)
   3. create a tool for more fact-based discussion in inter-European social
   dialogue (as a precondition to enable better understanding between Europe's
   north and south)
   4. show to the economics profession how a core methodological
problem<http://yourtopia.net/how>of composite indices can be mitigated
   5. make a case for open research and open data.

You find all details below. I very much hope that you will join this team
effort. To do so, please see Velichka's email below.

Many thanks and talk soon!

Dirk (Skype: d_heine)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Velichka Dimitrova <velichka.dimitrova at okfn.org>
Date: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 5:55 AM
Subject: [open-economics] Hackday Apps4Italy - Everybody is Welcome!
To: open-development at lists.okfn.org, open-visualisation at lists.okfn.org,
open-economics at lists.okfn.org, open-spending at lists.okfn.org,
okfn-it-request at lists.okfn.org

Hi all,

On Saturday 28th January we’re getting together for an Open Economics
Hackday — a one-day gathering to build and research ‘cool stuff’
related to a economics (usually of a digital variety) in under 24

Meeting up in London and online, we’ll be wrangling data and building
apps all day. Whether you’re a social scientist, student, coder or
just someone with an interest there will be something for you to do —
just be prepared to dive in and help build something.

When: Saturday 28th January, 11am GMT (12pm CET/6am EST) to ~7pm GMT
(8pm CET/3pm EST)
Some people will also be around on Friday 27th (same times)
Where: London (Centre for Creative Collaboration tbc) and Online (so
you can join from anywhere in the world).
Who: Anyone! Coder, data wrangler, economists, illustrator or writer …
Etherpad: http://econ.okfnpad.org/hackathon-jan-2011
Contact us: http://openeconomics.net/contact/
As with all hackdays, exactly what gets work on gets decided on the
day (you can add suggestions to the etherpad). However, one particular
idea, which we could become a submission to Apps4Italy, is set out

One Idea for What We’ll Work On: ProgressVote

One of the most fundamental questions in economic research is: how do
we measure social progress? Policy makers have come up with
alternative measures accounting for environmental impacts, inequality,
happiness and other indicators of human development.

However, the multiplicity of factors has caused another problem – how
do we decide on the importance of each individual factor in a
composite index? They could be either equally important (such as in
the HDI) or they could be given different weights.

In our last project YourTopia – which was one of the winners of last
year’s World Bank Apps4Development Prize – we offered one possible
solution to some inherent problems in social progress measurement by
letting you decide on which dimensions and aspects of economic development
to prioritize.

However there are limitations to such an approach: faced with a myriad
of technical indicators people are often overwhelmed by the
complexity: Does life expectancy at birth matter more than the
inflation rate or the M2 money supply? And what does M2 money supply
even mean?

In ProgressVote, we’d like to improve on YourTopia in a variety of ways:

First, by combining proxy voting with the crowd-based Yourtopia
approach: Instead of voting for indicators, people vote for expert
statements that interpret the dashboard of variables. By doing so, it
is hoped to strike a balance between expert judgements and the
interpretation of the general public: Experts may be more able to
interpret technical data, but in the end it is the citizens who decide
which expert statement to endorse.

Second, we’d like to add support time series — so you can see how
progress (or lack of it) has evolved over time — as well as better geo
support — for example, so it is possible to look at regions as well as
countries have performed (consider Italy for instance).

Interested? Then come join us on Saturday 28th January!

Velichka Dimitrova
Open Economics Working Group Coordinator
Open Knowledge Foundation

open-economics mailing list
open-economics at lists.okfn.org
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