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[Announcement] PDF:Applied | The Civil Society Hackathon, June 9-10

BY Jen Vento | Thursday, May 17 2012

Since 2004, Personal Democracy Media has helped nurture a worldwide conversation about technology’s impact on government, politics and society. This year, we are excited to announce “PDF:Applied,” a two-day hands-on workshop to develop real-world software applications that evince the theme of the 2012 Personal Democracy Forum (PDF) conference: “The Internet's New Political Power.”

PDF:Applied, brought to you by Personal Democracy Media with support from sponsors Microsoft, AT&T, ThoughtWorks, ChallengePost, GitHub and General Assembly, will bring leading civic hackers together with practitioners in government and NGOs to build tools that enhance civic life through technology-driven innovation. Participants will work to build applications that address specific civic needs in keeping with this year’s “The Internet's New Political Power” conference theme.

The goal this year is to produce working solutions to problems and challenges our society faces in the areas of:

- Election Participation
- Community Engagement
- Advocacy / Activism

At the end of the hackathon, an expert panel of judges will select the best solutions to the proposed challenges. Winners will be given the opportunity to demo on stage at PDF, introductions to potential mentors and funders, prizes, and the code will be released to the world for extension and re-use.

“Developers and service-providers will be matched together to ensure that the supply of hackers with skills to offer is coordinated with the needs of agencies and civil society institutions," said Andrew Rasiej, PDM's founder. "PDF:Applied involves matchmaking in advance to ensure that when people gather, some truly valuable work can be done and long-lasting relationships spawned.”

Anchoring the event will be Andrew Hoppin, partner and co-founder of New Amsterdam Ideas and former CIO of the New York State Senate, and Richard Robbins, partner at Hotspot Digital and former director of social innovation at AT&T, along with some of the world's most experienced civic hackers.

Participation is free but by application here. To attend, developers and civil society participants alike will be asked to explain their interest in participating, and describe their experience with technology as well as the type of services they are interested in obtaining or providing. The deadline for the first round of entries is May 25.

We are crowdsourcing ideas in advance of the event. If you have any ideas for potential issues or challenges you would like to see solved during the weekend, please enter them here.