On September 17th & 18th, 2016 staff from Social Planning Toronto joined software Developers, data scientists, mappers and idea people to work together and ‘hack’ through challenges outlined in the City’s poverty reduction strategy (TOProsperity).
Social Planning Toronto’s Executive Director Sean Meagher helped present the case for how technology can help to shake-up issues of access to recreation programming, civic engagement and fairness for renters in Toronto. “Bringing creative minds together to grapple with these pressing issues of fairness and inequality leads to uniquely innovative and forward-thinking solutions”, Meagher said.
Social Planning Toronto ‘owned’ and mentored four challenges as part of this year’s hackathon:
- Create tools for improving access to information on tenant rights, processes for governance, etc.
- Create a tool to enable remote deputations at Toronto City Council.
- Analyze data relating to access to Toronto Parks and Recreation Programs, and
- Create tools using 211 open data to increase community use and awareness of programs.
This year’s hackathon was hosted by Toronto Public Library as a partnership between Social Planning Toronto, the Open Data Institute of Toronto, the City of Toronto and Civic Tech Toronto. Meagher emphasized that bringing groups to work together will bring about more creative solutions on tough policy issues: “At Social Planning Toronto, we believe partnership and collaboration can help our City make a breakthrough on poverty”.