Carbon Dashboard - Making it Happen

Following on from my blog post last week about a carbon dashboard, we've continued to receive interest in the project. In the spirit of being #RadicallyOpen, I'll be writing a blog post every week to keep everyone updated, and to provide opportunities at each stage for people to get involved.

ODI Leeds is a small non-profit organisation, and as much as we'd love to turn this project into a reality, we can't do this alone. Before we can think about what this project is going to look like, or how it will work, we'd like to ask for your ideas on how we can make it happen.

The 'M' word

Money. Not everyone can talk about it comfortably, even less so with public-interest projects. But good work needs to be supported.

Ideally we'd like to find a set of partners and sponsors to help us shape the project, as well as providing funding and resources. This way we get valuable input and help turning ideas into reality, and everyone gets to benefit from our data and visualisations. We've already had some interest from software companies with interest or expertise in the field, and we are open to discussing how a mutually beneficial partnership or sponsorship might work.

Collaborating with the academic community is another option. They often have access to data (but might not always publish it) and specialist knowledge.

One possibility (the one that gained traction on social media) for raising funds is crowdfunding, but this has associated risks and challenges. Do you think its a viable idea? Do you know of any similar successfully crowdfunded projects? One project which I found interesting was Context Reporting- a free app which compares social and environmental impact data across industries. However it's raised nowhere near its target, which seems to be fairly common for these sort of projects. Nevertheless, it could be an easy way to boost funding, and hopefully get more people involved through the popularity of certain crowdfunding platforms.

Something which I've started to explore is official funding streams, such as grants. If we ended up building this project on a local scale, perhaps something like the Leeds Community Project Fund might be able to help. Looking on a bigger scale, we could potentially explore what grants UK Research and Innovation have available. I'm sure there's plenty more funds available for digital and environmental projects, and we'd welcome any suggestions.

Get Involved

I think its important that we consider a variety of options - we want as much collaboration as possible, and different partners can help with different things - software companies could help with visualisation, sponsors can help with funding and resources, universities can help with providing the data and insights, etc. I'd like to stress that we'd also welcome any input from individuals - you don't have to be part of an organisation to help out!

As mentioned, we want all the ideas, suggestions and help we can get. Whether you have a suggestion on who could help, you're part of an organisation who might be able to help, or you're just someone with a keen interest; we'd love to hear from you.

You can add anything (thoughts, questions, ideas, etc.) to our collaborative google document here, or engage with us on Twitter at@ODILeeds.