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Being Radically Open during the COVID-19 outbreak

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 accelerated in the UK, we have seen a lot of things happen online. There is a lot of coverage about the impact of the virus nationally but a majority of citizens' concerns will be focused locally. They want to know how their local area will be affected - businesses, education, social care, transport, even green space and parks. Where is the data about the local perspective? Who is working on what, and how can others get involved?

With the help of NHS Digital (one of our sponsors) and Beautiful Information, we want to do what we do best in this time of uncertainty - we want to bring people together around this issue; share resources and knowledge; nurture the environment where innovation can just happen; and create useful tools and assets on the web, accessible by all, reusable and shareable. Why? If more people have access to data and tools, and work together, we reach innovative solutions at a quicker pace. Working in the open gets things done because people can see what you're working towards and can join in at any time. There should be no gate-keepers to innovation at a time of crisis.

Where do we begin?

As with a lot of our hackathon or innovation pathway events, we will start with an initial warm-up session. This is going to be done virtually using Zoom on Thursday 26 March 2020 from 11:00. We will post the Zoom meeting details via Eventbrite (if you register, we can keep you updated about future meetings and the date of the hackathon itself).

We will cover three main points:

  1. Who wants to join in? (And who should join in?)
  2. The data - where is it, what do we need, and what should we have?
  3. What should we work on? (The initial focus is on what is locally relevant)

If you want to get involved and/or help us in another way, you can send us an email at We are all facing uncertain times and have had to make some tough decisions. The situation changes on a daily basis. But a glance at social media will demonstrate that people want to work together to get through this. We want to help, and we hope you'll join us.