[3-5.4] #VersusVirus

It’s been a hectic twenty days since we started debating on how to coordinate a community response to the unprecedented public health challenge this country and the world is facing. I am grateful that a long list of friends and supporters have set things and people in motion to help produce the biggest*, remotest, loudest, multilingual hackathon this country will have seen.

Note that our association’s mandate and independent approach - all for one and one for all - remains true. We are supporting open data activities across all hackathons, platforms and confessions. We have a prerogative to be active community partners to e-government. And together we can jump on chances to boost discovery of new and alternative open datasets, and the open source apps that use them. Your challenges (work in progress, submissions here) are open.

Today the topic is #covid-19 and all its impacts. A unique chance to get our message out about why openness matters in front of a giant crowd of people. But that is just today. In a matter of time, the next wave, the next epidemic will be upon us. It is critical that we continue to take open health seriously - monitor emissions, crowdsource indicators, track digital divides, bridge the gap between data providers and civil society groups in this area.

Let’s take a page out of the book of our Open Knowledge network colleague Nikesh Balami: „It has become a norm for people to complain about one thing or another, criticise the institutions & people holding the authority. But most of them fail to do something about it, find a solution & actually work on it, instead of just complaining“

:arrow_right: Let’s get past our lockdown blues and do something. Face the fear and stand with your peers. Create serious alternatives that government and local groups can act on. Take care of yourself and your own, and remember that no matter your :moneybag: - in the end it’s always :joy: that counts.

Spread the word, not the virus“ --@LukasSieber

(* sorry, HackZurich, we’ll settle that score later ;^)

We have been collecting recommendations for #VersusVirus participants of datasets and other resources through challenge submissions and direct contacts. We have enough data for the top challenge categories - are only looking to get at least 1 or 2 good, open, examples in each.

Explore our suggestions at https://www.versusvirus.ch/resources and ping us if you have more tips!

The calm before the storm. One hectic week behind us.

In a few hours the floodgates are about to open. I better get some sleep.

Good night, Switzerland! :night_with_stars:

It sounds like most people had a blast, and among other things I had a great time inviting kids on the program.

Check out the results, and let me know if any dataful projects catch your imagination!

The following teams contacted us for help with open data, one of them right here on this forum, the others in support channels. Check out their projects!

Some additional dataful results, via @Andre

People were asking to see some stats from behind the scenes, so here you go :golfing_man:

First and foremost, thank you Georgios, Marco, Gabor, Nicolas, Claudio, Karolos, Remo, Michael, Dimitri & team at Panter AG for working day and night to develop ‚vsvirus‘, the custom matchmaking and team building app for participants.

Looks like it took us about an hour or two to cross the 10K message limit for a free instance. Thank you to Slack Technologies, Inc. for providing us with a rock-solid messaging service during the event!

Last but not least, thanks to Devpost, Inc. for enabling our 1132 to submit 279 projects over the course of a few hours on Sunday night, supporting us over the weekend to efficiently moderate and publish the results.

Some great news here: the ideas and results of the #VersusVirus hackathon are included in the official support program of the government. Go get inspired, Canada and rest of the world!

While I work on our first partner event, TogetherVsVirus.ca - our team is churning out digital certificates of participation (a super cool and minimal way to acknowledge people’s efforts), channeling funds to the Highlighted projects, and setting up an acceleration program to make the most of the flood of support and funding we got for this project. Stay tuned!

Don’t miss the recap by Nikki on our blog: