Using data to tackle homelessness, housing, and the digital divide

Written by Marius Jennings on 14 Nov, 19
City-wide innovation ecosystem

The Data and Community Hackathon was one of the 42 events held as part of the 2019 Bristol Tech Fest. The weekend provided an exciting opportunity to bring together a range of talented people to share knowledge, skills and resources to address some of Bristol and Bath’s key social challenges.

This twin city event was hosted by the City Innovation Team at Bristol City Council and Bath Hacked CIC, sponsored by InnovateUK. This Equals Ltd were the design and delivery partners. It included a wide range of participants including enthusiasts, subject matter experts, and coders. The event was held at The Engine Shed, an innovative and dynamic working space, that supported cross team and collaborative working across numerous projects.

Friday night kicked off with a series of short talks to familiarise people with the key topics and issues. These presentations and those on Saturday morning set the scene for what was to be a fun and fascinating weekend. Teams formed, some initial project ideas were dropped while others developed and changed.

The weekend ended with presentations from all the teams, followed by an awards ceremony. Prizes were awarded to the following projects:

  • Visualising homelessness – a set of visual displays of data related to homelessness and the hidden homeless, useful for policy makers and the targeting of services, and the general public;
  • Streetwise App – bringing together charities and local councils to ensure the best targeting of services;
  • Soup for Thought – using machine learning to identify the level of need each night for the Soup Run Trust in Bristol. This addresses a real need for managing complex logistics; and,
  • Adulting – Path2APad – aimed at 14-15 year olds, this is a game of ‘choose your own misadventure’, giving students a creative way to learn how to navigate complex situations they may well come across in adulthood.

Each team will have until the end of January to further develop their projects.

What struck us most is how much can be achieved in just one weekend when you bring people together to work on challenges. And a huge thank you to all those involved.

 

 

 

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