This post was written by Molly McLeod.
Last fall, when we organized the first-ever Health Literacy Hackathon in Western Massachusetts, we knew we were onto something pretty amazing. In just 24 hours, teams collaborated to create innovative tools to help people understand and use health information.
The word “hacking” sometimes has a negative connotation. But to us, a hacker is someone who uses only a few resources and a lot of brainpower and creativity to make, enhance, or fix something. Hackthons are growing in popularity all over the country — the White House designated June 1 and 2 the National Day of Civic Hacking. Over 90 events organized by local groups across the United States will use technology to tackle civic and community challenges.
We’re sponsoring Hack for Western Mass and helping with logistics, which is our local contribution to this national event. We could not be more proud to join civic hackers all over the country.
At Hack for Western Mass, developers, designers, advocates, and subject matter experts will collaborate with local non-profits to address challenges. The challenges include:
- Creating a database of private wells to track water quality
- Designing infographics to visualize a different path for teen mothers
- Developing an online seed swapping library to strengthen local food sovereignty
There’s still time to sign up for the event in Amherst this weekend. Wondering if you should attend? Consult our flowchart below. If you’re not in Western Massachusetts, find a Hack for Change event in your community.
Stay tuned for news about the next Health Literacy Hackathon later this year!