News: MISA/ASIM Canada News

Search begins for city partners to host national hackathon

October 8, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alison Hermansen
Share |

After almost a decade of collecting and collating important data on community wellbeing, Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) is opening up its national database and inviting Canadians to 'mash' the data at a national hackathon.

The network for Canada's 191 community foundation has been collating data from government and other sources since 2006 under its Vital Signs program, which seeks to provide Canadians with a comprehensive picture of quality of life in their community.

"Bringing disparate sets of data together under Vital Signs has created a powerful picture of community wellbeing and a blueprint for community action," said Ian Bird, President of Community Foundations ofCanada. "We believe opening up our database to others will unlock even more potential."

The national Vital Signs database contains more than 115 indicators from 48 communities acrossCanada. Its value comes from connecting data from many different areas- learning, health and wellness, the environment, and the arts - together to create a more comprehensive snapshot of community wellbeing. The data come from sources such as Statistics Canada, the Labour Force Survey, and the Canadian Community Health Survey, to name a few.

Vital Signs was started by the Toronto Foundation in 2001 as a new way to engage the community in understanding and monitoring the health and vitality of the city. Community foundations across Canadaand around the world have adopted Vital Signs as a model for community understanding and action. More than 65 communities in seven countries have produced Vital Signs reports.

Search begins for Hackathon location and partner

Today CFC begins working with community foundations to identify a host for the 2015 Vital Signs Hackathon to focus on the hidden potential of Vital Signs data.  The conversation begins with a Twitter chat about the power of open data hosted by the Community Knowledge Exchange (@CKXdotorg).

More details about the Vital Signs Hackathon, including prize money, will be announced at the inaugural Community Knowledge Exchange (CKX) Summit (www.ckx.org/summit) taking placeNovember 19-21 in Toronto's Entertainment District.  

The Community Knowledge Exchange Summit will bring together hundreds of leaders from acrossCanada and internationally to make connections, share data and showcase examples of community knowledge in action.

About Vital Signs

Vital Signs is an annual community check-up conducted by community foundations across Canada.Vital Signs measures the vitality of communities in key areas, providing critical information that can help set priorities and identify opportunities for action. Today, 27 community foundations acrossCanada launch their own local reports at www.vitalsignscanada.ca.