Have you used your cell phone to check when the next bus is coming? Searched for info on pending legislation? Looked to see where you can recycle old house paint? If you have, chances are that the answers you found were powered by open data from your city, state, or the federal government.
What if you could also find information that would help you choose an afterschool program for your kids? Or if you could know which community clinic just got a whole new technology system to manage health records? Imagine if the board of a family foundation could alert their nonprofit partners to new funding initiatives from national funders, or vice versa?
Imagine if communities, donors, journalists, and funders had easy access to grants information from foundations. What new insights could we gather about needs and opportunities in our communities? How might foundations and individual donors work together, or foundations and public funders? What untold stories about local heroes might the media tell?
At this May 10 "Datajam," developers, open-data advocates and experts from throughout the philanthropy community gathered for two hours of rapid-fire brainstorming, networking, and idea-sharing on philanthropic data as the fuel for the future. A blog bost by organizer Lucy Bernholz recaps the event.
Read the "modest manifesto" that started it all: http://philanthropy.blogspot.com/2010/03/open-philanthropy-modest-manifesto.html
This DataJam was hosted by Lucy Bernholz, Blueprint Research & Design; the HAND Foundation; the New America Foundation; and the Sunlight Foundation.