It is hard to not be distracted by what goes on in politics at a national level, but outside of the Westminster bubble good people are giving up their time to ensure their communities are represented in the development and scrutiny of how local authorities develop, manage and deliver services.
On the 2nd May approximately 270 councils across England will be holding local elections electing approximately 20,000 councilors. These council elections were last contested in 2015 on the same day as the general election and although local elections are fought primarily on a local agenda, they may be seen as a barometer of national political opinion.
These elections will create a wealth of fascinating data. for us to explore. Come on down, bring a computer, bring an idea or just bring yourself. We don’t know where we’re going, but we’ll sure have fun getting there.
Follow the money – public spending and procurement in Greater Manchester
Tuesday, Jun 26, 2018, 6:00 PM
The Federation Federation Street, Federation House M4 2AH , GB
22 Members Attending
The value of public sector procurement within the UK exceeded £301 billion in 2016 and in the City of Manchester £445.6 million was spent with its top 300 suppliers in 2016/17 alone. Greater Manchester is home to over 2.8 million people and with devolution, more control over how money is being spent rests locally. Come and discover where this money…
From last night’s planning meeting we now have a provisional programme for 2017 and it is quite an ambitious one. What is great from our perspective is that there is a continuation of a number of themes that we have been looking at over the last year and a resurfacing of perennial ones. Highlights include the ‘making and doing’ workshops that have been developed as part of the Echo Chambers and ‘Post-Fact’ Politics programme and the Visualising Data workshops. There are a number of sector and technically specific events but one to watch out for is alternative ways of looking at the world which will be a day of walks, talks and explorations. As always there is a large dose of how data and technology impact on society and much more.
This is a provisional programme and we are looking for as much input as possible (Dates and sessions are subject to change). Please click on the Google Doc and add comments. We are looking for people who can contribute, sponsors, venues and partners.
A one-day workshop to develop new ways of tackling a ‘post-fact’ world
12th November 2016, 10.00 – 16.00. The Shed, Chester Street, Manchester The event is free, register here
We live in interesting times. Trust in, and respect for experts seems to be declining- Michael Gove recently said that we’ve ‘had enough of experts’. Increasingly online platforms quietly tailor what we encounter to fit our existing views- creating echo chambers out of our prejudices. At the same time political issues are becoming more and more complex as science and technology advances and society becomes more complicated.
These and other changes seem like a perfect storm for breeding a dystopian world in which the importance of evidence slowly slips out of view. But at the same time technology also offers hope for more enlightened debate- with the internet creating many new opportunities to engage, learn, and create. So we want to do something about these issues.
We want to draw together people with a wide range of experience and interest to try and unpick these issues and think what we can start developing ways of tackling these. Whether you’re an artist, an activist, a policy wonk, or simply someone interested in this area we want to hear your ideas.
We will be using an ‘unconference’ style, which means that people who come to the event will shape what we talk about. The aim will be to identify where the challenges lie and think of potential solutions, leading to a future event where we will develop these ideas further and- hopefully- start to get them built.
To start the discussion we will be creating a website and encourage people to submit short blogs related to the theme.
If you believe some of the tech press 2016 is the year that the Internet of Things will take over – billions of devices will become connected and our lives will be free from the drudgery of turning things on and off again. Beyond the hype IoT is connected sensors, actuators and machines that can be communicate over a data infrastructure. Like the internet, the data infrastructure is a critical component which is generally owned and operated by large telecommunication providers. Things Manchester is part of The Things Network founded in Amsterdam and aims to create a crowdsourced, open and free IoT data infrastructure for Greater Manchester and beyond.
Things Manchester will introduce the project and how you can get involved.
The last few months have seen unprecedented rainfall across the north of the UK. Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria bore the brunt of the flooding with bridges swept away, town centres flooded and buildings inundated. ODI Leeds is running a Flood Hack event that will encourage the development of new ideas around flood warnings and prevention. Having access to open data and an open IoT infrastructure is key to this development. The team who are developing Flood Hack will introduce the event and what can be expected and how you can participate
Tech Hub Manchester
77 Dale Sreet
M1 2HG Map here
This March’s Open Data Manchester is a special event held in partnership with our friends at FutureEverything. Since September they have been working on the Greater Manchester Data Synchronisation Programme (GMDSP) – a groundbreaking open data initiative that forges links between the code community and local authorities. GMDSP works with the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities to release corresponding datasets as linked open data. This has been done by placing coders (Code Fellows) many from the Open Data Manchester community, in the local authorities to help identify and transform data.
The Data Dive is a chance to see and understand the work being done, talk to the teams releasing the data and more importantly get a heads up regarding the challenges that will be set for the GMDSP Coding Challenge taking place as part of FutureEverything on the weekend of 29th and 30th March.
Afsniti is a yearly Innovation Competition that takes place at the end of November in Hørsholm Hospital. If you are a creative entrepreneur, artist or innovator or have a really good idea they would like to hear from you. There is a top prize of 100,000 DKR and if you are one of the 20-24 projects chosen you will be invited over to Denmark to take part in the Afsnit I Camp and Festival. Accommodation and food is provided with the possibility of support for travel too.