Articles by

David Smith

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    Today live from its Annual Conference, the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) is celebrating the winners of the Civic Data Challenge. David B. Smith, NCoC’s executive director, blogs about the challenge and its winners. We have used civic health data for years to understand civic life in communities across the country, and to take an evidence-based approach to inform policies, programs, and initiatives that advance civic engagement. This year, through the Civic Data Challenge, and along with our partners at Knight Foundation, we decided to make this trove of community insight even more valuable and accessible to decision makers and the public. The goal of the challenge was to turn the raw data of “civic health" into beautiful, useful applications and visualizations, enabling communities to be better understood and made to thrive. Our hope was that in doing so we could bring new eyes, new minds, new findings and new skill sets to the field of civic health. Today, we are honored to announce the winners of the challenge at the 67th Annual National Conference on Citizenship and to say that our hope was met with amazing enthusiasm, energy and response. More than 170 members joined the challenge community, and our team of outstanding judges reviewed entries that came in from more than 60 participants. Winning teams spanned the country, representing communities from San Francisco to Philadelphia, and Los Angeles to Burlington, Vermont. Participants included undergraduate students and nonprofit leaders, financial analysts and graphic designers, coders and even an astrophysicist. And they all engaged with civic data to bring its implications to life in new and powerful ways. Eager to know what they came up with? First place winners include: A team at UC Berkeley that built a website where users can view the impact of the Presidential candidates’ proposed economic policies on their personal income, including local and national information so they can see the impact the policies may have on their communities. A team from Philadelphia’s Razorfish office that created an engaging video demonstrating the value of the arts to community well-being, including health, education, and satisfaction.   The video builds on analysis that finds civic participation to be a key component to community well-being.
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    David B. Smith, executive director of the National Conference on Citizenship, writes about the launch of its Civic Data Challenge today in San Francisco, which is supported by Knight Foundation.    Today, the National Conference on Citizenship is excited to launch the Civic Data Challenge. The challenge turns the raw data of “civic health" into beautiful, useful applications and visualizations, enabling communities to be better understood and made to thrive. We believes that data is essential to understanding how our communities work and uncovering ways to motivate greater participation. Together with our partners, we have collected and used civic health data for years. This year, we’re thrilled to join forces with Knight Foundation to explore how community engagement and attachment help build thriving communities. We are also thrilled to have an opportunity to make this trove of community insight even more valuable and accessible to decision makers and the public. The Civic Data Challenge will bring new eyes, new minds, new findings, and new skill sets to the field of civic health. How: Challenge participants will be provided civic health data, as well as data on health, safety, education, and the economy.  Participants will analyze the data, identify connections and correlations, and create visual representations and interactive products to showcase their findings. These may include infographics, apps, animations, videos, or other innovations.