I’m attending Hack for Social Impact

I’m delighted to have been chosen to attend next week’s Hack for Social Impact as a developer. The event is being run by the UK Cabinet Office, the department which “supports the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, and ensure the effective running of government” and Rewired State, a great organisation that “designs and creates hack events that bring creative developers and industry experts together to solve real-world problems.”

Hacking is a term used to describe building websites, apps or other systems in a short space of time to test out what’s possible with a new technology, new data or around a new concept. It’s a really positive thing, we know that some people may be concerned when they hear the term hacking as it used to have some negative connotations, but that’s not the case at all.

It’ll be up to a group of talented developers and designers (including myself!) to take a simple challenge and quickly build digital tools that can potentially help the Cabinet Office directly, or they may provide the seed of an idea that can be developed into a real-world application.

At Hack for Social Impact, the group is being asked to “explore how British consumers measure the social footprint of a product or service they choose to buy or support.” This is a pretty broad area, so it’ll be interesting to see what data is available, and what we can come up with to help the team approach this concept.

Echoleft is one of the thousands of companies in the UK that the Cabinet Office is aiming to help demonstrate their positive impact on people’s lives. It’s not just people that use Echoleft directly that benefit from our work, but also the charities that raise money through our memorial donations, the designers and developers that we help train, the other companies that we work with and more. A company’s social impact is far more than just a number, so it’ll be interesting to see how we can help measure and display that.

The event takes place next weekend, 22nd and 23rd February, and I’ll make sure and let you know how it goes. In the meantime, you can find out more at http://rewiredstate.org/hacks/hackforsocialimpact.