Future Food Hack 2015

Creating Impact with Open Data

Welcome at the Future Food Hackathon! We are very proud to present this event. It will run for 32 hours during the upcoming GODAN conference at Wageningen UR. Both the hackathon and the conference are targeted at the question ‘how to create impact with open data in Agriculture and Nutrition?’. In this blogpost we’ll give you a little bit of background.

Stay tuned as we’ll give you more details on challenges, data and inspirational examples the coming days!

Make it open, it makes it better

Looking at the daunting task of feeding the world’s rapidly-expanding population in the coming decades, and to do this sustainably, it seems only natural that we have started to really look in to opportunities that Open Data offers for informed and transparent decision making, knowledge-transfer, empowering individuals and for offering new business opportunities.

Lots of agricultural data is already being produced, all around the world. More and more of this data is made accessible as open data. But too often it stops there. The data doesn’t make it into the hands of those who can use it to bring about economic and social change. Just putting data online is not enough to get it used. Sound open data policy should target the disconnect between data supply on the one hand and the information need of end users on the other. This is especially true for the more than 500 million smallholder farming households in the world, that produce most of the food that is eaten. Open data offers them opportunities of developing and building (open-source) tools that are affordable, adaptable, and easy to fix.

How to create impact with open data is the key question. In October 2013, the GODAN initiative on Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition was launched to support global efforts for making relevant data available, accessible, and usable for unrestricted use worldwide. On the 19th and 20th of January the Open Data Institute and Alterra (Wageningen University and Research Centre) will host an International Workshop at Wageningen university.

Where as the GODAN conference will focus on building high-level institutional support for open data policies from public and private partners, the Future Food Hackathon will focus on putting opportunities of open data to the test. Five teams will work for 32 hours on five challenges, supported by experts and awesome data to get really creative.

Keep posted for more information, and if you have any questions or suggestions, give us a shout!

Ps – what is a hackathon you say?

“Hackathons are no longer coding events. They have morphed into a method of creative problem solving. If you get together and you link up to with other people, you take a step back and make space for creativity, you’ll find you can do amazing things!” (MIT Media Lab)