Open Minnesota

Legislation to accelerate open government, open data, and civic technology statewide for all Minnesotans! #OpenMN

The Plan

What will Open Minnesota do?

Translating our inspiration into an educational outreach initiative reaching communities across the entire state will be based on total funding from public and private sources in consultation with our government partners and the public. This includes building on the interest of Minnesota’s technology community, higher education, and civic innovation nonprofit sector which are generating crucial volunteer software development, design, and data visualization interest as well as fostering civic technology start-up interest.

While the legislation promotes flexibility, we envision programs in three main areas:

  • Education and Outreach

  • Open Data

  • Civic Technology


1. Education and Outreach – Promote statewide adoption of open government, civic technology, and open data strategies

  • Expertise and training – Provide a center of expertise and training for government units and nonprofit organizations in Minnesota on open government, open data, and civic technology
  • Adapt “best of” for Minnesota – Promote awareness of the global Open Government Declaration, available civic technology code, and open data
  • Host events, “unconferences,” online groups – Host stakeholder convening networking events statewide as well as online knowledge sharing opportunities
  • Online resources, e-newsletters, webinars – Gather best practices and disseminate educational and training materials to government units and other stakeholders to build broad awareness of opportunities, value, and potential actions

2. Open Data – Encourage wide use of public data sets now being proactively shared by government

  • Generate public-centric ideas – Through “ideation” processes, surface ideas on  actual public needs and benefits that may be derived from more open data
  • Gather public demand and interest – Solicit and share public input related to the priority release of open data sets by government units and the creation of civic technology solutions
  • Promote open data principles, standards, and policies – Share the lessons from leading Minnesota and other governments broadly with communities just getting started

3. Civic Technology – Accelerate the creative use of technology for civic innovation

  • Code-a-thons, code challenges – Coordinate events and competitions promoting open government and civic technology software development and service design events hosted by government units and other stakeholders (aka hackathons) – This includes promoting the reuse of open source and other code and civic apps using open data from Minnesota sources
  • Sustained connections and incubation – Play a match making and awareness role to continuously connect interest to emerging civic apps, explore options for incubating civic technology projects
  • Future pilots – Recommend successful open government and civic technology innovations and software applications for piloting or wider adoption to the 2015 legislative session
  • Further collaboration – Spur collaboration across government with non-profits, the private sector, and other units of government to generate public service and economic development benefits across Minnesota including effort to seek national and other additional funding

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