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Foundation pledges $1 million for ideas that help to use data for civic engagement

The Knight Foundation wants to spark civic dialogue and enable citizens to hold governments and other institutions accountable.

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Knight’s call seeks to capture the full potential of data
Knight’s call seeks to capture the full potential of data

The John S and James L Knight Foundation has announced an open call for ideas that explore how the widespread digital collection of data can be used to build stronger, thriving and more engaged communities.

 

Knight’s call seeks to capture the full potential of data to help residents better understand and improve communities.

 

Civic dialogue

 

The foundation also wants the initiative to serve as a spark for civic dialogue and enable citizens to hold governments and other institutions accountable.

 

The call, which is open for applications until December 13, offers recipients a share of up to $1 million in funding.

 

“We have more data available than ever before – but the growth in data hasn’t made it easier for communities to put [this] data to use,” said Lilian Coral, director for national strategy and technology innovation, Knight Foundation.

 

“We think the potential is boundless for new approaches that enable residents to harness data and make their communities stronger and healthier.”

 

The opportunity is open to individuals and organisations with transformational projects operating in any of the 26 communities where Knight invests. Successful project ideas could include, but are not limited to:

  • New ways to collect and analyse data that support civic engagement to strengthen the community and address community challenges.
  • New approaches for displaying, interpreting and communicating data to serve, empower and engage residents.
  • More ways to bring residents together to discuss and use data for civic and social purposes.
  • Efforts that help residents improve their ability to analyse and use data for civic engagement.

The new call for ideas is part of Knight Foundation’s ongoing smart cities work, which seeks to support stronger, more engaged communities by enabling the voice of the community to be reflected in the design and use of technology.

 

“We think the potential is boundless for new approaches that enable residents to harness data and make their communities stronger and healthier.”

 

Last year, Knight announced a major $5.25 million initiative to put residents at the centre of self-driving vehicle pilot projects across the country.

 

For the past two years, Knight has partnered with Niantic, the makers of Pokémon Go, in communities across the country to experiment with how technology such as augmented reality can support civic engagement and connection.

 

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