Events

ThinkChicago Lollapalooza: Bringing Together Remarkable Students

Every summer, Chicago’s signature music festival, Lollapalooza, fills Grant Park with the sounds of musicians and music fans. The word, Lollapalooza, meaning “remarkable person or thing,” defines not just the music festival, but it has also come to define the remarkable students that visit Chicago each year for ThinkChicago.

ThinkChicago takes place the week leading up to Lollapalooza (the music festival) with the goal of retaining and attracting top tech talent to Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago and the University of Illinois, invite University students to Chicago to learn about the city’s vibrant innovation ecosystem, and to show visiting students what an incredible place Chicago is to live and work. For the third year in a row, Microsoft has had the honor of contributing to ThinkChicago’s wonderful efforts. This year, we facilitated a panel on Civic Innovation and we introduced the students to Microsoft Chicago’s efforts in Machine Learning, Civic Technology and Urban Engagement.

The first day of ThinkChicago kicked off at Motorola Chicago, where the students were welcomed by Mayor Emanuel.

Following Mayor Emanuel’s introductions, Microsoft’s own Shelley Stern Grach moderated a panel on Civic Innovation in Chicago. The panel featured Charlie Catlett from the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD), Danielle DuMerer from the Department of Information Technology (DoIT), Katie Olson from UILABS, and Kenneth Watkins from Blue1647. The discussion focused on how science and technology are enabling and empowering Chicago’s communities. Many of the key messages expressed the importance of policy, and transparency and collaboration amongst various sectors, as vital to driving innovation and success across Chicago.

To draw on the panels introduction and discussion of Civic Innovation, the students transferred to mHUB Chicago where they took part in a Civic Innovation Challenge. Microsoft’s Adam Hecktman was there to see the students at work.

For the final day of ThinkChicago, Microsoft Chicago hosted 60 students at our Envisioning Lab for a demo by Adam Hecktman on Machine Learning. Adam introduced the students to AI facial recognition, sentiment analysis, speech to text, and the immeasurable capabilities of emerging technologies.  

Microsoft Chicago Fellows, Soren Spicknall and Anna Draft (me!), followed up with insights on Microsoft’s Fellowship program. Soren spoke to the group of his work in Data Science and Civic Technology and how both are being applied for social good. I spoke of my work in Public Policy and community engagement and how both are necessary for improving digital literacy and accessibility. Thanks to Microsoft’s Fellowship program, Soren and I have been able to pursue our passions. We have also been able to experience how collaboration (between ourselves on a smaller level, and amongst Microsoft partnerships, on a grander level) drives innovation and success across Chicago.

Before the students were set free to experience four full days at Lollapalooza, we concluded with Q&A. The ThinkChicago students were curious, they asked applicable questions, and they were wonderful to connect with. Since ThinkChicago, we have received a number of positive inquiries from the students interested in everything from Civic Innovation, Machine Learning, Data Science, Public Policy, and job opportunities!  

Congratulations, and a very big thank you to Mayor Emanuel, World Business Chicago, the University of Illinois, the amazing panelists, and the students for coming together for ThinkChicago. The City of Chicago is set for success thanks to everyone’s remarkable efforts and dedication.

For more information about ThinkChicago, visit thinkchicago.net.  

Civic Tech in Chicago — August‘s Top Events

Hello, August! This month’s all about sun and fun — and these top picks for civic tech events in our city:

August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

ChiHackNight
6pm—10pm
Braintree office 222 W Merchandise Mart Plz 8th Floor, Chicago

Join us every Tuesday from 6-10pm on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart to hear from amazing speakerslearn from each other and work on civic projectsEveryone is welcome!

We are a group of thousands of designers, academic researchers, data journalists, activists, policy wonks, web developers and curious citizens who want to make our city more just, equitable, transparent and delightful to live in through data, design and technology.

August 2

Chicago City Data User Group
6pm—7:30pm
The Microsoft Technology Center Chicago Aon Center – 200 E. Randolph Ste 200, Chicago

The Center for Neighborhood Technology delivers game-changing research, tools, and solutions to create sustainable and equitable communities. From sustainable water strategies to transit-oriented development to cargo and freight movement, CNT takes a data driven approach to the environmental and economic sustainability of our neighborhoods.

Dr. Peter Haas is CNT’s Chief Research Scientist. He recently showed a group of participants in the Urban Sustainability Challenge the data and tools that they leveraged and built around land development in the city and I knew it had to be shared! Peter has been integral in the development of CNT’s location efficiency metrics, and developed its well-known Housing and Transportation (H+T ®) Affordability Index.

Join us on August 2nd at the Microsoft Technology Center Chicago to hear Peter talk about data used around land development. And…there will be pizza.

August 3

FinTank’s Data Analytics and Business Intelligence
6pm—8pm
333 South Wabash Avenue Suite 2700, Chicago

Please join us as we continue our Data Analytics + Business Intelligence (BI) journey at FinTank.
Data Analytics + Business Intelligence covers the process of collecting, analyzing, and telling stories with data to help businesses see farther into the past so they can make better decisions in the future.

August 5

Design for America Project Expo
3:30pm—5pm
Northwestern University | Donald P. Jacobs Building 2001 Sheridan Rd., Evanston

This year, DFA teams will explore: “How can we expand accessibility in urban areas?” Teams will share their work to ensure the inclusion of those with differing abilities into the fabric of our communities and the future development of our cities.

August 8

ITA Tech Talk: Tales from the Trenches
4:30pm—6pm
SPR Consulting Office 233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 3500

​It seems like almost everyone around us in technology is assembling an IoT demo. They even make it look easy. Sure, with the tools available today getting a demo together can go rather quickly, but moving your idea to an enterprise environment where the solution needs to be rock solid and bulletproof takes considerably more time and rigor.

Would you like to know more about how an IoT project really operates? Join our panel of experts as they reflect on real-world experiences working in IoT projects from the trenches.

August 10

ITA Tech on Tap
5:30pm—7pm
Enova Office 175 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1000

​You are invited to join ITA at the Enova office to network and collaborate with your peers in the Chicago tech community. Enjoy an adult beverage while developing new relationships, expanding your contact base and driving your business forward.

August 15

Women Influence Chicago
5:30pm—7:30pm
Avionos, 33 N LaSalle Street, The Vault – Lower Level (basement), Chicago

​Register now for Women of Influence Chicago on Tuesday, August 15 from 5:30 – 7:30pm for an exciting event focused on empowering women to find their way in a tech- and data-enabled world.

Aligning Tomorrow’s Technology Today at Chicago Innovation Summit

Effectively applying technology to help tackle civic and societal challenge isn’t just a matter of matching capabilities with problems … It’s defining opportunities, integrating with human nature and organizational systems, and testing, maintaining, and evolving solutions. It takes collaboration, communications and partnerships to align technology innovations with society. On July 12, Chicago Innovation and the Chicago Public Library hosted a half day Innovation Summit and Tech Fair featuring “Tomorrow’s Technology Today” at the Harold Washington Library. Microsoft had the honor to participate in the afternoon Tech Fair and the full evening public event, which focused on Innovation and Digital Equity.

I shared the podium with two amazing people, Julie Friedman Steele, Chairman of the Board, World Future Society and Kris Hammond, Co-founder, Narrative ScienceTogether we addressed how society is (and should) be impacted by Innovation and the need for all citizens to have an equal voice and equal change to fully participate in the benefits of  the Future. Following are social media comments and photos, which I hope you will find enlightening.

 

Civic Tech in Chicago — July’s Top Events

The dog days of summer have crept up! Keep going nonstop with us with these top picks for civic tech events in Chicago:

All Month

Chicago Innovation Awards (make your nominations by July 31st!)

The Chicago Innovation Awards make Chicago a recognized hub of innovation by igniting a new narrative for our region, strengthening its economic future and building the spirit of innovation throughout the community.

July 6

500 Startups @ UChicago
5pm—7pm
Polsky Exchange – Promontory Point Meeting Room 1452 E 53rd St, 2nd Floor, Chicago

500 Startups is a global venture capital seed fund headquartered in Silicon Valley with over $350M in capital. The most active seed investor in the world, 500 Startups has invested in 1,800 technology startups across 60 countries the world since 2010.

On July 6, join Entrepreneur in Residence Mark Goldenson for an expert presentation on fundraising. Mark will dive into the details of creating a pitch deck with slide-by-slide tips and give advice on applying to 500 Startups next batch. Come with questions!

Dinner will be served.

July 11, 18, 25

Chi Hack Night
6pm—10pm
Braintree office 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, 8th Floor, Chicago

The Chi Hack Night is a free, weekly event in Chicago to build, share and learn about civic tech and tools to create, support, or serve public good.

Join us every Tuesday from 6-10pm on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart to hear from interesting speakerslearn from each other and work on civic projects. Non-techies are very welcome!

July 12

Chicago Innovation Summit
1pm—7pm
Harold Washington Library Center 400 S State St, Chicago

Chicago Innovation, The Executives’ Club of Chicago, and the Chicago Public Library have joined forces for the 2nd annual Chicago Innovation Summit. Featuring top innovation minds and leaders, this half-day event will unveil new ideas and strategies to help grow your business, as well as a showcase featuring innovative technologies of tomorrow.

July 13

The Future of IoT
9am—11am
TechNexus 20 N Wacker Dr, 12th floor, Chicago

​The Internet of Things is moving from the “cool products” phase into a more mature, fully developed world where the focus is shifting from IoT-enabled products to how to establish the IoT-enabled Enterprise. Accommodating this shift will fundamentally be a function of leveraging the underlying data, and will require considerations about architectural deployment, security, privacy, and data primacy and governance.

ITA Tech on Tap: Cogeco Peer 1 on ITA Roofdeck
5:30pm—7:30pm
Civic Opera Building 20 N. Wacker Drive, 15th Floor, Chicago

​You are invited to join Cogeco Peer 1 and ITA on the Civic Opera Building Roofdeck to celebrate summer, network and collaborate with your peers in the Chicago tech community.

July 18

Diversity & Inclusion: What, How & Why
9am—11am
TechNexus 20 N Wacker Dr, 12th floor, Chicago

​Diversity and Inclusion has had quite the spot in the news lately as companies are trying to become more educated when it comes to attracting a diverse workforce and creating a more inclusive environment to help retain these employees. What does diversity in the workforce really mean? How should inclusion programs be implemented? Is there ROI in these programs or are they just the ‘right thing to do?’

Join a panel of professionals that are taking great strides in making their companies diverse and inclusive.

Microsoft Store and B~STEM Host One-Day Only Events

Girls learn STEM at Microsoft Store YouthSpark Summer ProgramAccording to BestColleges.com, only 6.7 percent of women are graduating with STEM degrees. With this we have a responsibility today to educate and inspire females of all ages to advance our world by pursuing careers in traditionally male dominated industries.

B~STEM Project and Microsoft Store understand this responsibility. B~STEM Project is an organization focused on helping young girls and women to engage, learn and grow within business and STEM-related disciplines across industries. From June 23 – 30, B~STEM will host We Hack Too, an eight-day virtual hackathon. Select Microsoft Store locations are excited to host kick-off events on Friday, June 23, and set everyone up for a week of fun with a Business Development and Design Incubator.

The events will give high school and college women opportunities to collaborate with professional mentors to design products and develop business strategies, while 8 to 12-year-olds will be invited to attend coding and gaming workshops.

These free events will take place in the following store near you:

Each store event will have its own unique theme spanning STEM-related topics including clean energy, gaming, entertainment and digital media, biotechnology and tech startups. To learn more about the topic of the event at your local Microsoft Store and to register for the event, please visit bstemproject.org.

Not located in a city with an event? Microsoft Store offers a range of free programs, year-round that empower youth by providing direct access to technology and hands-on learning. If you haven’t been to a Microsoft Store program yet, take a look at the video below that captures Microsoft Store YouthSpark camp energy and testimonials from real student and parent participants.

To see a full list of available in-store events and programs at your local Microsoft Store visit, Microsoft.com.

Civic Tech in Chicago — June’s Top Events

Summer in Chicago is our brief respite from the Chicago chill — with plenty of plans on deck to enjoy the good weather while it lasts, we’ve gathered some of June’s top events to keep you on track with civic tech:

June 6, 13, 20, 27

Chi Hack Night
6pm—10pm
Braintree Office 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza 8th Floor, Chicago

The Chi Hack Night is a free, weekly event in Chicago to build, share and learn about civic tech and tools to create, support, or serve public good.

Join us every Tuesday from 6-10pm on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart to hear from interesting speakers, learn from each other and work on civic projects. Non-techies are very welcome!

June 7

Chicago City Data User Group
6:00pm—7:30pm
The Microsoft Technology Center Chicago
Aon Center 200 E. Randolph Ste 200, Chicago

You don’t have to be a developer to use Chicago’s rich sets of data! The Chicago City Data users group is for end users, business users, enthusiasts, students, entrepreneurs, anyone interested in how to use City Data. Our goal to promote civic engagement, innovation, and economic opportunity leveraging The City of Chicago’s data.

2017 Chicago Forum on Global Cities Pre-reception and Opening Night
5:00pm—9:00pm
Art Institute of Chicago 230 S Columbus Avenue, Chicago

Save the date for opening night of the 2017 Chicago Forum on Global Cities, hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Financial Times.

Ahead of the program, join us for a special discussion with other business, civic and public sector leaders on the role of global cities in addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including through IMPACT 2030 – the only private sector-led initiative with the UN to unite companies in their corporate volunteering efforts to help advance the global goals.

June 7-8

Chicago Forum on Global Cities
130 E. Randolph Dr., Chicago

The inaugural Chicago Forum on Global Cities, hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Financial Times, convened in Chicago May 27-29, 2015. Each year, the forum brings together global leaders in business, education, civics, and the arts for an integrated, cross-sector dialogue on the power and limitations of global cities to shape the world’s future. The role of global cities in our world will be defined by the mayors and maestros, the scholars and CEOs, who attend and participate in this unique annual global forum in a unique global city.

June 14

Chicago’s Big Challenge: Neighborhood Safety
12pm—1:30pm
Standard Club 320 S Plymouth Ct, Chicago

On Wednesday, June 14th, ICPR will host a luncheon titled, “Chicago’s Big Challenge: Neighborhood Safety” from Noon – 1:30pm at The Standard Club in Chicago.

The event will feature local experts sharing their perspectives on how to increase safety in Chicago neighborhoods.

June 19-23

Techweek Chicago 2017
Weeklong
Various locations downtown Chicago

Techweek is an integrated media company creating and curating engaging media, dynamic events and disruptive content on web, digital and interactive technology, bringing together diverse communities of entrepreneurs, corporate professionals and thought leaders.

June 24

Chicago Cares Serve-a-Thon

We’re a city of 77 diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique assets. And while we’re North Siders, South Siders and West Siders, we’re also Chicagoans.

That’s why on June 24, we’ll gather 5,000 Chicagoans to volunteer side by side at Chicago Cares’ Serve-a-thon, the city’s largest day of service.

One Chicago Laying it all On the Table — #OnTheTable2017

On May 16, once again, thousands of Chicagoans held civic and community conversations while breaking bread with old friends and new. The Chicago Community Trust’s On the Table is an annual forum designed to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships and inspire collaborative action across the region. I now officially declare the Chicago Community Trust’s On the Table program to be an official phenomenon.

phe·nom·e·non

[fəˈnäməˌnän, fəˈnäməˌnən]
NOUN
phenomena (plural noun)

  • a remarkable person, thing, or event.

synonyms: marvel · sensation · wonder · prodigy · miracle · rarity · nonpareil ·

Microsoft was again honored to both host and attend several On the Table programs, each one focused on Civic Tech and Civic Engagement, with a different dialog and audience. We began the day by hosting a research readout and panel with mySociety addressing New findings: What We’ve Learned About Civic Tech in Cities. Specifically, mySociety has researched five case studies of civic tech projects deployed by U.S. cities in recent years and found implications for broader changes to service delivery. Nearly 50 attendees joined our table to hear more details from the study’s authors, as well as national leaders in municipal civic tech. Once the panel finished their remarks, the audience contributed their experience to an actionable conversation. We’d like to thank the following for traveling to Chicago to join our On the Table program:

  • Moderator, Emily Shaw, Senior Implementation Advisor at the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University
  • Richa Agarwal, Software developer, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and former Code for America fellow
  • Demond Drummer, CoderSpace
  • Rebecca Rumbul, Director of Research, mySociety

For more information on the mySociety’s research on Civic Tech in Cities, please see the complete research.

With a minor pause in the late morning, we then had the pleasure of hosting the ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Chicago team for a more intimate, roundtable discussion. This On the Table was also held at the Microsoft Technology Center and co-hosted by Steve Solomon of Exelon and Commissioner Karen Tamley. Our goal was to broaden the awareness about this cutting edge program that is building a network of leaders with disabilities and adding a new dimension of diversity to Chicago’s civic life: ADA 25 Advancing Leadership. ADA 25 Advancing Leadership is the first program of its kind in the nation designed specifically to ensure that Chicago’s vibrant civic and professional life fully includes leaders with disabilities. The continuous work of connecting its Members network with opportunities to serve as leaders is known as the Civic Connections Project. At our lunch, we brainstormed opportunities to connect our members into civic positions ranging from committees, task forces, associates boards, boards of directors and more.

To learn more about the program, I invite you to visit their website and watch this short video capturing the importance of this initiative through the lens of it participants.

If you are interested in learning more about ADA 25 Advancing Leadership on a regular basis, please join our Facebook pages.

Happy Monday to everyone! Last week, ADA 25 Advancing Leadership hosted an event to get feedback on recruiting for this…

Posted by ADA 25 Advancing Leadership on Monday, May 22, 2017

The final On the Table of this very busy day was hosted by Denise Linn and Sonja Marziano of Smart Chicago and Connect Chicago. Since the launch of On the Table, participants have indicated that equity and social inclusion were among the most frequent topics of discussion at the events they attended.

So, this year, organizers suggested that equity be part of these conversations. Because equity is at the heart of our collective work, The Hive Chicago Fund for Connected Learning, The Hive Chicago Learning Network and the Smart Chicago Collaborative joined together to host a “multi-table” event focusing on Digital Equity in Education. Youth Digital Equity is the social-justice goal of ensuring that all young people have equal access and opportunities to use technology tools, computers and the Internet as well as the knowledge and skills to use them effectively. The aim is to bring new and different voices to the table, while having a fun, easy conversation with great food! The evening event was held at Northeastern Center for College Access and Success at 770 North Halsted. What an amazing resource and facility! The space was overflowing and the organizers wildly exceeded their target.

Congratulations to the Chicago Community Trust for their inspirational On the Table Program that is now a phenomenon in the region. And a special thank you to mySociety, ADA 25 Advancing Leadership, the Hive Chicago Fund, the Hive Chicago Learning Network and the Smart Chicago Collaborative, for the great dedication and work you do every day to make Chicagoland a center for innovation, digital equity and collaboration.

Join the 2017 Clean Energy Trust Challenge

How can we use technology to make an impact?

As our global concerns grow, it becomes more and more obvious that sustainability and climate care are an immediate priority. And our technologies are growing alongside this concern, providing more opportunity for us to manage energy and natural resources in more sustainable ways.

That’s where organizations like Clean Energy Trust come in. Clean Energy Trust (CET) partners with innovators to bring scientific and technological advancements to market that change how the world generates, consumes and reuses energy and natural resources. And each year, CET hosts the Clean Energy Trust Challenge, where early-stage cleantech startups come together to propose new energy ideas. CET provides $1 million in seed funding, accelerating these startups and guiding them through the startup process. Each Challenge culminates in a series of finalist pitches, which are evaluated by an investment committee which comprises a handful of financial and energy industry experts.

This year’s 8 selected finalists are:

  • Aker
  • Applied Particle Technology
  • Idle Smart
  • Lotic Labs
  • PowerTech Water
  • Sun Buckets
  • SurClean, Inc
  • Switched Source, LLC

Finalists — and previous CET Challenge winners — focus on energy missions like limiting global temperatures, developing new low-carbon technologies, and deploying existing sustainable technologies on a greater scale. To date, CET has awarded over $3.7M in funding to 33 clean energy startups. Startups benefitting from our programs have gone on to raise an additional $112M in follow-on-funding – and have created over 300 jobs.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating these cleantech startups Today, May 9 at Venue SIX10. RSVP here.

Civic Tech in Chicago — May’s Top Events

How do you spend your May in Chicago? Weekend architecture tours? Picnics by the river? Trips to the Lakes?

For us, May is all about civic tech. Here are our top picks for events this month:

May 3

Spring 2017 Graduate Student & Postdoc Innovation Mixer
5:00pm-7:00pm
Polsky Exchange – Promontory Point Meeting Room 1452 E 53rd St, 2nd Floor, Chicago

The UChicago Graduate Student and Postdoc Innovation Mixer is an opportunity for graduate students and postdocs cross the University of Chicago to experience the Polsky Exchange, meet one-another, and spark interdisciplinary collaborations. This will be a great opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals and even find new teammates for any research project or business idea you’re working on.

Chicago AquaHacking Kick-off Event
8:30am-11:30am
Illinois Institute of Technology Downtown Campus Institute of Design, 7th Floor 565 West Adams Street, Chicago

AquaHacking is an annual multi-disciplinary hackathon for generating ideas to conserve the Great Lakes. Hosted by the Canada-based de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation, AquaHacking 2017 will focus on ideas to solve challenges facing Lake Erie. Join us for a kick-off meeting for Chicago’s AquaHacking team! Teams to develop solutions to pitch in late May to compete in semi-finals in June (teams will meet as-needed through May to develop solutions).

May 4

Blue Sky Social at WeWork
6:00pm
WeWork 20 W. Kinzie St., Chicago

Join us as Blue Sky Innovation hosts the latest event in its networking series, Blue Sky Social, presented by Gentleman Jack. This event will take place at WeWork Kinzie ⇒, a coworking space in River North.

May 9

2017 Clean Energy Trust Challenge
8:30am-7:00pm
Venue SIX10 610 S Michigan Ave, Chicago

Clean Energy Trust invests in the entrepreneurs leading the clean technology revolution from the Midwest. Our vision is to develop a thriving, frictionless innovation ecosystem in the Midwest for energy and resource technology startups.

The Clean Energy Trust (CET) Challenge is our flagship program in which we invest $1 million in promising early-stage cleantech startups. The final event combines live pitches with presentations by leading clean energy thinkers and doers.

What began in 2010 as a simple business plan competition to jumpstart the local ecosystem with cash prizes totaling $140,000 has now grown into the most competitive and high-profile investment opportunity for cleantech startups in the Midwest.

Since the first CET Challenge, startups have received $4M in funding, raised over $100 million in follow-on funding, and created over 300 new jobs.

May 16

ADA 25 Advancing Leadership lunch
12:00pm-1:30pm
Microsoft 200 E. Randolph Street, Chicago

Please join Steve Solomon of Exelon and Shelley Stern Grach of Microsoft for lunch to explore how Chicago’s civic landscape can become more inclusive.

We will introduce you to ADA 25 Advancing Leadership, a growing Chicago network of leaders with disabilities, and brainstorm how we can help infuse this missing dimension of diversity in Chicago’s civic life.

May 18

Bunker Labs 3rd Annual Muster Across America
12:00pm-7:30pm
1871 Chicago 222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor, Chicago

Bunker Labs, a 501(c)(3) organization committed to veteran entrepreneurship is excited to announce the 3rd annual “Muster” conference. This year we invite veterans, corporate partners and innovators to come, bring their best ideas and develop new connections and insights. Last year’s event drew over 350 participants and won praise as “the most exciting innovative veterans’ event I have ever been to.” This year’s program will bring together over 400 participants and partners for a full day of veteran entrepreneurs networking, keynote speakers, and will feature our Launch Lab where we’ll build an entire business in ONE day.

May 23

“Cybersecurity: Its Impact on Our Daily Lives”
12:00pm-1:30pm
Holland & Knight 131 S Dearborn St., Chicago

Experts discuss the reality of cyber attacks and the need for security in business, government, banking, and our private lives.

Chicago City Data User Group — The Impact Genome: Predicting Social Impact

The government and the social sector in philanthropy are the only places in the economy that measure impact only after a program has been funded.  Every other business uses data to predict the impact. The Impact Genome is a universal evidence base to research, evaluate and predict what works in social change. The Genome spans 132 common outcomes across 11 areas of social impact.

The idea is to apply the same concept used in the music genome (think of how Pandora figures out what you like) to a decision-support platform for civic funders and policymakers. It will allow practitioners to build programs using evidence “decoded” by pulling in unstructured data from academic research studies together with existing social policy.  They then use that data to estimate the impact of the programs (and standardize the reporting).  Among other benefits , this project will also allow  for benchmarking and rationalize how resources are allocated.

This short video explains it. And on April 5th, as part of our Chicago City Data User Group, we got to hear Mission Measurement founder Jason Saul talk about the genesis of this project, the data it uses, and the data it will create.

Miss our meetup? Have no fear — we meet on the first Wednesday of each month. You can catch up on what you missed in the Twitter moment below: