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“Penza City Upgrade” social project hackathon concluded

08:53 | 20.10.2014 | Society

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Penza, 20 October 2014. PenzaNews. “Penza City Upgrade” social Internet project hackathon took place in “Rameev” technological park last weekend, October 18-19.

“Penza City Upgrade” social project hackathon concluded

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The marathon event was organized by “Social Technology Greenhouse” social education project, Penza community fund “Citizen Union” and the Moscow-based Social Information Agency.

As Oleg Gant, representative of “Social Technology Greenhouse” told PenzaNews agency, the event aims to unite representative of various specialists to make socially useful applications.

“We make the hackathon happen so that the people with the ideas and the skills – programmers, designers, journalists, photographers and activists – could unite in a kind of a single team. We ask some people to create and elaborate the ideas, and ask the others to help implement the ideas. Our hackathon is dedicated to citizen-wide and city-wide applications, as well as help apps. This is a creative lab and a free discussion space,” he explained.

Valery Bespalov, deputy chairman of Penza region government, welcomed the participants and noted that such hackathon may be interesting also for the region as a whole.

“You have gathered today at the ‘Penza City Upgrade’ event, and I would be happy if were were to make a ‘Penza Region Upgrate’ hackathon. I hope such initiatives can make our lives better: that would be great,” he said.

In his turn, the Penza city mayor Yuri Krivov who visited the hackathon opening ceremony pointed out that it gathered the socially active citizens.

“Each wish of the men to cooperate and collectively suggest solutions for some current city-wide problems, especially from their points of view, is a good thing. The more such city- and city development-wide projects will there be from the Penza citizens, the more comfortable it will be for the authorities to work. I would like the projects that would be explored here to become useful for the many,” he stressed.

The second day of “Penza City Upgrade” included master courses, presentations and discussions of various social projects that are currently being developed in Penza, and the applications that worked well in other cities.

Apart from that, the first day was marked by an urban planning issues and solutions discussions with various experts, including Alexei Novikov, director of “Habidatum” company, Alexei Melnikov, co-founder of “Hiteka” parametrist architect community, Oleg Rubtsov, Penza social event producer, and Shezhana Frantsuzova, non-commercial project consultant. Penza city mayor Yuri Krivov actively participated in the urban planning debates.

The hackathon participants moved to the active phase during the second day. In the morning, they presented the ideas of their projects and divided into teams to work on them.

The hackathon was concluded by prototype presentations. Overall, 16 websites and applications of various spheres reached this stage. Among them were projects oriented to help disabled people, commemorate the memory of repressed Penzacitizens, suggesting community control over petrol quality, implementing volunteer landscape gardening company, and so on.

The jury committee, including Ivan Malikov, head of PenzaNews agency, discussed the projects in details and pointed out the project “To a good home” presented by Inna Nazarova, director of fund “Helping Hand for Homeless Animals.” Her team won the grand prize of the event, a 60-thousand ruble grant for the project.

Concluding the hackathon, Oleg Sharipkov, executive director of the fund “Citizen Union,” thanked all the participants and expressed his hope that the presented initiatives will be developed.

“I think we all learned something in these two days. We met each other, some people made new and useful contacts here. Each of the presented projects is valuable on its own. I hope most of them will be implemented and this way make Penza better,” he said. 

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