2011 in review, and outlook for 2012

January 9, 2012

Happy New Year, everybody!

There have been a lot of exciting developments over at DWB HQ these past few months. From new events to new programs to a trip to the UN, we've had an exciting end to 2011 and wanted to share the good news with you all here!

NY AND SF DATADIVE RESULTS

We had two wonderful weekend-long Datadives this fall, one in New York and one in San Francisco. We worked with Grameen Foundation, Benetech, Mobilizing Health, MixMarket, NYCLU, and UN Global Pulse to find answers to their questions using data. The events were huge successes and lots of lessons were learned on both sides. You can read about the exciting results from both Datadives in more detail here.

2012 DATADIVES

Following on the heels of our other two successful Datadives, we're unrolling a full slate of Datadives in 2012. We can't spill all of the details yet, but plans are brewing for DC, Chicago, and London. We'll be posting to our site and emailing again when we've got more info, so keep an eye out if you're in one of those cities!

DATA WITHOUT BORDERS GOES TO THE UN

We're extremely delighted to announce that one of our NY Datadive groups was recently honored by having their work shown in a presentation to the UN General Assembly! These dedicated Datadivers worked side-by-side with the UN Global Pulse to better understand the UN's global wellbeing survey, and the results were used in a presentation on the importance of using data for development. Aside from beaming like proud parents that one of our teams got to sit in the same room as Ban Ki Moon, we recognize this as a momentous development in bridging the scientific and social communities. The work that both the Datadivers and UN Global Pulse did was truly excellent and a prime example of what can happen when people from the data community and the social sector work together. We're incredibly excited for everyone involved in this project and can't wait to see what they come up with next!

LASTING CHANGE - THE DWB DATACORPS

A lot of people who have just gotten involved with DWB think that our Datadives are our main focus. While we find the Datadives to be critical for getting people excited about the mission and for showing social organizations the power of data, our goal has always been to build a vast network of data scientists that can work internationally with anyone that needs them. In a major step toward that goal, we are proud to announce today that, based on the success of our Datadives, we will soon be launching our DWB DataCorps. The DataCorps consists of enthusiastic data scientists who are matched with social organizations for part-time projects that can be done over weekends, at nights, or as part of their 20% time at work. We'll start tackling bigger data problems for longer amounts of time and really start to bring lasting change for those organizations who don't have data resources.

Our initial program will be a pilot consisting of hand-selected volunteers to begin with. We'll be opening the matching up more broadly over time, of course, so if you're interested in helping, sign up at http://datakind.org/get-involved if you haven't already. We're very excited to be able to launch this new branch of DWB and can't wait to have you all be a part of it.

Looking back over this year, it's amazing to think that everything we've done so far, all of the organizations we've worked with and all of the people that have volunteered to get involved, all started from a humble idea last June. Thanks to all of you who have made 2011 a truly amazing (half) year for us and we can't wait to roll up our sleeves and make 2012 even better!