#Hack4CongressA Not-Just-for-Technologists Event to Fix Congress with the OpenGov Foundation


Friday, January 30, 2015 (All day) to Sunday, February 1, 2015 (All day)


Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Capitol and flag**Find information on challenges, useful resources, and post your own ideas on our #Hack4Congress Hackpad site**
Watch these video invitations from Member of Congress!

Rep. Darrell Issa Invites You to #Hack4Congress

Rep. Jared Polis Wants You to #Hack4Congress

Opening Panel and Reception
Friday, January 30, 2015; 4:10pm – 7 p.m
Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor Taubman Building


Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy & Citizenship and Academic Dean, Harvard Kennedy School (Moderator)

Bill Delahunt, Former U.S. Representative (D-MA)

David King, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Maggie McKinley, Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School

Orientation and Hackathon Day 1
Saturday, January 31; 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
JFK Jr. Forum, Littauer Building

Hackathon Day 2 and Project Presentations
Sunday, February 1, 2015; 8:30 a.m.- 3 p.m.
JFK Jr. Forum, Littauer Building

Harvard Kennedy School of Government
79 JFK St., Cambridge, MA

About the Event
Though the founders envisioned Congress as the linchpin of democracy in the United States – most Americans would argue that it is a fundamentally broken institution beset by hyper-partisanship and unresponsive to the needs of its constituents. Congress needs “fixes” – but where will these new tools and solutions come from? By bringing together political scientists, technologists, designers, lawyers, organizational psychologists, and lawmakers, #Hack4Congress will help foster new digital tools, policy innovations, and other technology innovations to address the growing dysfunction in Congress.

Help fix Congress! Join political scientists and policy experts, technologists, architects, and designers at #Hack4Congress at Harvard Kennedy School of Government to help identify ideas and innovations to overcome the dysfunction gripping much of Congress. “Hacking” is not just for technologists. “Hacks” include innovations in policy, architecture, organizational process, art and design, and educational materials, as well as new software and technologies.

Solutions presented at the end of the hackathon will be evaluated by a panel of judges. After a second hackathon hosted by The OpenGov Foundation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in spring 2015, the winning teams will have an opportunity to present their projects to lawmakers and other high-level officials inside Congress. Move our democracy forward.

Register for #Hack4Congress (free) here.

See This Event in the Media Here:

Challenges and Projects
This event will focus on issues like lawmaking, deliberation, and responsiveness after the elections are over. Projects could address our suggested challenges (Improving the lawmaking process; Facilitating cross-partisan dialogue; Modernizing Congressional participation; Closing the representation and trust gaps; and Reforming campaign finance) or one of your own. What do you think are the most important problems with the mechanics and operations of Congress as an institution? What ideas do you have to fix Congress? Solutions could draw on the fields of organizational behavior/process design, material design, policy and political science, architecture, project management approaches, education, communications, or others. Participants of all expertise are welcome.

Read more about and add your own challenges and project ideas here.

Read our Code of Conduct here.

#Hack4Congress co-sponsors include The Sunlight Foundation, Congressional Management Foundation, Microsoft New England, Represent.Us, CODE2040, POPVOX, Capitol Bells, Generation Citizen, and the Participatory Politics Foundation.