A hack-day for Fairtrade in Oxford?

Oxford is a Fairtrade City.
To stay as a Fairtrade City we have to renew our ‘status’ every few years – and the next renewal is coming up. This year we were thinking it might be fun if, instead of a just having a bunch of volunteers wander around a few shops with clipboards to check we have lots of places stocking Fairtrade products for our renewal application, we could take a more dynamic approach and:
  • Build some sort of online directory of what Fairtrade products you can get in Oxford and where;
  • Find a way for people to report Fairtrade-stocking retailers using their mobiles;
  • Find ways of crowdsourcing photos for Fairtrade retailers in Oxford;
  • Do lots of other cool things with the data we collect (like making maps that show the connection between shops in Oxford and suppliers the other side of the globe; mashing-up Fairtrade info with Daily Info data; linking up with local radio creating custom QR coded stickers for retailers and lots more… limited only by our collective imaginations)
All of which sounded like a really good focus for some sort of social-action focussed hack-day of building stuff – followed by a volunteer crowd-sourcing data with people cycling round the city etc. to gather all the information we need for the renewal.
(If you’ve not come across the idea of a hack-day before – it’s when technologists, designers, writers, photographers, researchers, information-gatherers, and anyone else who is willing to volunteers their time for a day gets together to build useful things in about 6 or 7 hours. They’re fun, creative, often chaotic – and generally result in some really good outcomes in a short space of time. Check out this post about the Oxford Open Data Day hack-day last year.)
Looking ahead – we could hold a day on the 11th or 25th June 2011. Anyone interested in taking part or helping plan and make this happen? Drop me an e-mail or tweet (@timdavies) or drop in a comment below…

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