Reprogramming BigApps 2017 to be about New Yorkers

Partnering with the NYCEDC, we're using participatory, user-centered principles to redesign NYC's largest civic innovation challenge. Civic Hall Labs is managing NYC BigApps 2017, a civic tech competition that challenges local residents to create tech tools that solve the City's civic challenges. We've rebooted that challenge to respond to the needs of youth, seniors, and immigrants. In 2016, we held seven listening sessions with direct service providers and NYC youth, seniors, and immigrants to define NYC BigApps challenges that deliver empathy-driven submissions. These sessions revealed three major issues for New Yorkers, which were announced at our sold out NYC BigApps 2017 launch event at Grand Central Tech on January 12th: transportation, access to knowledge, and community resiliency.

One of the #NYCBigApps principles is accessibility. We want to make the product development process accessible to civic innovators and entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. This is why Civic Hall Labs is holding seven ideation and prototyping workshops and open sourcing the learnings for  workshops. January 24th marked the first of seven ideation and prototyping workshops, where over 100 participants came together to learn more about the challenge areas, discover their individual design process, and left with the necessary tools to begin the initial research phase of the product development process. Check out the first product development workshop recap to learn about how human-centered design can help you build better tech. 

This week’s session focuses on human-centered and empathic approaches to design research and ethnography, and will incorporate methods such as user and subject matter expert interviews, as well as observations and secondary research methods. Click here for the full Ideation & Prototyping Workshop schedule, which Civic Hall Labs will hold through April 19th.

Applications for NYC BigApps 2017 close April 30th. Winning teams will not only receive cash prizes, but will be admitted into Civic Hall Labs’ Civic Accelerator program, a community-sourced innovation platform that works with civic entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into early stage startups through training in design-thinking, prototyping and startup methodology. The Accelerator launches in 2017.