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>  Crowd-hitch a ride to explore America's new frontiers

Project Activate

Track: Advocates
Region: West

Engage individuals/orgs using public data to enrich their local communities. Write a book documenting experience & the role of open data.

$4,645 Raised out of $5,000
30 Supporters
-481 Days Remaining

What is your project?

I want to find people who make data come alive within their local communities. I will document their initiatives and include their case studies in a book. That book will articulate the role that open data is playing in enriching our communities, and the role it can play going forward.

I have a personal philosophy about open data and how we can most effectively use it to enrich our communities. I believe data in and of itself is useless. But data plus context equals information, which leaders can then use to inform options for addressing core issues posing challenges to communities nationwide. Data with context is powerful and informative.

I'm a millennial in 2013. That means I'm a member of a generation concerned about personal challenges like student loan debt, job security, and building a foundation strong enough to support a family. My generation also worries about more than itself -- the state of education, the quality of the environment, the financial health of its communities. Without contextualized data, each one of those issues remains nebulous. 

But there are individuals (many of them millennials) who are using data-driven analysis to address these and other challenges. They are clarifying the issues by taking core metrics and transforming them from just statistics into valuable information. They're then using that information to effectively engage the public on critical issues.  

I've raised $2,500 in matching donations. One of my matching contributors will match every dollar you give. Every dollar will help. Thank you for your support.


What is your perception of the future, and how does your project respond to that perception?



How will you use your time in each city to advance your project?


What is your project designed to accomplish?

Currently, open data initiatives are largely focused on the mechanics of opening public data. I've designed my project to highlight how people on the ground, in local communities, are already using data positively. These people are more interested in giving data meaning and putting it to use than just having data for data's sake. Data contextualized and put to use has incredible value and impact. I want to make that clear using concrete examples and inspire others to use data effectively in their own communities.


How do you plan to share the outcome of your project and the impact of your MTP experience with others?

The project's deliverable will be a book documenting my MTP experience through the narratives of the local leaders I will meet. I imagine that a common thread of the experience should be the role that millennials are playing in civic intercourse today, and how they can take lead roles in their communities going forward.


Autumn Carter
Executive Director, CACS

About Autumn Carter

Autumn is the Executive Director of California Common Sense (CACS), a nonprofit research organization dedicated to making government more transparent and promoting civic engagement. She has work with CACS since it began in 2010. She later graduated from Stanford University in 2011, receiving a B.A. in Political Science with Concentrations in American Politics and Political Theory. While at Stanford, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Stanford Review and the Vice President of Programming for the Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford, a U.S.-China relations organization. She studied abroad at the University of Oxford and Peking University. Autumn was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. She enjoys golf, tennis, running, and political thought.