The City of Mississauga’s Smart City team hosted the very first completely virtual Smart City Open Data Challenge! In previous years, Mississauga hosted events called Tech + City or Idea Jam. Due to COVID-19, this year the Smart City Open Data Challenge replaced these events to continue to foster open data, community engagement, and research during this ‘new normal’.
The SCOD Challenge took place between October 5, 2020 and October 30, 2020, bookended by a full-day virtual kick-off event on the 5th and a closing and award meeting on the 30th. To keep everyone on track, every element of the challenge was hosted through Microsoft Teams which allowed us to use this opportunity to pilot the Microsoft Teams platform.
24 students forming 9 teams (a mix of high-school and post-secondary students) participated in this challenge to ‘reimagine the new normal’ and tell us about the city’s social and economic resilience by only using Open Data and software that was available to them. In addition, student teams were able to choose one of three topics to help narrow down their ideas: health, climate change, or transportation. In addition, 12 members of the Open Data Working Group assisted the students by being subject-matter experts.
To support us throughout the month-long challenge, we had 11 partners participate by providing software, awards, and/or industry presentations. Our event partners were: Microsoft, Tableau, SAP Qualtrics, ESRI, AWS, Via, Plotly, DataDocket, EDGE, ICUBE, and Fair Chance Learning.
In the end, we had 4 submissions which are all showcased on the Smart City website.
Our challenge judges, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer Paul Mitcham, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer Gary Kent, and Director of IT and Chief Information Officer Shawn Slack, reviewed the submissions and decided on the following winners:
- 2020 Smart City Open Data Challenge: Team 2
- Best Narrative and Story Telling: Team 2 and Team Treetops
- Best Visual Design: Team 2
- Most Innovative: Team 2
- Most Inclusive/Impactful for the City: Team Hackrs not Slackrs
- Spirit Award: Team inn0vate
Thank you to all staff for their assistance throughout the challenge!