Civic Hackathon Participants Team up to Tackle Challenges


The Office of Strategic Initiatives brought members of the community together for a day of active problem-solving during the recent online Civic Hackathon, “How do we create a social safety net to help make Gainesville a more livable community?” The event was designed to generate ideas and solutions toward a stronger community for all Gainesville neighbors. 

Participants teamed up to design solutions to three challenges:

  • Asset Mapping Challenge: Develop a tool to help community members to find resources to assistance they may be eligible to receive.
  • Design Audit Challenge: Improve the design of the city's myGNV Resource Finder app for seniors.
  • COVID-Response Challenge: Tackle a COVID-related problem in Gainesville.

“Some great ideas were produced and technologies outlined that will help city staff and the Code for Gainesville brigade continue this work over the next several months,” said Civic Collaboration Specialist Karissa Raskin. “We encourage anyone interested in joining the Code for Gainesville brigade to sign up online,” she said.

Earlier this year, the Office of Strategic Initiatives was awarded a $10,000 Community Challenge grant from AARP for the hackathon, an event designed to mobilize neighbors to collectively leverage their skills and talents to create a stronger community.

“We are proud that the city is one of only six recipients in the state and the only hackathon to receive an award this year,” said Director of Neighbor Centered Design Jacqueline Stetson.  “We believe co-designing solutions with our neighbors and community partners is the strongest path forward. We are thankful for AARP’s support of our strategic programs that are based in strong community engagement.”

Dr. Laura Guyer, a master lecturer at the University of Florida Center for Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies and Gender Research, was one of five judges who evaluated the tech-based solutions based on feasibility and innovation, among other factors. “We are fortunate to be surrounded by so many committed and caring people – they make Gainesville a wonderful place to call ‘home,’” she said.

Additional information about the Civic Hackathon event and the teams’ solutions are available to view online.

 “The teams all shared a passion for improving our community, and we are incredibly grateful for the time that these folks took out of their weekend to spend working together with the city to serve our Gainesville community. It is civic stewardship at its finest,” said Raskin.

For more information, contact Karissa Raskin at or 352-262-6075.