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2019 South Side Civic Scopeathon at the University of Chicago

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The University of Chicago

Chicago, IL 60637

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Participant tickets are running out! But there IS a waitlist, and we strongly encourage you to still sign up as spots might open up if registered participants cancel.


The fifth annual South Side Civic Scopeathon is a two-day event created to support non-profits and public agencies serving the South Side of Chicago by using data and technology to advance their missions. While traditional hackathons are about writing code, Scopeathon brings together cross-functional teams to focus on the critical first step of problem definition.

Scopeathon pairs leaders of local organizations with students and practitioners at the university to identify opportunities to use data and technology to meet their objectives. Throughout the event, participants hear from speakers working at the intersection of data, technology and social good; receive technical instruction from experts in the field; and work in teams to devise actionable project plans to address data- or technology-related problems participating organizations are struggling with.

Organizations leave the event with a customized, fully “scoped” project plan that comprehensively addresses their respective challenges. Participating students benefit by gaining insight into the types of data and technology problems organizations face as well as the experience of working with community leaders to outline solutions to local civic problems.

Everyone - all backgrounds are welcome! Scopeathon is focused on the "pre-coding" stage of problem-solving with data and technology, so no previous programming experience is required. We strongly encourage everyone in the UChicago community with an interest in exploring the applications of data and technology in civic organizations to participate, regardless of the specific degree they are pursuing or industry they work in. We believe the strongest teams are the ones that are both collaborative and diverse.

If you're interested in participating in the 5th Annual ScopeAthon, please make sure to get a Participant Ticket for BOTH days.


Friday, October 11th, 2019 from 4:30pm - 8:00pm
The Keller Center
1307 E 60th St, Chicago, IL 60637

We will kick-off the two-day event on Friday with a keynote speaker followed by team breakout sessions where students and community leaders can introduce themselves and the problem they will be scoping.

Saturday, October 12th, 2019 from 9am - 8pm
Polsky Exchange North
1452 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

Students will be broken up into teams and paired with nonprofit leaders to break down and understand a data or technology challenge the nonprofit is facing. The teams will build an action plan to tackle this challenge and present to a panel of judges at the end of the day.

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The University of Chicago

Chicago, IL 60637

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