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A collaborative data space grounded in social justice πŸ“šβœ¨

CIVIC Data Library

Social Justice in the Datasphere

CIVIC is creating the CIVIC Data Library as a novel public data resource, grounded in social justice, that centers data constituents through participatory collaboration. The Library's story begins with its creation, and you are invited to help us ask and answer key questions in making the world's first public data community space with an integrated context life-cycle.

Unlike data portals and dashboards, the CIVIC Data Library requires that every dataset represented include the context of the data: what information it includes, who worked on it, and who else was involved β€” as well as who was left out and what wasn't recorded. To do this, CIVIC brings together a team of dataset constituents and contextualization specialists to work with data publishers and collect the context for each dataset.

The Library is a hub for a community that spans disciplines, lived experiences, regions, and cultures to engage the stories told and untold by data.

Want to learn more about the Library? Check out the CIVIC Data Library Hub for details about the Library, information about structured context and the collection process, our vision roadmap, and more.

Focus Sessions

Focus sessions present an opportunity for you to shape the fundamental tenets of the library, including how it is built and how data are contextualized for inclusion in the library. Our goal is to make these crucial decisions transparently with well-informed insights from people like you through an amazing facilitated collaboration experience. These sessions are part of an emergent series, with new sessions being added as important topics are uncovered by focus session teams.

How it works

For each challenge, CIVIC brings together a small team to explore one big question and come up with tactical actions. We interview applicants and then carefully craft teams to have a diversity of perspective and experience.

The work is mostly asynchronous, with everyone preparing and exploring resources in a shared workspace, culminating in one synchronous virtual meeting. Regardless of your expertise, you can expect to come up with novel, grounded, interdisciplinary insights you would not have arrived at on your own. After the meeting, you and your team will collect your insights to inform the work of future teams and continued development of the Library.

Time commitments:

  • Asynchronous preparation: 2-5 hours

  • Synchronous virtual meeting: 90 minutes-3 hours

  • Asynchronous wrap up: 2-5 hours

The entire process is supported by CIVIC staff and project participants from our recent Structured Context cohort, which includes researchers, artists, data scientists, professors, librarians, policy investigators, non-profit founders and more from around the world. There are avenues for continued involvement for participants who want to stay on this journey with us.

You may request to join for one or more challenge sessions in a single request.

Request to join

Upcoming Focus Sessions

Below are focus sessions coming up soon that still have openings. View all focus sessions on the CIVIC Data Library Hub.

Contributor Attribution Systems

  • collaboration
  • attribution
  • schema
  • labor
  • teamwork
Synchronous virtual meeting: Mon, Nov 30, 1:00 AM UTC

The CIVIC Data Library aspires to make labor visible β€” and teamwork makes the dream work! How can we track, credit, and celebrate the work all of the amazing people that make this work possible in a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary, emergent environment? This session will produce an initial design for how we track and credit work for all types of contributors.

  • Expected outcomes: An initial design for how we track, credit, and show labor across our system of contributors
  • Encouraged applicants: People who are interested in systems of attribution, community organizers / managers
  • Expected preparation time: 5-10 hours

Context Schema: Technical Architecture & Governance

  • open source
  • governance
  • technical architecture
  • schema
Synchronous virtual meeting: TBD

CIVIC Data Library will rely on a custom schema for structured context. This schema will be developed and iterated on as we work towards our initial public launch in mid-2021 –– but now is the time to make key technical & governance decisions. This session will develop a governance plan and initial technical specification to prepare to start development.

  • Expected outcomes: A governance plan and initial technical specification for the structured context schema
  • Encouraged applicants: Schema developers, open-source governance experts, metadata specialists, data science architects, interdisciplinary collaboration specialists
  • Expected preparation time: 5-10 hours

Ready to help us create the CIVIC Data Library? Join us for a focus session!

Get CIVIC Data Library updates πŸ“šπŸ’Œ

Excited about the focus sessions, but don’t see a fit for you yet? Join our updates list! These updates are exclusively for announcements and opportunities related to the CIVIC Data Library. We promise never to spam, bore, or sell your information.