Carnegie Mellon University
A man speaks into a microphone during a workshop presentation
A group of students sit and stand around a table, working on posters and worksheets laying flat on the table
Two students writing on a poster while the rest of their group listens from a round table in the foreground

Scopeathon for Social Good

On April 1st and 2nd 2022, the Block Center partnered with the Data Science and Public Policy Lab, Metro21: Smart Cities Institute, the Sustainability Initiative at CMU, and the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Analytical Approaches to Social Innovation (CAASI) and Graduate School of Public & International Affairs to organize the Scopeathon for Social Good.

While traditional hackathons are about writing code or building a technical solution, the Scopeathon is about better scoping civic data and tech projects so that they result in solutions that are actionable, adopted, and result in the intended societal impact. The Scopeathon for Social Good brings together students from different disciplines and project partners (community and government organizations in our region) to learn how to scope social impact projects that use data and tech and work together during the event to create a project scope that can then be turned into an effective and impactful solution.

Students receive hands-on experience learning to scope a data project with real-world, positive social impact. They work on teams with other students who care about using data to make a difference, and teams get to connect with local nonprofits and government agencies who are interested in leveraging their data more effectively. This experience prepares students for capstone projects and can lead to research opportunities. Students enrolled in any schools or program across the university are invited to participate!

The April 2022 Scopeathon was in partnership with the StudentSect leg of the annual INTERSECT@CMU conference, titled, "Innovating A Sustainable Future for All." At this conference, the focus was sustainability, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the actions we must take to ensure that the next generation will live on a more sustainable planet. The Scopeathon social impact projects all fell into the 17 goals outlined in the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Read more about the April 2022 Scopeathon for Social Good here!