The Open Seventeen: Crowdsourcing sustainable development

SciFabric joins forces with the Citizen Cyberlab, Govlab and the One Campaign to track global goals for sustainable development

17 December 2015

Cover photo by Jason Scragz

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In September 2015, world leaders committed to 17 global goals that aim to end extreme poverty, fight inequality & injustice, and fix climate change by 2030. These goals address a range of challenges for sustainable development including hunger, education, inequality, energy, climate change and justice.


Photo by The Open Seventeen Seventeen challenges.

How you can help

The Open Seventeen Challenge is a joint initiative between SciFabric, Citizen Cyberlab, Govlab and the One Campaign, which challenges anyone to set up a project that uses open data to verify progress towards the 17 global goals at a local, regional or global level.

Sounds tricky

Not so. Crowdsourcing can help participants analyse large data sets through online collaborations.

Easy as 1, 2, 3…

Projects can be set up in three easy steps. First, identify a set of open public data: this may be PDFs, photos, audio clips or tweets etc. Then define a goal with clear, measurable outcomes. Finally, pitch your idea to the Open Seventeen Challenge by 31st December.

Then what?

Three pitches will be chosen and offered support & guidance to set up their proposed projects. The Govlab Academy will help participants develop the project from idea to implementation. SciFabric will help build the project on the Crowdcrafting platform. And the One Campaign will profile the winning project at international events.

Mozilla Festival

Photo by James Doherty The Open Seventeen team brainstormed projects with participants at the "Tackling Sustainable Development with Citizen Science on the Web" session at Mozilla Festival in London (November 2015).

Need inspiration?

The Open Seventeen profiles a range of existing projects that tackle sustainable development goals. These include:

FrackFinder – mapping fracking activities across the US.

OpenOil – better understanding corporate frameworks in the oil industry.

Somali Drought – assessing information about droughts using photos taken during field assessments.

Pecuniary Interests – investigating political gifts in New South Wales.

District Court – investigating correlations between how judges vote and how often they incarcerate.

Forest Watchers – assessing deforestation in Brazil using satellite images.

Don’t miss the deadline!

Remember you must submit your pitch by 31st December. Who knows… you might just change the world. Good luck!

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