Video: Minnesota’s first Capitol Code Open Data Jam is a hit



What better on snowed-in Saturday than to huddle up make, do and create?

So says those who gathered this weekend at the first Capitol Code: Open Data Jam for the practical application of public data using technology.

Hosted by the Minnesota Secretary of State (MN SOS) with a group of sponsors and partners, participants ranged from software developers and designers to elected officials, product marketers, government employees and generally curious constituents.   The overarching objective was to explore and invent civic solutions that can increase the quality of life for Minnesota residents by using select data from the MN SOS office.

“Data should be viewed as an asset and public data should be open to all,” said Minnesota State CIO Carolyn Parnell during opening remarks. It’s in that spirit that Minnesota’s Data Privacy Act (DPA) stipulates that all government data is technically public by default — with exception.  One event catalyst, Tony Webster, is no stranger to the realities of closed data and has compiled further documentation on the DPA.

“I think part of where we’re at on a statewide level, as evidenced today, is neither the government or public understands the sheer amount of the data that’s ours, let alone the potential of it,” says Alan Palazzolo of Open Twin Cities.  “We need a data inventory.”

“There are kernels of agencies that are are getting involved more and more,” his counterpart Bill Bushey says. “This is always changing, it’s exciting and new. There’s lots to learn.” 

An interview  with Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Capitol Code co-organizers Laura Andersen + Bill Bushey:

Some of the ideas presented at Capitol Code:


  • davidedgertonjr

    I participated in this event and had a great time working through the process of coming up with an idea that would help the state prosper using the open data made available. My pitch and idea won recognition as the Most Entrepreneurial so I’m excited about meeting the CEO of tenKsolar as my prize. Thanks.

  • davidedgertonjr

    Thanks Jeff for covering the event. I appreciate what you are doing for the tech community in the Twin Cities.

    • Bill Bushey

      Ditto. Thanks for grabbing video of all the final presentations. All the teams will be happy to have video to share.