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Posted in Discover Opinions

Ever Heard of a Hackathon?

Ever Heard of a Hackathon?

Has your organization ever wanted an app? How about you as an individual, ever thought of a technology solution to a daily problem but you aren’t tech savvy? Have you ever thought “I wish we could create a tool to understand this data”?   On November 15th and 16th you can join a cadre of other Atlantans – government officials, tech nerds, data geeks, coders, concerned citizens, nonprofit works and the like – for a fun two-day experience called Govathon. This second annual event invites the tech savvy and the layman to sit down together in a room full of refreshments, white boards and open-sourced data with the ultimate goal of creating fun and useful products to make our city better. Participants have access to free data sources (think Census information and MARTA statistics) and best of all get to keep whatever they make.  Last year participants created things like a mobile parking app to allow mobile parking payments and even a text reminder for meter times, a searchable...

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In search of the elusive nonprofit: Part II

In search of the elusive nonprofit: Part II

Chapter Two: Wherein The Homestead Atlanta discovers that help is pretty awesome Something takes over your brain when you decide to start a nonprofit. Whatever gland is responsible for creating to-do lists goes into overdrive and all the parts that work in synchronous harmony to let you sleep soundly decide to take a semi-permanent vacation. Unless you’ve got a degree in it, have done it before, have a team of unbelievably motivated people or have an enviable chunk of money to pay people to take care of all the details, starting a nonprofit from the ground up is kinda intense – I sort of wonder how we have so many of them. Then I wonder if I’m doing something wrong. Then I try and figure out what that could be and how to do it better. Rinse. Repeat. Hence the lack of sleep. In retrospect, I think I was delightfully and naively unaware of just how much effort that undertaking would require. And so whether by luck or fate...

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In Pursuit of the Elusive Nonprofit: Episode One

In Pursuit of the Elusive Nonprofit: Episode One

  The Game is Afoot   Docile and cagey by turns, the Nonprofit can be a mysterious beast to those new to its territory. One moment it seems within your grasp, the next you’re left sitting bleary-eyed in front of a stack of papers and tax forms completely baffled with no discernable trail to follow. Perhaps a clear view of the path taken by someone else – double backs, circles, dead-ends and all – will help yours run a bit more smoothly. Or, at least, help assure you when you’re ready to give up, that it’s alright – that’s just part of the trip, too.   I’ve been asked to chronicle my experience in forming a nonprofit from scratch. I have no real experience in this arena. Sure, I have plenty of skills that I can cobble together and will serve me well in the nonprofit world: I come from a marketing background, I took a course in grantwriting one time, I helped establish and run a pretty solid...

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Atlanta, this is you

Atlanta, this is you

At the 2011 Maker Faire we conducted an experiment to see what you really think about Atlanta.  The FEED created an oversized display board asking participants to write one word to describe Atlanta.  The following reveals the words people posted and our thoughts on what they mean for our city.   Our People: the good Words: diverse (2), friendly (2), adventurous, hardworking Atlantans were mostly described as diverse and friendly.  What a great combination!  It is true that our city boasts a population made up of 56% White, 25% African America, 3% Asian, and 12% Hispanic according to 2010 census information.  And of course we should be friendly given our regions reputation for Southern Hospitality!  We were also described as adventurous. Being diverse means having many cultures and their various foods at your fingertips.  With the growth of areas like Buford Highway it is easy to see that Atlantans are not afraid to experiment with food.  In addition the areas outside the city offer everything from mountains to beaches within...

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The Issue of Access, Part I

Food trucks, urban farming, and the Beltline.  These things have taken Atlanta by storm as of late.  They are grabbing the attention of both the local and national media and rocketing Atlanta up the hip-city totem pole.  That is great. As evidenced by this weeks vandalization of DH Stanton Park in Peoplestown, there are deep-rooted problems in our city that new surface programs can’t fix.  Atlanta city government- and its citizens- are spending money on attractive projects and programs but failing to address some of our basic city-wide issues.  Falling property values, abandoned and blighted properties, failing schools, high crime and widening socio-economic divides.  Investing in parks is great, investing in people is better.  Growing organic food is awesome, enhancing food access to under-served populations is better. Our urban farms are quickly growing. We now have a mobile CSA (community supported agriculture) unit bringing wholesome food stuffs to Atlanta and nearby community residence.  In addition we have expanding green space, walkable trails, transit and parks spreading throughout the city.  Great right?  What...

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A Wonderful Mind, A Tragic Loss

A Wonderful Mind, A Tragic Loss

In lieu of our usual topics this week, the FEED has chosen to honor a great loss to the Atlanta community in hopes that this tragedy will help fuel more good works and creativity. Over the Memorial Day weekend Liam Rattray was killed in Little Five Points.  Every holiday weekend the authorities warn us to be careful, to not drink and drive, but a few stories of lives tragically ended always emerge.  This weekend was no different. Although all deaths are tragic, the loss of Liam Rattray is especially poignant to the FEED Atlanta.  Our own Mike Lorey recently sat on a speakers panel with him at the Hub, where he heard about all the awesome work Liam was doing. We then reached out to interview him…..but that interview never took place.  Regardless, we think you deserve to know more about Liam and his efforts to improve our community.  We hope his example will inspire you to continue your work, honoring his memory with your continued perseverance. Liam had...

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