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Become a Local Gov User Advocate With the Census Open Innovation Lab Opportunity Project

Posted on August 30, 2021


census data

This post is shared by ELGL from our friends at The Opportunity Project (TOP), an innovation program led by the Census Open Innovation Labs. Check out the full program overview, and then sign your local government up to tackle tough challenges through data, art and technology while supporting data equity. Become a User Advocate with your local government experience!


This fall, The Opportunity Project (TOP), an innovation program led by the Census Open Innovation Labs, will bring together university-based technologists, artists, and designers along with community leaders, and Census data experts to develop technology solutions, digital and physical works of art, and design projects using Decennial Census data.

This sprint marks the inaugural opportunity for artists and designers to incorporate artwork and visualizations as solutions addressing the issue of data equity and accessibility. This effort builds upon the success of the Census Accelerate Program, which activated designers and artists across the nation to engage hard-to-count communities in producing compelling digital content to amplify ‘Get Out the Count’ efforts and increase participation in the 2020 Census.

In alignment with Executive Order 13985, ‘Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.’, this accelerator program brings together university teams, data experts, and communities to visualize 2020 Census data in new and creative ways, engaging a broader set of stakeholders than ever before. It further engages hard-to-count communities in equitable data dissemination, a crucial part of the decennial cycle. The process will culminate in a showcase that presents and celebrates the resulting projects and solutions to lift up, amplify, and share the work with communities nationwide. Check out last year’s showcase for reference!

Teams will focus on one of three themes including:

  1. Helping Hard-to-Count Communities See Themselves in the 2020 Census Data
  2. Assisting Businesses, Community Leaders, and State/Local Governments to Make Critical Decisions Using Decennial Census Data
  3. Improving Data Literacy Using Decennial Census Data

View Full Problem Statements Here


Join Us!

Are you interested in tackling these challenges through data, art, and technology? Are you interested in supporting data equity and accessibility? The Census Bureau is seeking collaborators in the following roles:

  • User Advocates – Non-profits, community leaders, local or national community advocates, state/local government, civil society groups and people with direct lived experience in the target challenge who guide tech teams in designing solutions that are realistic and useful
  • Product Advisors – Product and sustainability experts from outside of government who advise teams in developing solutions that are sustainable and can be implemented after the sprint
  • Data Stewards – Experts on federal, state, or local open data sets who advise teams on accessing and using relevant data

If you are interested in scheduling a call with the TOP team to learn more and discuss participating, please contact us.

Sign Up To Participate!

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