NYC BigApps: Crowdsourcing Civic Innovation

In 2009, New York City launched the BigApps competition, inviting citizen-hackers to work together to create applications that improve the lives of New Yorkers. BigApps spurred a grass-roots movement for an Open Data law and served as a fecund source of ideas for the Mayor’s office. The City of New York should increasingly use design thinking processes for application development. In addition, BigApps should challenge citizen-hackers to produce solutions to diverse problems, beyond the quotidian experience of software developers.