The Open Data Challenge Series Handbook - our story so far


Today Nesta and the ODI announced the winner of our sixth open data challenge - Heritage & Culture - as Culture Everywhere. With only one winner left to announce, this is a good opportunity to also publish the story of the Open Data Challenge Series (ODCS) so far in the form of our online publication, The Open Data Challenge Series Handbook. You can download a copy of the handbookhere.

We’ve tried to put together a short, engaging document to highlight the outputs of the series so far and provide an insight into how we’ve approached and run the challenges. It includes

  • profiles of the winners so far

  • an overview of our Open Data Challenge Series method

  • the design principles which we’ve used to create the process

  • a new data innovation canvas template to support organisations understand whether a open data challenge could help with their aims

Hopefully this Handbook will inspire others to use open data for social good. This publication contributes to the growing bank of resources that help organisations to open up data and encourages people to use it to build products.

We’re coming to the end of the first series of Open Data Challenges run by Nesta and the Open Data Institute. We still have our final challenge on Jobs within which we are currently supporting our three finalists to develop their idea in advance of the overall winner being announced at the Open Data Awards in July.. Over the next couple of months all of our winners, and indeed some of our finalists, will be further refining, and in many cases fully launching, their products.


The ODCS is a process to coordinate this activity to ensure the best chance of developing a strong, sustainable open data product. In designing the ODCS we’ve learnt from lots of others - hack days and hackathons, other startup incubators and accelerators - but we’ve put them together in way which maximises the likelihood of creating sustainable ongoing products. With everything we’ve learnt so far about supporting teams of people to use open data for social good we think we’re in a great position to build on this in our future work.

This item was originally posted by ODCS partner Nesta.