For the uninitiated, the Hacks and Hackers Network is an international, grassroots organization of journalists and technologists who use technology to visualize information and find and tell stories.
Since the group’s first meeting five years ago, in a bar in San Francisco, more than 80 communities worldwide now boast a Hacks and Hackers group.
In an effort to continue that growth, Jeanne Brooks, the group’s first-ever executive director, has come up with a plan to help the global journalism and technology group bolster its numbers as well as its impact.
Brooks, who is supported by a 2014-2015 fellowship from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, wrote on her blog, “At the outset, my aim is to create a roadmap for not only sustainability but for scaling the impact of the network.”
She added that while a global network of volunteer leaders has helped grow the movement, using various methods to organize and nurture local communities, a more comprehensive strategy is now needed to encourage new growth.
Stressing the importance of transparency as a guiding principle, Brooks outlined her central goals for the group:
- Sustain the current network: Brooks emphasized the need to develop a plan in order to financially support operations.
- Support work of current leaders and continued growth: Focus on improving approval processes for new groups as well as developing resources to help local leaders thrive.
- Connect local communities globally: Emphasis on building a mechanism for connection for both leaders and members of the community. Recent active Hacks and Hackers groups have hosted media events from Washington, D.C. to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- Tell the story of local communities: Brooks talked about ways to better spotlight the many new tools and media startups that have resulted from network-hosted “Hackathons” and other events around the world.
A united movement, Hacks/Hackers is the space for people to talk about new ideas and technology and offers an environment for the continued success and advancement of journalism in an ever-changing ecosystem. With the support, feedback and contributions of the global community, we can strengthen this network and make progress together.
For more information on Hacks and Hackers, visit their Tumbler site or contact executive director Jeanne Brooks at: Jeanne@hackshackers.com.
Do you know of any Hacks and Hackers groups near you? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @10000Words.