The Health Data Consortium affiliates had their monthly call last week, and the topics of conversation on everyone’s mind were similar: what does it take to build an affiliate for open health data? How do we tap into existing networks for health, IT, and open government? How do we balance openness with providing space for deep, substantive conversation?
On the call, we got updates from Sunnie Southern in Ohio, Mannat Singh in Colorado, and Peter Speyer in Washington.
In Cincinnati, Ohio, Sunnie and her team are deep in the throes of the last week of their accelerator, and their showcase event is this Thursday, August 30th. They are focusing on recruiting angel or venture capital funding for each of the startups in the accelerator, and have gotten substantial interest already. They are already planning their next event, an idea expo, in November; look for more updates on our Events page.
In Colorado, the affiliate there is in the process of planning its first meeting and beginning to build an ecosystem of awesomeness from the ground up. They have connected with venture capitalists, angel investors, nonprofits, universities, companies, and government agencies, and Mannat and her team look forward to establishing a work plan for events and accomplishments.
In Washington, the affiliate is also working to set up a first introductory meeting with a broad spectrum of “health data owners.” Peter and his team are considering the best ways to reach out around this first meeting: whether to talk in depth with a small core group, or whether to have a more open discussion with a broader range of folks involved in some way with open data and/or health.
This challenge of openness versus depth is a common one, and one that we seek to balance here at the Health Data Consortium. We have regular executive committee and advisory board meetings with small groups of people who are highly engaged with HDC, but we also seek to explore opportunities to engage anyone who may be interested in open health data – and the process of setting up such an organization.
We’ll continue to explore this question as we move through the process of formalizing the HDC. How has your organization balanced deep versus broad engagement? How well did your approach work for you?