Palo Alto will celebrate all things tech today, June 1, as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking.
The city's hackathon which carries the message "Come to Inspire and Be Inspired this year" will take place at Lytton Plaza on University Avenue and Emerson Street from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The city has dubbed this area CityCamp Palo Alto.
University Avenue from Alma to Ramona Street will be closed for the event, as well as the 500 block of High Street (between University Avenue and Hamilton Avenue, including City Lot "P") and the 500 block of Emerson Street (between University Avenue and Hamilton Avenue, including City Lot "N").
The hackathon will feature a wide variety of family-friendly activities such as live music, art, a film screening, food and hands-on learning about science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
There will also be TED talks given by leading technologists at Lytton Plaza, including Jessica Richman, co-founder and CEO of citizen science startup uBiome, and Steven Zornetzer, associate center director for research and development at NASA. A full speaker schedule can be viewed online at www.hackpaloalto.org.
The city will also set up a "Tech Farmers Market," where instead of farm-to-table goods, there will be ideas-to-minds concepts. Organizations such as Microsoft, the City of Palo Alto 311 team, Carnegie-Mellon University, Benetech, KQED and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation will be there to exchange ideas with participants.
Have an idea for a product or business you'd like to pitch? Fifteen to 20 Silicon Valley investors will be holding open office hours at 575 High St., 4th floor.
Central to the event is the concept of "civic hacking" not hacking in terms of stealing or tampering with a website's security, but rather collaboration and innovation. The hackathon is meant to be a gathering of the city's minds, in which volunteers come up with tech-focused solutions to civic problems and coders try to build corresponding prototypes.
This "ideas hackathon" will center on four themes: resilience, sustainability, connectedness and health (more information about each hackathon and schedules are available online).
A ticket is not required to attend Saturday's events, but interested participants can register online to get updates and chances to win prizes.