UKGovHack returns for 2017!

It’s the news you’ve all been waiting for. After having so much fun with you all last April at our inaugural event, we’re so excited to announce UKGovHack is back for 2017!

UKGovHack 2017 will take place at Goldsmith’s University across the weekend of 15/16th July.

Following the same format as last year, UKGH17 will be a two day hackathon with a one day of talks a workshops, where the aim is to bring Government together with technologists, organisations, sector enthusiasts and citizens curious about the UK civic space to find solutions to key challenges using open data.


New for 2017, we have chosen to curate the event around a theme. Driven by event partners the Food Standards Agency, UKGH17 will be exploring ‘The Future of Food in the face of Brexit’.

Food is one of the few topics that affects every single person in the UK; we all have, or should have, a vested interest in what we eat, where our food comes from, the safety of our food and the future sustainability of our food system. The UK Food Industry represents the country’s biggest manufacturing sector, and contributes £28.2 billion to the economy.

However, like every other industry in the UK, the food sector is facing a period of unprecedented uncertainty as we move closer to leaving the EU. How the UK’s exit from the EU will affect the UK Food Industry is perhaps one of the most important questions we must ask of Brexit.

UKGovHack 2017 aims to tackle some of this uncertainty as we ask, ‘What is the future of food in the face of Brexit?’

How does it work?

Our aim is to make the event accessible to everyone interested in the UK Public Sector and Food Industry through a varied programme.

As such, whether attendees are technologists, service designers, industry employers/employees, researchers, public servants, armchair enthusiasts or perhaps someone approaching the material for the very first time, they will find UKGovHack 2017 to be an imaginative and informative weekend.

As our bottom line is creating inclusive environments where everyone feels empowered to participate, there are no minimum requirements for age or skill levels to take part in UKGH17. Last year, we had a whole squad of u18s and newcomers join us — and we hope to have the same engagement this year.

Throughout the event we will explore concerns of manufacturers, SMEs, import and exporters, farmers, government agencies and citizens. We will use open data to understand what Brexit means for issues including but not limited to food sustainability, traceability, and crisis management; what trade and free movement of goods will look like and how farming will change without the common agricultural policy.

The day of talks and workshops will run on Saturday 15th, curating a series of sessions delivered by key players in Government and the UK Food Industry.

The hackathon will run across the weekend, offering a chance to prototype solutions to post-Brexit challenges, while encouraging collaboration and skills exchange.

About last year … #UKGH16

UKGovHack 2016 was a resounding success, and one that still makes us tear up a little when we cast our minds back to April last year.

85 attendees across all age ranges and skill levels — our youngest hacker was 11! — created a fantastic and inclusive atmosphere. We ran 15 sessions, workshops and talks across two conference streams, while hackers created an almost unthinkable 16 projects in response to three challenges.

We were sponsored and supported by dxw, FutureGov, GitHub, National Audit Office, Open Data Institute, Parliamentary Digital Service, Qinetiq, Twilio and UKGovCamp — many of whom we hope to welcome back to the table for UKGH 2.0.

UKGovHack was such an incredible event bringing together a really diverse and creative group of people to make things that make a difference. What made it extra special this year was the combination of conference and hackathon.
- Tracy Green, UKGH16 judge

The main reason we set out to curate an event like UKGH was to try to get as many different people as possible in the same room to solve problems. Our thinking is that diversity in ideology and skillset is bound to disrupt convention, and bring about new and innovative ways to address the challenges affecting our society.

For more info on our thinking behind this, hit up our ‘Hackathons — why diversity is important’ blog post.

See you in July!

All that remains, dear reader, is to send you off in the direction of Eventbrite to grab your free ticket for UKGH17. A ticket will grant you entrance to both days, even if you are only interested in Saturday’s curated sessions and not attending as a hacker.

However, we would greatly encourage you to pop back on the Sunday for the hackathon show & tell — we guarantee you will be impressed and galvanised by the projects our hackers can produce in 24 short hours.

If you have any questions or would like to add your thoughts to our ‘The future of food in the face of Brexit’ agenda we would love to hear from you. Drop us a note to and we’ll take it from there.

See you in July gang!