About Datalore Hacks

Harvard’s Bok Center, the MIT OpenDocLab, Camden International Film Festival, and the MIT Center for Civic Media are joining forces for a weekend long hackathon in Boston in Autumn, 2016. The hackathon brings together designers, creative technologists, engineers, data scientists and filmmakers interested in cross-platform, interdisciplinary storytelling. The first Datalore Hackathon took place in January 2015 (see video below).

Over the course of 48 hours, teams will brainstorm and prototype an interactive narrative experience that tells a story with data, around data, or about data. It could be a data visualization on the web, a physical installation using hardware and human bodies, or an interactive documentary experience.

Check out Datalore's Facebook page or follow #datalorehack


The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard works to support Harvard's teaching community, and to enhance and augment the teaching that takes place on Harvard's campus. In recent years, the Bok Center has placed special emphasis on media literacy and visualization, working closely with Faculty and Graduate Students who wish to enhance their teaching with digital and especially visual media.

MIT Center for Civic Media works hand in hand with diverse communities to collaboratively create, design, deploy, and assess civic media tools and practices. We are inventors of new technologies that support and foster civic media and political action, we are a hub for the study of these technologies, and we coordinate community-based design processes locally in the Boston area, across the United States, and around the world.

MIT Open Documentary Lab researches and incubates new forms of documentary storytelling. It brings storytellers, technologists and scholars together to shape the documentary storytelling practices of the future. OpenDocLab is an interdisciplinary research group housed in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing department.

The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) best in international documentary film every year in Camden, Maine.



We live in a world that is increasingly shaped by our interaction with data, which is increasingly complex, large and accessible to few. We want to create a space for investigating the narratives that emerge from quantitative spaces so they are accessible and engaging.


We’re looking for filmmakers, artists, designers, developers, engineers, scientists, scholars, researchers, journalists, and storytellers to join interdisciplinary teams of 4-5 people, which we will curate. Each team will start with a primary dataset that drives their story-making. If you want to participate on a team and explore creative data-driven storytelling, apply here.

If you are currently working with a dataset that you want to use to tell a story, you can apply with that dataset here. The data can be qualitative or quantitative. It can be drawn from your research, an open archive, census or government data, or some other source.

If you just want to participate on a team and explore creative data­driven storytelling, apply here.

The application period will open in late 2015. If you have questions, please email datalore-team@mit.edu.


MIT Center for Civic Media

75 Amherst St. (3rd floor)

Cambridge, MA


Nadja Oertelt

Nadja is a scientist, producer and doc filmmaker who likes to bring art into quantitative spaces. She is currently a senior producer of editorial video at Mashable in NYC. She created and produced the interactive, multimedia The Fundamentals of Neuroscience at Harvard. She graduated from MIT with a BS in Neuroscience and has studied film, archaeology and paleoanthropology.

Sean Flynn

Sean Flynn is a documentary producer and festival programmer. He is the Director of the Points North Documentary Forum at Camden International Film Festival and a researcher at MIT's Open Documentary Lab, where he is currently pursuing a master's degree.

Heather Craig

Heather Craig recently completed her graduate studies at at MIT's Center for Civic Media and Comparative Media Studies program.


Johnathan Carr

Johnathan Carr is an award-winning filmmaker, media designer, and native of Greater Boston. He has made over a hundred film & video productions from all sides of the camera, and since 2010 has worked with the American Repertory Theater as their resident filmmaker. Johnathan has also designed media projection for numerous live productions in New York and Boston including last year's Tony Award-winning Pippin.

Dalia Othman

Dalia Othman is a Research Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Visiting Scholar at MIT’s Center for Civic Media. Recently, Dalia’s research has focused on online civic engagement in the Arab World and media discourse. Her work has also focused on forms of digital storytelling and storytelling through data that promotes socio-political change. Her work on NetStories.org aims to help communities and journalists find the best online tools to tell their stories.