The ways in which people and organisations have used mySociety’s services through the lifetime of the organisation have been impressive, inspiring and sometimes astonishing.
So, to celebrate our 20th anniversary, on 15 November we’ll be presenting awards in five categories, showcasing impactful usage of their services through the years.
- Driving Institutional Change
- Accelerating Climate Action
- Exposing Truth
- Impactful International Reuse
- Campaigning for Justice
The shortlist is as follows:
Driving Institutional Change
- The Give Them Time campaign used WhatDoTheyKnow to get the law changed over funding for nursery care in Scotland.
- John Graham-Cumming In 2009, John used the petitions website that mySociety had built for 10 Downing Street, resulting in Gordon Brown apologising on behalf of the British Government for its treatment of the computer scientist Alan Turing.
- Richard Bennett used WhatDoTheyKnow, coupled with the Equality Act, to make pathways more accessible for wheelchair users, sharing his methods so that others could do the same.
- Privacy International The ‘Neighbourhood Watched’ project used WhatDoTheyKnow to reveal the unchecked use of surveillance technology by police forces across the UK.
Accelerating Climate Action
- Zero Hour Using mySociety’s WriteToThem software, they’ve garnered the backing of over 150 MPs for their draft Climate and Ecology Bill.
- Sustain used data from CAPE, our Climate Action Plans Explorer, to analyse the degree to which local authorities are including food within their strategies to cut emissions.
- Save the Trees of Armada Way Plymouth’s grassroots campaign fought against the removal of much-loved trees in the city centre, using WriteToThem to send emails to the local councillors — apparently, the most emails they had ever received on a single subject.
- Jenna Corderoy Jenna is shortlisted for her investigation — using WhatDoTheyKnow — of the Cabinet Office’s controversial Clearing House, a secretive unit that screened and blocked FOI requests made by journalists and campaigners, often on matters of serious public interest.
- The Bureau of Investigative Journalism Their Sold From Under You project used crowdsourced and FOI data to reveal how much publicly-owned property was sold off by councils across England, in an attempt to fill funding gaps caused by austerity measures.
- Lost in Europe worked with people running FOI sites on our Alaveteli platform, in 12 different countries, to uncover previously unknown statistics around how many children disappear at borders.
Impactful International Reuse
- Dostup do Pravda/Access to Truth The Ukrainian Freedom of Information site continues providing access to information even in the difficult circumstances of war.
- vTaiwan, Public Digital Innovation Space, and the Taiwanese Ministry of Digital Affairs The Taiwanese government uses mySociety’s SayIt software to make deliberations on difficult subjects public and accessible to citizens.
- DATA Uruguay The organisation has built both FixMyStreet and Freedom of Information sites on mySociety’s codebases, changing the way their governments communicate with citizens at both local and national levels.
Campaigning for Justice
- Doug Paulley is a lifelong campaigner for rights for disabled people, using FOI to fight against access discrimination, especially around public transport.
- Eleanor Shaikh has dedicated hours and hundreds of FOI requests to finding out the truth behind the Post Office Horizon scandal, with her findings making front page headlines.
- After Exploitation use Freedom of Information to uncover the failings of the government’s measures to protect vulnerable detainees.
Of course, every single user of our services is a winner in our eyes – but watch this space to find out who takes home the award in each category!
Image: Rene Böhmer