Hacktivate Mesa - 2020

January 13-14, Mesa Arts Center - Ikeda Theater

2020 Event Topics

  • Millennials in Mesa - Workforce Talent Attraction
  • Recycling in my community
  • Educational attainment in my community
  • Parking and transportation in a "Smart City"
  • Homelessness and affordable housing in my community
  • Suicide prevention and mental health in my community
  • Opioid abuse in my community

Millenials in Mesa - Workforce Talent Attraction

Millennials are defined as the generation born between 1981-1996 (21-37 years old). More than one-in-three American labor force participants (35%) are Millennials, making them the largest generation in the market. This number will continue to grow over the next decade. What does the city of Mesa need to do in order to be an attractive place for Millennials to locate, work, and grow in? What type of employers will they work for? What are the amenities they most value? What type of industries do they most want to work in? Cities across the US such as Austin, TX, Denver, CO, and Nashville, TN are attracting large numbers of new millennials each year. What do you think Mesa should focus on in order to be a growing home for this generation?
Other Resources
https://career.asu.edu/Graduate-career-outcomes - Arizona State University career outcomes
https://uair.arizona.edu/content/degrees-and-majors-awarded - University of Arizona degrees and majors awarded
https://www.azmag.gov/Portals/0/Documents/TAG_2017-01-19_Labor-Force-Analytics-Presentation.pdf - Labor Force Analytics, MAG Technology Advisory Group, January 19, 2017
ASU Degrees Awarded Trends - Metropolitan Campuses
ASU Degrees Awarded by College - Metropolitan Campuses

Recycling in my community

The City provides trash and recycling services to residents and businesses.  Trash is sent to a landfill and materials that can be recycled are processed and sold for re-use.  The City’s ability to maintain a recycling program is affected by the amount of contamination mixed with the recycled material.  Recently, businesses will only buy recyclable material from the City if little to no contamination is mixed with the recyclable material.  Additionally, it often costs less for manufacturers to use raw material than to pay to process and use recyclable material.   What are the issues?  What is the impact on people when material is not recycled?  What is the impact on the environment?  What is the impact on profit and prosperity if material is not recycled? 
Datasets (Note: Some datasets require a username/password - see city staff)

Educational attainment in my community

Arizona is currently in the midst of an educational crisis. Nationally Arizona ranks among the lowest for post high school educational attainment, currently at 45%. This means 45% of adults ages 25-64 in the state of Arizona are educated beyond high school. And Mesa has one of the largest none-degree/certification population in the County and in the State. In what ways does educational attainment affect you and the community as a whole? Are there connections between educational attainment and quality of life as measured by income, crime, amenities and meaningful employment? To be economically competitive, the City of Mesa must purposely and deliberately engage in increasing the educational level of our residents to 60% by 2030. Specifically, Mesa has 21,599 people who need a GED, 45,000 who need to enroll into post- secondary education (they have graduated high school but no college) and we have 75,000 people who have SOME college but no degree or certification. What does the City of Mesa need to do to increase overall enrollment in a post high school college, certification or license program? How do we help over 20,000 people get a GED and over 75,000 people re-connect back into the educational pipeline? How will we meet our statewide goal of educating to 60% by 2030?
Other Resources
  • Achieve 60 Arizona - Achieve60AZ is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, community-based alliance of over 100 member organizations and more than 40 municipalities that have made the post-secondary attainment goal their own.
  • Arizona FAFSA Challenge - To qualify for financial aid such as grants, scholarships, work study, student loans etc, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Because money can often be a barrier to post HS education, the state of Arizona is challenging students across the state to complete the form. This website has more information about FAFSA, the challenge and progress toward their goals.
  • Arizona High School Report Card - Data and report published by the Arizona Board of Regents provides Arizona graduates' college performance statistics by public high school through displaying several key post secondary performance indicators.
  • US Educational Attainment - post secondary degrees, certifications and licenses percent of population by state.
  • ASU Decision Center for Educational Excellence - PowerPoint presentation containing sample data for Mesa.  

Parking and transportation in a "Smart City"

Other Resources

Homelessness in my community

Individuals and families experiencing homelessness is a challenge faced by cities across the country and Mesa is no exception.  Many factors likely contribute to homelessness including insufficient income, increasing housing costs, mental health issues and family struggles just to name a few. 
Organizations like the Center for Evidence-based Solutions to Homelessness and others have shown there are proven methods that can help prevent and end homelessness.  We are fortunate in Mesa to have many great social service agencies and a generous community ready and willing to help.  Using the data available, can your team discover local trends or patterns in homelessness?  What are some potential solutions that uplift our community and benefit those experiencing homelessness?
Other resources

Suicide prevention & mental health in my community

Datasets (Note: May require a username/password - see city staff)

Opioid epidemic in my community 

Every day more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. Additional misuse and addiction to opioids across our communities have far flung negative social and economic impacts. Opioid addiction and abuse is a serious national crisis and Mesa Police and Fire personnel are on the front lines, responding to opioid related incidents every day.
Understanding where, how, and the frequency of opioid abuse can be a good start to addressing the crisis and impacting positive change.  Using the available datasets and others at your disposal, describe the opioid epidemic in Mesa and some potential solutions to the problem
Other resources