The White House, Open Government Data and WeMakeItSafer

September 27, 2012 — By

A couple of weeks ago, we received an interesting email, followed by a telephone call, from the White House.  One of the Senior Advisors on mobile and data innovation had heard from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) about the work WeMakeItSafer is doing, and asked if we would be willing to come to Washington DC to participate in the inaugural Safety Datapalooza. We were so pleased that the CPSC thought of us and honored that the White House would invite us, that Jennifer, our CEO, cleared her schedule and hopped on a plane.

The Safety Datapalooza was one of several “datapalooza” events hosted by the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House to highlight the useful tools that individuals, companies and non-profit organizations can develop when they have access to government information. The events resulted from an order issued by President Obama in May, entitled “Building a 21st Century Digital Government.” In that order, the President calls on government agencies to, among other things, establish specific, measurable goals for delivering better digital services, and to adopt new standards for making applicable Government information open and machine-readable by default.

As a company that first spent several years gathering, cleaning and structuring government data before we could build a single useful tool, WeMakeItSafer welcomes these changes and is eager to help agencies achieve these important goals.  Although the agencies have a full year to implement the President’s directive, the Datapaloozas have served to illustrate the positive impact that has already been achieved with the data released thus far and can be accessed at

For our role in the Safety Datapalooza, we were asked to deliver a “TED-like” talk about WeMakeItSafer. Specifically, we were asked to describe how we are using government data in our applications and to tell some stories about how those tools are helping our users. We also threw in some details about that which we are most proud – our impact!  Below is the video of Jennifer’s talk at the White House.  We will post the slides and key points shortly.  You can read more about the comprehensive digital strategy here.

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  1. Felicity says:

    That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. It was interesting to see in the video how you created WeMakeItSafer and some of the ways different people/businesses are using it. Congratulations!

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Felicity! It has been exciting to see the impact we have been able to have through technology.

  2. Rachel Olsen says:

    Great job! WeMakeItSafer is being recognized for all the good work you all do. I hope this awareness on product safety will lead your company to even greater success.

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much! Product safety awareness is a great thing – for us and, more importantly, for consumers. Most products are safe (or as safe as can be expected), so having tools that help families spot the dangerous ones is really important.