Derek Eder

Civic Tech Builder

Talks Public appearances and presentations

I've give talks on my experiences starting a civic tech company, DataMade, building civic apps with Open City, and organizing the Chi Hack Night. If you'd like to book me for a speaking event, shoot me an email.

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How to Fully Electrify Your Home
October 19, 2023
Village of Oak Park

I was interviewed by the Village of Oak Park on our fully electrified home and showed off our heat pumps, induction stove, hot water heater, solar panels and electric car charger.

Video presentation

Electrifying My Old Oak Park Home: Heat Pumps
June 15, 2023
Climate Reality Chicago

I returned to Climate Reality Chicago to give a follow up talk on installing Heat Pumps in our home based on a blog post I wrote. I cover the process, costs, and beneifits of insulating and installing heat pumps in our home.

Video presentation

UIC Urban Forum: Can Data Deliver?
April 19, 2023
UIC Urban Forum

I was invited to give the keynote presentation at the 2023 UIC Urban Forum. I focused my talk on the successful examples I’ve seen of civic technology and strategies in hiring and procurement within government. Presentation slides

Video presentation

Electrifying My Old Oak Park Home
January 19, 2023
Climate Reality Chicago

I was invited to give a presentation to Climate Reality Chicago based on my blog post about electrifying our old Oak Park home. I cover the costs and beneifits of installing rooftop solar and the work of electrifying and insulating our home.

Video presentation

Decarb My State: An Open Data Story
July 26, 2022
Chi Hack Night brings together emissions and electrification data for all 50 states + DC and organizes it based on the biggest sources of climate pollution: the machines we use to heat our homes, cook our food, get us places, and produce our power. Derek Eder and Viktor Koves, two of the creators of Decarb My State, all volunteers who worked on it at Chi Hack Night for 6 months, demoed the app and talked about the work and data behind it.

Video presentation

Introducing Decarb My State
July 12, 2022
Chi Hack Night

As part of our 500th Chi Hack Night on July 12, 2022, I gave a lightning talk debuting, a new website that shows where emissions come from in each state to galvanize action on climate change through clean electrification.

Video presentation

Internet Cookies May Boost Online Experience But Raise Privacy Concerns
May 4, 2021
WTTW Chicago Tonight

In my eighth appearance on WTTW Chicago Tonight, I talk again with Dr. Blase Ur and host Brandis Friedman about cookies and tracking from online advertisers. Bonus: you can definitely hear our dog Ruby barking in the background. Her TV debut!

Video interview

Intro to being anti-racist in civic tech
April 13, 2021
Chi Hack Night

What does it mean to be anti-racist? What is white supremacy culture and how does it show up? Over the past months, Chi Hack Night’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee has discussed and researched these questions. I am joined by fellow Chi Hack Night Board Members Ryan Spencer and Samantha Evans to share what we learned in our blog post so that we can all work to make our communities more equitable and just.

Video presentation

Tech Giants’ Plan to Track COVID-19 Raises Privacy Concerns
April 23, 2020
WTTW Chicago Tonight

In my seventh appearance on WTTW Chicago Tonight, I talk with Dr. Blase Ur and host Brandis Friedman about Google and Apple’s plan to use smartphones for contact tracing to track the spread of COVID-19.

Video interview

FaceApp Raises Broader Privacy Concerns. Here’s What You Need to Know
July 22, 2019
WTTW Chicago Tonight

In my sixth appearance on WTTW Chicago Tonight, I talk with host Phil Ponce about the data privacy concerns with FaceApp, Facebook & many other apps on your phone.

Video interview

The opportunity of civic tech
August 21, 2018
Chi Hack Night

It is said that Chicago has one of the strongest and most vibrant civic technology communities in the world, but what even is civic tech? What are the opportunities in the civic tech space and what has changed over the past few years that make these opportunities possible? As Founder of Chi Hack Night and DataMade, I answer these questions (and more!).

Video presentation

Using Chicago’s Data for Good: Chi Hack Night Celebrates 300 Events
May 18, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

On May 16, 2018 WTTW Chicago Tonight featured Chi Hack Night on their program. The segment covered our 300th event and included interviews with a cross-section of Chicago’s civic technology community.

Video interview

Russians Hacking Routers in the US and UK, Officials Warn
April 23, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

In my fifth appearance on WTTW Chicago Tonight, I lend my technical expertise in a discussion with host Paris Schutz and Mike Petitti, vice president of cyber security solutions at Uptake, on the Russian targeting of routers and other internet connected devices.

Video interview

If Atlanta Got Crippled by a Cyberattack, How Safe Are You?
April 2, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

I’m becoming a WTTW Chicago Tonight regular! In my fourth appearance on the show, I lend my technical expertise in a discussion with host Eddie Arruza on the ransomware cyberattack on the City of Atlanta in March 2018 and how individuals can take steps to protect their own data and accounts.

Video interview

Social Media Scams: Public Figures Under Fire for Buying Fake Followers
January 31, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

WTTW Chicago Tonight segment with host Phil Ponce and University of Chicago computer science professor Ben Zhao on the phenomenon of people buying fake followers on social media and the impact on society.

Video interview

How Chicago ‘Hacktivist’ Derek Eder Uses Public Data for Good
September 19, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

WTTW Chicago Tonight interview I did with Phil Ponce on Chi Hack Night, DataMade, and the work done by the Chicago civic technology community in the last 5 years. We discussed some more recent projects including Chicagos Million Dollar Blocks and Justice Divided.

Video interview

Lightning Talk: March 22nd, 2012, The First Hack Night
July 19, 2016
Chi Hack Night

On July 19th, 2016, Chi Hack Night hosted our second round of lightning talks from members of our community. Here, I give a brief history of how the very first hack night was started in Chicago.

Video presentation

The Ethics of Open Data
November 19, 2015
Social Media Week: Chicago

I participated in a panel discussion with Mike Fourcher, founder of Aldertrack, and Sun-Times reporter Dan Mihalopolous about the ethics in using open data.

Writeup panel

Data Friday: Chicago's Million Dollar Blocks
November 13, 2015
LISC Chicago: Data Fridays

I presented with Dan Cooper, co-executive director of the Institute of Social Exclusion at Adler University, on Chicago’s Million Dollar Blocks, a project that looks atthe impact of incarceration at the city block level. I shared the process of transforming data and text into an interactive story on the web and Dan explored the research and policy implications.

Writeup presentation

Open Data: Transforming Government Transparency
November 4, 2015
Illinois Campaign for Political Reform

I spoke with Kyla Williams, Tom Schenk Jr, Christopher Whitaker, Sally Duros and Adam Hecktman on the state of open data in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.

Writeup panel

Stimulating Community Awareness By Collaborating With Your Developer Community
October 27, 2015
2015 Socrata Customer Summit

At the 2015 Socrata Customer Summit, I spoke about my experiences organizing the Chi Hack Night, as well as opening up Illinois campaign finance data and building Here are my slides, titled The Long and Winding Road: Opening Data from the Outside

Writeup presentation

Lessons from Organizing the Chi Hack Night
October 1, 2015
2015 Code for America Summit

Trying to grow civic hacking in your community? Learn how the Chi Hack Night went from four nerds sitting in a room to a weekly event with 80-100 talented volunteers working to create more just, equitable, transparent, and delightful cities through exciting applications of data and technology.

Video presentation

Greater Campaign Disclosure and the Illinois Sunshine Database
September 17, 2015
Summit for Action & Civic Reform

I participated in a panel discussion with Scott Kennedy, Suzanne McBride, Kent Redfield, Eric van Zanten and Miriam Marks on campaign disclosure in Illinois. It was an especially exciting to be on the same panel as Kent, who is one of the leading experts on Illinois campaign disclosure. He actually wrote the book on it: Money Counts: How Dollars Dominate Illinois Politics and What We Can Do About It.

Writeup panel

Illinois Sunshine Debut
August 4, 2015
Summit for Action & Civic Reform

I helped debut the new Illinois Sunshine website, which DataMade built for the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, at 1871. Later that day, we demoed the website at the Chi Hack Night.

Video presentation

How Hackers are Changing Government
May 21, 2015
Better Government Association

In an interview with the Better Government Association, I talk about the Chi Hack Night, DataMade and the work we are doing to improve our government and society. Read the full article.

Video interview

Open Government: Using Government Data to Solve City Problems
May 20, 2015 Monthly

I gave a talk at Monthly on the types of problems that civic tech can solve, featuring Chicago Lobbysts, ClearStreets, Is There Sewage in the Chicago River? and Large Lots. See my presentation slides.

Writeup presentation

Data Driven Advocacy
April 30, 2015
Do Good Data 2015

Forest Gregg and I of DataMade highlighed how we, and members of the open gov community in Chicago are using data to make convincing public arguments for policy changes.

We went over real-world examples and give a ‘soup to nuts’ overview of how each was made and the impact that followed:

See our presentation slides.

Video presentation

Tech Shift: Cybersecurity, Illinois’ innovation council and Facebook
February 15, 2015
WBEZ Afternoon Shift

On WBEZ’s Tech Shift week in review, I talked about President Obama’s new executive orders on cybersecurity, Gov. Rauner’s announcement about a new innovation council, using open data to keep those in power accountable when it comes to snow plowing and Facebook’s new way to manage user accounts after they’ve passed away. Also on the panel: Jill Salzman of The Founding Moms blog.

Audio interview

Are streets actually plowed? (audio)
February 3, 2015
WBEZ Afternoon Shift

I talk about, a website that tracks where Chicago snow plows have been, how and why we built it, and using open data to investigate how the City responds to snow events.

A few hours after this interview, the Chicago Sun-Times published this story, which I helped investigate: The snowplows hit Ald. Burke's street — five times.

Audio interview

How to Ignite Your Local Open Data Ecosystem
October 23, 2014
Socrata Customer Summit

Chicago has one of the most successful and vibrant open data communities. Straight from the front lines, Derek Eder shares what’s worked to build Chicago’s ecosystem, and the secret sauce that keeps it innovating and growing.

Video interview

When Technology and Policy Work Together: Large Lots in Chicago
September 23, 2014
Code for America Summit

Demond Drummer and I share the story of how community organizers, technologists, and the City of Chicago collaborated to roll out a new program to give local residents ownership of vacant land in their neighborhood and incentivize neighborhood-level investment.

Video presentation

Open Data with DataMade
August 8, 2014
Chicago Computation Group

I gave a presentation to the Chicago Computation Group, a meetup of interdisciplinary design professionals practicing architecture, structural and mechanical engineering, environmental designers, and researchers from various fields advancing design thinking through the use of advanced computation.

I talked about the history of open government in Chicago, current landscape of our maturing civic tech community, the role of 'Big Data' on public policy and the tools we must create to delineate this data. An interesting discussion of the bias of data or its visualizations led to an even more interesting discussion about the role of the designer within public policy.

Writeup presentation

New site warehouses campaign finance data
August 4, 2014
WBEZ Afternoon Shift

As of today the mid-term elections are only three months away. Between now and November 4th, campaigns will be frantically raising and spending as much money as they can. While candidates do need to disclose their spending this information isn't that easy to find, and it can be even harder to analyze. Well, that process got a little easier last week with the launch of

The site collects information on candidates, contributions, spending and more, and makes it free to download. It’s intended for people who are serious about finding out information about campaign finance, especially journalists, researchers and analysts.

Joining us to talk about the site are two of its creators, Derek Eder, owner of civic data company DataMade, and David Melton, Executive Director of the nonpartisan Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

Audio interview

Solving Civic Problems One App at a Time
July 29, 2014
The Mike Nowak Show on WCPT Radio

Derek Eder is co-founder of Open City, a collective that makes civic apps with open data. Through Open City’s Open Gov Hack Night and on his own, Eder is tackling social and environmental issues like urban flooding, recycling, zoning, crime, vacant and abandoned buildings in Chicago and more by creating a new paradigm for civic engagement.

Audio interview

Interview on Open Government Hack Night
May 27, 2014
City of Chicago TV

I did an interview with City of Chicago TV about the Open Gov Hack Night, how it started, why it works and what’s in store for the future.

Video interview

Chicago River Sewage
May 20, 2014
WBEZ Afternoon Shift

This weekend, the Chicago area saw thunderstorms and nearly two inches of rain bringing flooding, power outages and the release of sewage into the Chicago River. It’s no secret that the city releases untreated waste and storm-water into the river, but now it’s easier to find out where and when its happening. One site looking into this is appropriately called Co-founder of civic hacking group Open City and one of the site’s creators, Derek Eder, joins us with more.

Audio interview

Open Government / Civic Innovation community in Chicago
April 5, 2014
Flourish! 2014

Join Derek Eder as he discusses how an Open Government has led to many innoations in the Chicago Civic App community. Also there will be a live showcasing of many open source civic apps built for and by Chicagoans. These include, but are not limited to Chicago Lobbyists, 2nd City Zoning and Councilmatic.

Presentation slides: Open Government in Chicago

Writeup presentation

The State of Open Data
March 14, 2014
FOIA Fest, Chicago Headline Club

There is more public information available online than ever before and there is an effort toward standardizing certain data sets and make them useful by the public. Derek Eder, co-founder of DataMade and the Open Gov Hack Night , Joe Germuska, chief nerd of the Knight Lab at Northwestern and Paul Wright is the Director of Local Media Development for Comcast/NBCUniversal, which includes managing EveryBlock, will discuss advancements.

Writeup presentation

Tech Shift: Open data and government websites
February 27, 2014
WBEZ Tech Shift

The public struggles of have brought unusual attention to the process of how governments choose the companies who provide their technology. Is IT so specialized that the government needs to contract IT companies for their projects? Derek Eder, owner of DataMade, an open data web development consulting company in Chicago, joins us in studio. He’s experienced firsthand the difficulty of working through the city’s procurement process. Plus, Dan O’Neil, the executive director at Smart Chicago Collaborative and an organizer of the OpenGovChicago meetup, also joins us.

Audio interview

Engaging with citizens on budgeting and performance
November 7, 2013
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

I was invited by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to give a talk in Berlin to the Senior Budget Officials network on performance and results at the Bundesminister der Finanzen. I covered new ways and tools of visualizing budgets to the public in easy-to-access and easy-to-understand formats.

Presentation slides: Visualizing Budgets

Writeup presentation

Tools for open source web development
October 25, 2013
School of the Art Institute of Chicago - GFRY Studio

I dropped by the GFRY Studio at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to talk about open source web development and how policy decisions get made around building usage.

Writeup presentation

Searchable Maps with Google Fusion Tables
August 23, 2013
Do Good Data 2013

Workshop on the uses of Fusion Tables and Google Maps in the context of non-profits and social science analyists and researchers.

Writeup presentation

GitHub 101
June 11, 2013
Open Government Hack Night

A beginner’s introduction to Git and Github. Learn how to keep your code backed up with version control and collaborate on open source projects.

Video presentation

Mapping/Google Fusion Tables Boot Camp
May 31, 2013
Chicago Migrahack

This workshop will focus on free tools used to create stories around data with geographic breakdowns. Mapping is one of the core elements of visual communication, information, and geographic information. It’s not about creating charts; it’s all about insights on your data.

Writeup presentation

Open Gov in Chicago: Changing Government from the Outside In
May 23, 2013
Table XI - Data by Design PechaKucha

What’s the OpenGov thing all about anyway? In my first ever Pecha Kucha-style talk, I make an attempt to summarize 7 years of Open Government history in 6 minutes and 20 seconds. See how it all started, who the key players are, and where we’re going from here.

Video presentation

Civic Hacking and You
April 14, 2013
American Planning Association Conference

Panel discussion on civic hacking with Kevin Curry, Aaron Ogle, Alicia Rouault, and Jason Lally.

Writeup presentation

Derek Eder, Juan Pablo Velez, and OpenGov Hackers on Open Data and Civic-Minded Applications
April 1, 2013
Chicago Policy Review

An interview with Juan-Pablo Velez, myself and other civic hackers by Julie Cooper of the Chicago Policy Review. We discuss the Open Gov Hack Night, open data, how data can change policy, and ways for anyone to get involved in using data to improve governance.

Audio interview

Data 101: Mapping Visualizations and Using Google Fusion Tables: Skills for All Journalists
November 9, 2012
SPJ JournCamp

The Society of Professional Journalists JournCamp is a daylong workshop of practical, skills-based professional development sessions for journalist. I led a session on how to get started with Google Fusion Tables and showed some examples of what’s possible. Check out the presentation notes.

Writeup presentation

Creating Systemic Change Designing With, Not For
November 3, 2012
Northwestern MSLOC

The Master’s in Learning and Organizational Challenge program at Northwestern hosts a quarterly meeting for their sudents and alums. For this event, we had a screening of Design & Thinking and a follow-up panel featuring myself, Jordan Bunker from Pumping Station One, designer Teresa Torres, and Jeanne Marie Olson from Northwestern.

Writeup panel

Introduction to D3: Data Driven Documents
August 28, 2012
Data Potluck & Opengov Hack Night

A 20-minute talk on d3, a JavaScript library for easily manipulating elemnts on a webpage with a variety of data formats. Given at the Data Potluck / Opengov Hack Night at 1871. The video quality for this one isn’t great, but you can follow along with my presentation notes.

Video presentation

Big Data Deduping
June 14, 2012

Joint presentation at the ChiPy meetup with Forest Gregg on Dedupe, an open source Python library we have developed for deduplicating tabular data, quickly, accurately, and on a large scale. Follow along with our presentation slides.

Video presentation

Chicago Map Society: Mapping Open Data
May 17, 2012
Chicago Map Society

At this monthly meetup, I gave an overview of some of the open source mapping projects I’ve worked on with Open City and independently. Sorry, no video for this one, but my presentation notes are available.

Writeup presentation

Changing The Code: Government Data and Digital Entrepreneurship
April 25, 2012
Cook County - Open Data Week

A 60-minute webinar on how government data can offer new opportunities to digital entrepreneurs and startups. Also featuring former Cook County CIO Greg Wass, Cook County Director of Capital Planning John Cooke, Stephen Newell from IBM, Executive Director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative Daniel X. O’Neil, and SpotHero co-founder Jeremy Smith.

Video panel

Chicago Data Apps Panel Discussion
January 31, 2012
WTTW Chicago Tonight

A panel discussion on open data and apps built with them. Several of our Open City projects were discussed, namely Chicago Lobbyists, Look at Cook and ClearStreets. Hosted by Chicago Tonight’s Phil Ponce, featuring Chicago CTO John Tolva, Chad W. Pry and me.

Video interview

Creating Searchable Maps with Google Fusion Tables
March 1, 2011
Refresh Chicago

An introduction to Google Fusion Tables at the Refresh Chicago Meetup. Presentation slides.

Video presentation • © 2024 Derek Eder