The National Day of Civic Hacking is coming to your city on June 4th!


Anticipation for the 2016 National Day of Civic Hacking is at an all-time high. Friday, June 3rd at 12PM ET/9AM PT, as the countdown continues, Code for America, SecondMuse and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are hosting a #HackForChange Twitter chat and you are invited. Contribute to the conversation about how data for social good and collaborative initiatives like the National Day of Civic Hacking are dramatically altering the innovation landscape across the country.

Hack For Change Twitter chat

On Saturday, June 4th, thousands of citizens representing government, businesses and nonprofits, as well as technologists, creatives and entrepreneurs, will come together for the largest national civic hacking event focused on tackling local community’s challenges. The fourth annual National Day of Civic Hacking is set to empower citizens to collaboratively build technology solutions to local challenges using publicly-released data. It’s a unique opportunity for people like you to meet neighbors and use technology to improve your city. The anticipation is already building nationwide.

This year’s event is presented by Code for America, SecondMuse and a number of different federal agencies. “The most significant problems we face today do not respect the boundaries we’ve so cleanly drawn between the public and private sectors,” says Todd Khozein of SecondMuse. “Rather they are oftentimes messy, requiring diverse thinking to even understand their complex nature.”

One of 2016’s civic hacking challenges being tackled by this public-private collaboration is focused on using data visualization to help tell the story of Promise Zones, high poverty communities where the government partners with local leaders to drive economic growth. This challenge aligns with President Barack Obama’s Promise Zones Initiative. On June 4th, Promise Zone cities, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, Camden and St. Louis, will play host to civic hacking events in the spirit of the Obama Administration initiative. Nine other challenges, addressing issues with affordable housing, foreign assistance and global health, are also set to take place at these locations and nationwide.

A variety of organizations, including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Intel, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Knight Foundation, have joined citizens nationwide in creating thousands of innovative civic projects and seeding innovation across the nation, leading to the creation of civic solutions and startups, further proving the value of open data towards enabling socio-economic development.

In past years, the National Day of Civic Hacking has yielded a number of standout projects, including the We the People API, allowing developers to embed White House petitions on their WordPress sites and Pool Party, an app encouraging people attending the same social events to use environmentally-friendly travel options to get there. The diverse range of projects created during past events also includes the FixMyStreet app to empower citizens to report local infrastructure issues, the data visualization platform Open Budget: Oakland encouraging government budget transparency and the Oklahoma Urban Search and Rescue app, an online search area tracker to prevent duplicate rescue efforts in disaster response. Many shared their projects on social media using #HackForChange.

In preparation for the 2016 National Day of Civic Hacking, Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, shared a special message with thousands of volunteers across the country.

The National Day of Civic Hacking will be supported by a number of federal, state and local agencies. The operations team is led by Code for America in collaboration with SecondMuse and SBA.

Neisan Massarrat

About Neisan Massarrat

Neisan is a Director at SecondMuse focused on tackling complex development issues through technology and collaboration. Neisan has over 10 years of experience developing strategies and programs for both private and public sector organizations including Intel Corporation, NASA, Nike and The World Bank Group. His areas of expertise include data, entrepreneurship, organizational strategy and program management. He has worked in sectors such as climate change, corporate sustainability and urban development. Before SecondMuse, Neisan led CSR and sustainability programs across Asia at the German development agency GIZ. He is based in Washington DC and has worked in over 20 countries.

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