Upcoming CodeSwitch Hackathon Seeks Social Impact


CodeSwitch is happening again in Minnesota on September 23-24 at the historic Union Depot in downtown St Paul.

“CodeSwitch harnesses inclusion, data, and technology, empowering people to solve problems for their own communities in new ways. Creative minds come together at CodeSwitch to create smart, simple, sustainable solutions with positive social impact,” explains Casey Helbling of Software For Good, an event organizer.

They are joined alongside co-organizers Twin Cities Blacks in Technology and Open Twin Cities in orchestrating the second annual hackathon that’s focused around five key themes:

Civic Engagement: We all gain when everyone participates in society – by running for office, voting, donating to charities, volunteering, and helping our neighbors. How do we use inclusion, data, and technology to increase civic engagement?

Economic Opportunity: Cities and regions are stronger when their residents have opportunities to thrive. This includes access to jobs, support for entrepreneurs, safe and affordable housing, equitable education, and transportation. How do we use inclusion, data, and technology to increase opportunity for all?

Health & Wellness: When our communities are healthy, people thrive. How do we use inclusion, data, and technology to improve health outcomes and promote wellness?

Public Safety: We believe that public safety requires justice systems that are responsive, fair and that work for all. How do we use inclusion, data, and technology to increase to ensure justice for the nation’s most vulnerable populations, especially those most impacted by crime, violence, and the justice system.

Immigration & Refugees: Immigrants and their children are vital contributors to our state’s economic, cultural, and civic life. How do we use inclusion, data, and technology to ensure immigrants remain a part of our communities?

This party is going to be BYOD — that is D as in Data — event organizers’ intention is that participants will already have a sufficient set with them coming into the hackathon.

“Beyond that, we’re working with the City of St. Paul and Ramsey County as they announce and launch their Open Data Portal, and hope to give a preview access of the data sets in the upcoming weeks before the event,’ Helbling adds.

Hopefully that pending “Open Data Portal” will be available on time, unlike Minneapolis’ was.

If you can’t make this weekend work, don’t fret as there are multiple upcoming hackathons which could lend themselves towards technology to address real world challenges: IoTHackDay, MinneHack, and Startup Weekend Twin Cities.

Of course, none will bring with them the density of civic minds, that CodeSwitch seeks to harness for some social impact.


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