Rebirth: Hackers for Change

By Ben Spielberg

Change.org is a philanthropic website dedicated to realize and inform the public of different causes such as animal rights, criminal justice, and a plethora of other topics concerning social change. When people sign up for free, they have the option of uploading a petition that thousands of others can sign. The difference between this and other petition-based websites, though, is that Change.org actually works. There is a list of successful petitions that implemented the change the people wanted, ranging from revival of taboo Facebook fan pages to the creation of an anti-homophobia video for a San Francisco based football team.

Among Change.org’s newest endeavor is something that I really like. Hack for Change is an event that will go on for a little over 24 hours this summer in which 50 engineers, designers, and hackers alike will get together and compete against each other. What exactly will they be doing? Each member or team will be attempting to create a web or mobile application that has the potential to create positive change. The winners will receive financial compensation of up to $10,000.

There’s something about this event that is fascinating. Not only are people from all walks of life invited—ranging from hackers living in their mom’s basements to successful web designers—but these people will gather together to serve the greater good in a way that could potentially affect the lives of millions of people. Talk about t’shuvah!

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