Open Collective
Open Collective
2022 Off to a Great Start for the Civic Hacker Network - Q1 Summary
Published on April 27, 2022 by Lori McNeill

Have you been wondering what's been going on with the Civic Hacker Network?

Quite a lot has been accomplished during Quarter 1 of 2022!

We hope this announcement finds you well. All of us are acutely aware of how much more needs to be done in our communities to bring about the changes we hope to see. It is so important to let ourselves be buoyed up by the wins and not get bogged down by the distance left to traverse. Let's reflect on the progress we've made - from tiny to epic - and celebrate a great start to the year!

Million Steps Challenge


We kicked off 2022 with a fantastic partnership to raise money while inspiring our members and friends to take care of themselves by committing to healthy amounts of activity every day for 100 days. Civic Hacker Network partnered with One Million Steps to pursue our fundraising goals by offering the opportunity to participate in the wellness challenge for free. Our team of million-steppers racked up millions of steps, and we got a promising start on fundraising, too!


This first challenge concluded on April 10th. The next one starts in May, so stay tuned for information on how you can join our wellness-for-a-cause campaign! Our director, Lori McNeill had this to say about her challenge experience:


"TRIUMPH! I did it!
Over one million steps in 100 days! A million moments I do not take for granted. Huge shoutout to my friends and family members who participated in the Million Steps challenge with me! I’m thankful for each and every one of you."

Award Winning Podcast

In March we entered a competition called Podca$h, and... we won! The Civic Hacker Podcast was one of over 3,000 entries, so it is an honor to have been selected as a recipient of a cash prize acknowledging the value of the message we're putting out into the world.

Episodes released so far this year have ushered in Season 2 of The Civic Hacker Podcast with a bang!

  • Combating Human Trafficking with Powerful Data Tools - Conversation from the original Civic Hacker Summit that focused on innovative tools designed to help law enforcement build cases against trafficking rings using data gleaned from the web. Discussion of the history, context and outcomes of a US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program called Memex with then program manager, Wade Shen.
  • Data Literacy, Black History, and You - Official Season 2 opener! Conversation with Allen Hillery, Co-Founder of Be Data Lit, a platform that promotes education for data literacy advocates, and a co-creator of the surprise data visualization sensation, the “DuBois Challenge”. He takes us behind the scenes of the challenge and leaves us with the clear message that data literacy is for everyone.
  • Art, Code, and Black Data Stories - Anthony Starks, an independent developer and designer, gives us empowering information on the ways that we can use data as a tool for advocacy, and advice and examples for those of you that are interested in building your own data tools and visualizations. We talk about his involvement in the data visualization community’s online initiative, the Du Bois Challenge, including how he reproduced all of the hand drawn Du Bois data portraits with his modern digital tools. Anthony reminds us of the context of Du Bois’s original work, and the importance of its lessons for us today as we wield modern data to push for change.
  • Hacking DEI in Tech -  We learn about a unique approach to hackathons and the idea of the "Equalithon”, from Hugo Seureau, CEO and co-founder of Essteem.

We are excited for all of the voices and stories we have to share with you as the year continues. Our most recent episode features a timely and important discussion with Rachael Brown, the Founder and Executive Director of Over Zero, an organization that merges research and practice to prevent identity-based violence and other forms of group-targeted harm. Make sure you subscribe to the Civic Hacker Podcast so you never miss an episode from our award-winning show!

Social Responsibility: Free On Demand Webinar


Remember Rich Yap and the Karmalize platform from the Civic Hacker Summit? Well we teamed up with him to offer a webinar, "What's Going On? Field Report on Socially Responsible Small Businesses". He shared fascinating insights gleaned from the platform, and our director, Lori McNeill, shared some impact measurement tips for those who want to get their social responsibility initiative started on the right foot.


Although we typically think of “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) as something reserved for large and/or highly profitable corporations, businesses of all sizes – even solopreneurs – are also building positive impact into their operations. But how are small businesses achieving social impact? Is their primary focus on volunteering or philanthropy? What could you do that would make any difference, and how would that align with your core business?


The webinar recording is now available on-demand here.

Monthly Meetups - Virtual - Last Friday of the Month

We LOVE connecting with the community at these virtual meetups. The 30 minute networking sessions include one-on-one "speed networking", small group breakouts, and open "stage" time. We provide the conversation starters, and participants come away with new connections and helpful information for their journey toward making an impact.


RSVP here
to get your link to join our next virtual meetup on Friday, April 29th at 10:30 AM Pacific / 1:30 PM Eastern.


A huge thank you to our supporters and the tireless Civic Hackers throughout the world.


Lori McNeill,


Civic Hacker Network Director

Ways To Stay Connected And Make A Difference:


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Listen to the podcast.


Check out our website.


The Civic Hacker Network exists to create and empower a globally connected community of people who are using data and technology to create positive social change.


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