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The Civic Hacker Podcast

The Civic Hacker Podcast

By Lori McNeill, Founder | The Civic Hacker Network
Problems have solutions. We're here to learn about them from regular people creating change in their communities using data and technology. Each season of the Civic Hacker Podcast includes audio from the Civic Hacker Summit and news from the Civic Hacker Network.
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No Data, No Change

The Civic Hacker Podcast

No Data, No Change

The Civic Hacker Podcast

[BONUS EPISODE] Impact Blockers: 4 Mistakes Standing Between You & the Change You Want to See
We recently hosted a webinar titled, “Impact Blockers: 4 mistakes standing between you and the change you want to see”. This BONUS EPISODE features the audio from that webinar. If questions about the impact of your work make you feel like a deer stuck in headlights, you're not alone. So many people working to create change in their community aren't sure about whether or not they're getting the outcomes they want, at the scale that's needed. In this webinar, our director, Lori McNeill covered 4 mistakes that often lie at the root of shortcomings in a range of social impact initiatives, civic tech and tech-for-good products, non-profit programs, and even grassroots community projects. If you're ready to gain confidence in the impact and direction of your work, this episode is a must listen! LINKS TO INFO AND RESOURCES: Check out the Community Impact Accelerator Program at To view the Impact Blockers webinar video recording, go to
August 16, 2021
3, 2, 1... Impact!
Today's episode features a conversation with Rebecca Rumbul, Head of Research at mySociety, a U.K. based not-for-profit organization that helps people be active citizens using civic technology, research and data across 40 countries. mySociety’s research team seeks to discover what works — and what doesn’t — when it comes to civic technologies. In this conversation Rebecca shares some of her research observations and tips for how civic tech can be developed to make an in impact more in responsible and equitable ways. LINKS TO INFO AND RESOURCES: Learn more about mySociety's research at Check out the Community Impact Accelerator Program at
August 14, 2021
AI for Good
For Episode 05 of the Civic Hacker Podcast, "AI for Good", we are featuring a conversation with Friederike Schüür to talk about how we can use data and AI for good, AI capabilities and ethics considerations, and some simple concepts that can help you make a bigger impact in your civic and social good projects. At the time of this recording, Friederike was a data scientist with the applied machine learning research firm, Fast Forward Labs. She walks us through some of the prototypes they built, and discusses what these apps reveal about the underlying data and algorithms.    LINKS TO INFO AND RESOURCES: Watch the clip of the AI application prototypes and get the links to more resources at Recommended AI learning resource from our affiliate partner:
March 21, 2021
Hacking Food Insecurity
In Episode 04 of the Civic Hacker Podcast, "Hacking Food Insecurity", we sit down with Tim Yoon to talk about his winning National Day of Civic Hacking project, and the journey that followed to develop the idea into a working tool on the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services website.  This conversation was part of the Civic Tech Group Showcase track of the Civic Hacker Summit. In it, Tim keeps it real, and provides some great insights about working with busy agencies, the importance of building trust as you engage in these types of collaborations, and resisting the urge to go overboard on the tech part of civic tech.  LINKS TO INFO AND RESOURCES: See the clip of the demo version of the team's project>> Learn more about building a civic hacking community by checking out the resources at Recommended GIS learning resource for web developers from our affiliate partner:
December 18, 2020
Mapping for Impact
This week we are joining in the international celebration of GIS technology by bringing you a very special GIS-focused talk from the Civic Hacker Summit Archives, "3 Questions You Can Answer With Maps". This session was presented by Esther Needham, Project Manager on the Data Analytics team at Azavea, a certified B Corp that applies geospatial analytics, software, and research for positive civic, social, and environmental impact. We have made the video of Azavea's presentation available to ALL Civic Hacker Network members (not just paid members) for a limited time: Go on over to our website and sign up for your free membership to be able to access this video and SEE the awesome examples that the folks from Azavea were talking about. #GISWeek Membership Promotion: Use promo code GISDAY2020 to get a paid membership to the Civic Hacker Network, with 1 year of access to the entire Civic Hacker Summit Archive for just $49 (the regular price is $100/year). Go to to learn more, and remember to enter the promo code GISDAY2020 at checkout to get this special rate of just $49 for an annual paid membership to the Civic Hacker network. Azavea: Azavea's Github:
November 19, 2020
No Data, No Change
Amy Bach founded Measures for Justice in 2011 as a follow-up to her acclaimed book Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court. The book won the 2010 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and was succeeded by an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times titled Justice by the Numbers. In this episode of the Civic Hacker Podcast, hear more about this organization and their ambitious plans to collect and organize the criminal justice system data from all 3,000 U.S. counties, and make standardized metrics available to any and all users who may wish to access the information. LINKS: Article:    Measures for Justice: Build your civic hacking community: Preliminary report: Watch party notifications:
November 10, 2020
Hacking Homelessness
How much do you know about how to get people experiencing homelessness into housing and connected with appropriate resources? In this episode of The Civic Hacker Podcast, hear inspiring details about the data-driven solution to homelessness being advanced by the Built for Zero program from Community Solutions. Their Deputy Director of Data and Performance Management takes us through Built for Zero’s process and how they're using a data-driven approach to end homelessness. Links: Article:  Data Driven Solutions to Homelessness
October 22, 2020
August 31, 2020
August 31, 2020