How Civic Hacker Does Social Change

An in-depth look at the mission behind the technology

Aug 28, 2019 - 3 min read

By Jurnell Cockhren

Core Capacities

Organizations and grassroots endeavor to develop abilities that align with their social impact goals. These strengths, called core capacities1, serve as their fundamental toolset. Civic Hacker's embeds its core capacities into its mission statement steering the company's efforts to yield positive social impact:

Use software, policy, and data to empower activists and eliminate oppression

Collecting & Analyzing Data

Civic Hacker mines and analyzes Open Data2 to enable individuals and community groups in their fights to build stronger, more resilient communities. Data is powerful. Positive social impact is not possible without empowering people with data; therefore, working with organizations like Black Tech Mecca help to realize the goal. Civic Hacker's Data Points product helps organizations use data to drive awareness and improve strategies intended to induce social change.

Writing Software

We live in a software-defined world. Technology has a powerful influence on our lives. It's sensible to look for opportunities to create software that enhances our quality of life and the human condition. Modern technology provides us the entry points, and the computational power to change society for the better. Social issues are not purely technical problems. Solutions to address social problems require data and the web services that make that data useful. Civic Hacker builds tools using Web Standards that serve data and new experiences to help humans solve social issues faster.

Writing & Reviewing Policy/Regulation

Long-lasting social impact requires changes in policy and regulation at every political level. Partnerships with legislators such as Rep. London Lamar (D-TN) grant Civic Hacker the chance to ensure there's legislation that takes into account how the internet, data, and technology can augment injustice. Additionally, company policies and rules have a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable populations. Civic Hacker is no exception. With annual BCorp3 and Open Chain Conformance4 certifications to ensure as Civic Hacker grows, the mission and it's original design remains intact.

Working with Civic Hacker

Attempting to solve social issues requires traversing multiple fields of study. Civic Hacker's body of work maps its core capacities through three use-cases or channels:

  • Social Justice
  • Environmentalism
  • Political Activism

What are your organization's core capacities, and how do they map to the desired social impact?


  1. Theory of Change. Annie Casey Foundation. 2004. https://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-theoryofchange-2004.pdf#page=14

  2. What is Open Data? Open Data Handbook. 2019. http://opendatahandbook.org/guide/en/what-is-open-data/

  3. Certification. Certified B Corp. 2019. https://bcorporation.net/certification

  4. OpenChain Project. 2019. https://www.openchainproject.org/