The Code for America Fellowship is an annual program, which sends small startup teams to work with cities for a year on interesting and important problems identified by their host cities. After the Fellowship year, Fellows sometimes go on to continue their work inside government, sometimes they create startups to continue their work, or find other ways to keep after the problem they've got their teeth into. And sometimes, they go back to work in the commercial world re-energized and more deeply aware of the impact that tech can have on the wider world, and better citizens thereby.
Fellows include programmers, designers, researchers, and project managers - a wide range of skills. Learn more at http://www.codeforamerica.org/about/fellowship/
Fellows come from a variety of backgrounds in technology. Some come from large, well-known tech companies or startup environments, while others have experience working in government or social impact organizations. All of our fellows have a creative, entrepreneurial spirit and are passionate about the work that they do. All fellows receive a $50K stipend to support their time as a fellow, as well as full benefits and educational loan deferment.
Here are some of the projects the Fellows have worked on during the past five years:
* "Debugging" SNAP (the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, commonly referred to as Food Stamps) to understand why the application process is so complicated, why so many people fail to complete it, or otherwise fall off the rolls after they apply.
* Building a "Jail Dashboard" to help judges be more aware of overcrowding, and alternatives to incarceration, when sentencing. We are going deep on how we can improve the criminal justice system.
* Monitoring and measuring blight in cities to help government and citizens figure out what to do to improve their neighborhood.
* Creating new tools for citizen engagement in urban planning.
* Making it easier for cities to respond to public records requests.
The video below gives a quick look at some of the people who've gone through the program before you.
Apply here: codeforamerica.org/apply
"What we have, uniquely in America, is a political class, and an entire political party, devoted to the idea that any money spent on public goods is money misplaced, not because the state goods might not be good but because they would distract us from the larger principle that no ultimate good can be found in the state. Ride a fast train to Washington today and you’ll start thinking about national health insurance tomorrow."
This is a brilliant, funny takedown of the conservative Catholic pundits' and politicians' critique of Pope Francis' climate change encyclical.
"It’s an experiment.
"And one rooted in finding, organizing and working with founders who want nothing less than to build large, scalable businesses on their own terms. The diversity of this first group represents fertile soil where we can test and measure for whom this approach works best and for whom what we have to offer doesn’t move the needle."
Very smart. And having met with the initial group of companies, not just a thoughtful experiment but a really great group of entrepreneurs with interesting businesses!
It is so important to expand the venture ecosystem beyond the usual suspects and the usual business models. Most of the entrepreneurs in the world, even in tech, don't necessarily fit the overheated Silicon Valley mold.
- O'Reilly MediaCEO, present
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