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Hack for Change!

June 4, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pm



Our second National Day of Civic Hacking (also known as Hack for Change) is just around the corner! This year’s event will be on Saturday June 4, at TechPad in Blacksburg, VA.

We have lots of projects available for anyone to work on, or feel free to bring your own. For a number of them, you don’t even need to know how to do any coding! In general this will be a come and go as you please event, so don’t feel obligated to come at the start and stay until the end. We might have some specifically scheduled components or speakers however, so stay tuned for more details to come! If you can, be sure to RSVP either below or on the Meetup.com event so that we can provide enough food and drinks for everyone to enjoy throughout the event, but come on by even if you haven’t RSVP’d.

For this event, some of us will be focusing on the national challenge of “Applying for a Business License.”  We want to make it easier for everyone who wants to start a business in the New River Valley by giving them the information they need to get registered and licensed at the local and state levels and help them through the process. As part of the national challenge, there are three different tasks that could be done:

  • Citizen Onboarding – This involves going through the motions of creating a business and documenting the process along the way. You’ll take a bunch of screenshots as you go and add comments to create a presentation of the process that will eventually be uploaded to http://citizenonboard.com/. They’ll take submissions from this challenge submitted from all over the country to get an idea of what the common processes and their challenges are like to hopefully help provide a pathway to better ones in the future!
  • Digital Service Census – This one involves browsing our local governments’ websites and determining how easy it is to access and use a number of their services (including obtaining a business license). Add this information to the growing service census for cities and towns across the US to see how we compare and where we should work with our governments to improve their services!
  • Journey Maps – This task will be the most important for helping us improve the experience for new users trying to start a business in the NRV, as it documents all of the steps required to go through this process. Once most of those steps are written out, we can use it to get feedback from people who have gone through it (as well as the government employees who work with the applicants) to understand where the difficulties are and what could be made easier. This journey map will guide the creation of a resource to help everyone start a new business!

While our initial plan for this project is to focus on Montgomery County with Christiansburg and Blacksburg, participants are welcome to work on these for anywhere in the New River Valley. For an example of what an end product might look like, check out the new website Long Beach, CA, just launched after working with Code for America fellows.

As always, we welcome everyone to our event and have a Code of Conduct to ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing you there!


June 4, 2016
10:00 am - 6:00 pm


432 North Main Street, Suite 200
Blacksburg, VA 24060 United States