For 6 years, Code for Philly has produced hackathon after hackathon, started and supported hundreds of civic tech projects, and coordinated with local tech and government partners to bring you speakers and special workshops. We’re proud of the work we’ve done, but we’re also very aware that civic tech that speaks only to the privileged few isn’t really civic tech.

When functioning at its best and most meaningful, civic tech is used to help people solve problems. What is or is not a “problem” can vary depending on what neighborhood you’re in or who you’re talking to, and while the breadth and scope of Code for Philly projects will always reflect that variation, we also feel it’s vital to push for more programming and partnerships that give a platform and time to civic issues and residents that are under represented and marginalized.

This is why we decided to partner with the QUEST Community Engagement Project and Resolve Philadelphia to host #QUESTHacks: North Philly Community Digital Solutions Day.

About the Event Series

Filmed for nearly a decade, QUEST follows Christopher “Quest” Rainey and his wife Christine’a “Ma Quest” as they raise a family in North Philadelphia while nurturing a community of hip hop artists in their home music studio. In the spirit of creating an artistic sanctuary, the Raineys offer their home to the local community. Over the years, the space has had a major impact on many people in their neighborhood.

In that same spirit, we’re bringing together technologists, community partners, activists, journalists, and neighbors for a two days of problem-solving and creating solutions to community-based problems with the help of data, design, and technology.

#QUESTHacks and Code for Philly

#QUESTHacks gives Code for Philly volunteers an opportunity to collaborate with North Philly residents and extend the impact of their work beyond the busy economic corridors of Center City. It’s a chance for you to showcase your talent working in a group alongside people with different skill sets. Or you could even lead such a group and help them map out a project and achieve small but laudable goals.

#QUESTHacks promises to be a day focused on fellowship, community, and the application of new tools to old problems. It’s about inspiring our neighbors, through data or storytelling or APIs, and helping each other, all of our communities, and our city. It’s an opportunity for professionals, residents, artists, and non-profit leaders who may never otherwise work together on a project to meet, appreciate one another’s different skills, and apply those skills towards making a tangible difference, however small. We hope you’ll take advantage of this amazing opportunity and get involved in #QuestHacks.

Event Series Schedule

10/29 Code for Philly QUEST Screening

Meet other members of Code for Philly, socialize with other interested volunteers, get to know our current active projects, and join us for a special screening of QUEST: An American Family. A discussion will follow the screening and both will help volunteers get ready, and get excited, to collaborate with the North Philly community.

Since we’ll be serving beer, this event is for our 21+ volunteers only.

We strongly recommend Code for Philly volunteers see the film before participating in #QuestHacks.

The community problems that you will be creating digital solutions for are very much inspired by the film. You’ll be in a better position to contribute to the projects if you’re well-informed by having seen the film. If you can’t for any reason attend the screening speak to a Code for Philly organizer and they can provide you with a link to the film. It’s also available on iTunes.

RSVP to Code for Philly QUEST Screening

11/2 Kick Off Night

Get to know your fellow #QuestHacks participants and begin to form project teams. Tonight is all about collaborative brainstorming and discussing how the right application of technology and data can make an impact in the North Philly community. The real work starts tomorrow; tonight is about doing some thinking and listening while enjoying food and drink.

RSVP to Kick Off Night

11/3 Project Day

By now #QuestHacks participants have seen the documentary, reviewed problems, and spent some time brainstorming projects. Today is the day everyone rolls up their sleeves and gets to work. Participants will break out into teams to map out their projects—drafting web layouts, exploring tech tools, designing, and more. We’ll keep teams fueled with food and drink and by the end of the day everyone will have started something that will bring positive change to the community!

RSVP to Project Day

Volunteer to Help With Event Support

If you love what we’re doing with #QuestHacks but don’t feel ready to jump into a hackathon, you can join us as a logistical volunteer. We’ll need people to help us set up, break down, and keep things running smoothly. Sound good? If you want to lend a hand during any part of #QuestHacks, fill out our volunteer interest form.