Apr. 19, 2016 10:51 am

12 social impact-themed Philly Tech Week events to check out

PTW2016 starts next week. Here's what we think should be on your radar (including something called #Failfest.)

Philly Tech Week 2015's official t-shirt.

(Photo by Aidan Un)

Editor's note: Technical.ly Philly, the organizer of Philly Tech Week, is operated by Technically Media, Generocity's parent company.
Philly Tech Week is almost here.

For the tech-inclined social changers among us, this is one of the biggest events of the year. And for the rest of us, the week still offers a bunch of opportunities to connect with our city from a new perspective.

Here are 12 social impact-themed PTW events to mark on your calendar.

Check out the full schedule

The Accessible World Conference — Thursday, April 28, Friday, April 29

As we wrote in February: Ather Sharif‘s accessibility-minded tech initiative, EvoXLabs, will gather leaders in accessibility from all over the world “to share the motivation behind their work and how that work was done — hopefully providing a framework for those looking to do something similar.” Because the more people who can be included, the stronger our community will be.

TechniCulture — Friday, April 29

Tech can intersect with all kinds of sectors in interesting ways. With its second annual TechniCulture event, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance aims to show off how three arts and culture organizations have implemented technology in their programming with some very cool results.

Coded By Kids community events — Saturday, April 30, Monday, May 2, Wednesday, May 4

Former mayor Nutter visits Coded by Kids at the Marian Anderson Rec Center, May 2015.

Former mayor Nutter visits Coded by Kids. (Photo by Kait Privitera for the City of Philadelphia)

Education nonprofit Coded by Kids has a mission of introducing disadvantaged Philly youth to STEM careers by teaching them how to code. Following that, founder Sylvester Mobley is expanding the reaches of PTW by hosting Coded By Kids events in three community rec centers outside of Center City — the Cecil B. Moore Rec Center in North Philly, the Dorothy Emanuel Rec Center in Wyndmoor and the Francis Myers Rec Center in Southwest Philly.

From our Partners

Mayoral Tech Town Hall — Monday, May 2

Ever wonder where Mayor Jim Kenney stands on topics like technology, entrepreneurship and innovation? (We’re still waiting to hear how the budget will shake out for the Office of Innovation and Technology.) He’s shared a bunch already with our sister site Technical.ly Philly, but here’s your chance to hear it live. Audience members can even ask him their own questions via Twitter.

Rad Awards — Tuesday, May 3

This second annual awards event celebrates ladies in the city who are doing cool things. Relevant categories:

  • Nonprofit of the Year — Jaden’s Voice, Terri MatthewsRock To The Future, Jessica CraftWest Philadelphia Skills Initiative, Sheila IrelandThe Food Trust, Yael Lehmann
  • Educator of the Year  Marley Dias, #1000BlackGirlBooks; Valerie V. Gay, Art Sanctuary; Tracey Welson-Rossman, TechGirlz; Jeannine Kayembe, Urban Creators
  • Innovator of the Year — Yasmine Mustafa, ROAR For GoodKeesha Boyd, Multicultural Consumer Services ComcastKathryn Stracquatanio, BluecadetBethany Edwards, Lia Diagnostics
  • Entrepreneur of the Year — Emily Bittenbender, Bittenbender ConstructionAriell R. Johnson, Amalgam CoffeeShari Shapiro, iVocateElena Brennan, Bus Stop Boutique
  • Activist of the Year — Katie Monroe, Women Bike PHLCatzie Vilayphonh, Laos In The HouseKristin Schwab, Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance; Gretchen Dahlkemper-Alfonso, Mom’s Clean Air Force

Check out the full list of nominees here. (Disclaimer: This reporter is nominated for Storyteller of the Year!)

The-Woke-Techie — Tuesday, May 3

As this event’s description states, “To be ‘woke’ means to be aware — to know what’s going on in your community, and to become a catalyst for change in response.” This Camden-based session will discuss members of the tech community “using their hacking, programming and designing skills to create social and economic growth in their communities.”

Data Management for Nonprofits: Turning Information into Shareable Knowledge — Tuesday, May 3

You’ll have to trek out to Delaware County for this morning session, but it could be worth it: Learning to visualize data makes a big difference in helping others (like funders!) understand the impact your organization is making.

#Failfest — Thursday, May 5

At Generocity, we unapologetically cover failure. That’s not so we can point and laugh, but learn from missteps and build better. At #Failfest, founders — including some social entrepreneurs — share why their venture didn’t work out, and what they’ll do differently next time.

The Intersection of Poverty and Data: How Big and Open Data Helps and Harms People in Poverty — Thursday, May 5

The Intersection of Poverty and Data PTWYes, it can do both. Three separate panels will cover “how big and open data harms the poor,” “how big data can serve people in need” — moderated by Generocity Reporter Tony Abraham — and “the future of big data and its effect on poverty.”


(Unfortunately, this event is now sold out.)

Website User Experience for Nonprofits — Thursday, May 5

It’s important people enjoy their time spent on your organization’s website – or at least, you know, don’t hate it. You can control that to a degree by acting on user feedback and analyzing Google Analytics. This workshop will show you how.

Social Media for Nonprofits — Friday, May 6

Another early visit to DelCo, but again, to learn to maximize your engagement efficiency.

Service in Philly: How Designers & Technologists Can Mobilize with a Mission — Thursday, May 5

Broad Street Ministry‘s Jessica Paschke will participate in a Q&A about how the organization uses “design and technology to solve specific challenges in our city and to show immediate results in areas of need,” and how tech can be used to advance mission.

#HackTheVotePA — Thursday, May 5

Use your skill set to create something tangible — a video, an app, a game — that will increase voter turnout and engagement in Philadelphia, and get the chance to win a very real $1,000. Two birds!


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