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Generation Citizen + Shapers Civic Tech Challenge

A Shaper Project Spotlight

The project

We connected with a non-profit, Generation Citizen, through a Shaper who is on their local board. Generation Citizen (GC) is a national non-profit that runs action civics programming in local schools in which college students serve as Democracy Coaches to guide teens to take real action via projects addressing local community problems--much like Shaper projects!

GC was looking to hold their first-ever Bay Area fundraiser, a hackathon-inspired event that dovetails nicely with their program. After a discussion with GC staff, both GC and Shapers felt that this would be a great project to collaborate on. The question we asked was: "Can passionate students + innovative technology change our community? Find out by taking the Civic Tech Challenge!"

The event


Sat. Nov 7th, at Microsoft-Yammer office in SF:

9am-6pm Hackathon

6pm-9pm Presentation and Reception

At GC Bay Area's Inaugural Civic Tech Challenge, teens from the GC program partnered with technologists and other community members to hack innovative tech add-ons to their action projects. Hackteams presented their innovations to 200+ guests at the evening presentation and reception, to a Judging Panel of the Bay Area's leading innovators.

Shaper contributions

2 Shapers joined the event planning/host committee, working on all pre-event logistics

1 Shaper (plus 2 others recruited by Shapers) led workshops for students

3 Shapers each led a Hackteam

1 Shaper on the judging panel

+ many Shapers attended the reception

Shapers were able to make unique contributions to the event through their relevant experience, their expansive networks, their knowledge of the issues students care about, their ability to lead projects, and their enthusiasm for being agents of change in the community.


The inaugural Bay Area Generation Citizen Civic Tech Challenge was a great success! Attendance by both middle/high-school students and technologists exceeded expectations. All teams engaged in thoughtful discussion and project planning and execution, and successfully presented projects to the judges, who responded with thoughtful questions--and the student presenters stood up to the challenge admirably!

Select presentations:

Food Pantry Expansion --> see what it would look like to serve more families throughout San Francisco

Water Conservation --> understand which SF Unified schools are using a disproportionate amount of water

Lowering the Voting Age --> hear some compelling reasons why this could help revitalize democracy

Bullying Prevention --> watch what safe, anonymous reporting could look like on school campuses

Homelessness --> understand correlative data between eviction rates and homelessness rates

Check out photos from the event here.
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