Summer 2020 Tech and Social Good opportunities


NYU commencement ceremony. Photo by Matt Stempeck.

NYU’s commencement ceremony. Photo by Matt Stempeck.

The graduating Class of 2020 and their underclassmen are in the midst of considering their options for jobs, fellowships, and internships this summer. While this makes some of us feel incredibly old, we’re also excited to welcome them to apply their talents and fresh perspectives to help address the problems we face.

Moe Sunami of Ponoma College has started a collaborative document to help students find the right Summer 2020 Tech and Social Good opportunities. We shared the following in the doc, and wanted to share it here, too, for anyone just starting out in their career interested in tech and social good. Please share it with the students you’d love to work with someday.

The Civic Tech Field Guide was created in part to help new talent (you!) find their way in the field of public interest technology. We curate job boards, fellowships, volunteer opportunities, and civic hackathons. We also compile lists of civic hacking meetups and hubs around the world where you can meet others where you live (or want to live). Or you can meet people in online forums for social good tech. Listservs are a great place to begin learning and contributing. You should especially subscribe to our two Google Calendars – one for upcoming application and funding deadlines, and one for major civic tech conferences.

If you want to build something yourself (or with friends), check out the collection of social good incubators and accelerators, funders & donors, prizes, competitions, and challenges. Major civic tech platforms like TurboVote began as student projects. It’s worth investigating if it’s been done before in the Field Guide and its project graveyard. That doesn’t mean you won’t succeed, it just means you’ll have done your homework about differentiating your product when you talk to potential funders.

If you simply want to learn more about applying tech for the public good, we recommend courses, a reading list, peer-reviewed research, research and policy centers, civic tech news sites and blogs, shows, and of course, podcasts.

Lastly, our main catalog of engagement, government, civic data, advocacy, media, and high-tech civic tech is meant to help you find projects that already exist, for inspiration, employment, or competitor analysis.

We’ve been crowdsourcing this collection since about 2015. You can add missing projects to the guide here. It’s a project of Civic Hall, which you should visit if you find yourself in New York, as it’s a major community hub that offers coworking, events, and a rich community. Their First Post email newsletter also shares tech for public good jobs and application deadlines several times per week.

Lastly, we want to give a shout-out to the new edition of the Mozilla Foundation ‘zine, which offers a student guide to navigating the ethical issues in the tech industry (PDF). Given the growing need for tech employee organizing in recent years, it’s great to help students think about these issues before they decide who will benefit from their energy and skills.