Civic News

These 7 Code for Philly projects are using tech for collective empowerment

It's not too late to join the monthlong Launchpad 2019: Phundamentals hackathon, which asks participants to consider: What should be considered vital to the success of all Philadelphians, and how can we better use our technology as bridges between ourselves?

Code for Philly Launchpad 2019: Phundamentals kickoff at City Hall.

(Courtesy photo)

Full disclosure: is serving as a media sponsor for Code for Philly's Launchpad 2019: Phundamentals.
This is a guest post by Code for Philly Projects Lead Michael Chow.

Over the past weekend, Code for Philly’s Launchpad 2019 participants organized into teams, rolled up their sleeves, and got to work on tackling solutions for this year’s theme: Philly Phundamentals.

Phundamentals is how we challenged this year’s participants to consider how can we use technology for our collective empowerment. It combines that foundational question with two more focused thoughts: In this modern world we live in, what should be considered vital to the success of all Philadelphians — say, our 21st century basic needs — and how can we better use our technology as the bridges between ourselves?

Last Friday, in the heart of the city, City Hall’s Council Caucus Room, the Launchpad project idea kickoff event saw an impressive number of compelling project ideas come forward. As always, we know it’s hard for participants to pick just one to focus on during the month!

Working on some Phundamentals. (Courtesy photo)

Below, you can see the projects that teams ultimately swarmed to at Saturday’s opening project workday at PromptWorks in Center City. If you’re interested in learning more about each project, contributing, or advising, please click on the respective project listing.

These teams just formed so now is still a great opportunity to help each crew diversify their skill sets as they march toward demo night on Oct. 1. Tactically, if you’re interested in helping, here’s what to do:

  • Reach out to them via their contact info on project pages.
  • Let someone in leadership at Code for Philly know of your interest, via Slack or twitter, and we can direct you to the project team.
  • Join the #Launchpad2019 channel in Code for Philly’s Slack.

Philly Elder Helpers

The need to perform simple home repair may present a challenge for seniors. This project aims to help seniors age in place, by connecting them with volunteers who can help with home maintenance.


Reach: SMS hotline

This project is building technology to allow people living with addiction to connect quickly, via SMS, with a certified recovery specialist.

UliftU website redesign

UliftU is a nonprofit that runs a program to assist people reentering society after incarceration, by providing training to become fitness coaches, along with a stipend during training. This project is for building an updated website with the organization.

PLSE record pardoning and expungement

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) is a legal aid nonprofit that helps those with criminal records overcome barriers they face. It is organizing volunteers around two projects, including one to create an app to help lawyers at PLSE expunge records.


Recently, several large companies exposed credit card information. This project will enable people to protect themselves from identity theft, by providing an application that simplifies the process of freezing and unfreezing your credit.

Philly Healthcare Data

This project aims to track the cost of medical treatments in Philadelphia, so that people can make informed decisions about the cost of their care.


PHLASK is an ecosystem for finding and sharing water in Philadelphia given the belief that water should remain abundant, clean and accessible to everyone. PHLASK’s mission is to help people find publicly available sources of water, and to impel private enterprises to provide public access to their water infrastructure — simply by PHLasking.

Projects: Code for Philly
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