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Change.org Invites Developers to Hack for Change (and Dollars, Too)

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 25 2011

Change.org has just announced that it's going to be throwing a 24-hour-long Hack for Change event, starting at noon on Saturday, June 18th, in the company's headquarters in San Francisco's SOMA district. The goal is to bring together programmers and designers to build apps, both mobile and web, that just might do something to better the world.

Not just app glory and the sense of civic contribution is at stake here; Change.org is laying out $10,000 that will be distributed amongst the three app creators who are judged to have most rocked out on the challenge. Code for America and Mashable are partnering with Change.org to host the event.

Success needn't involve coming up with a great idea. Change.org is soliciting ideas for apps now, and they'll be available to the programmers and designers at the start of the event. The idea is to take the wisdom and skills of technologist and apply them to the real-world problems and opportunities that other smart, though perhaps non-technical, people have identified. There are echoes here of Facebook's hunt for well-qualified policy directors: coders can change the world, but it might make sense to tap the experience of the folks long in the world-running business. "The smartest people in the world are focused on problems that don't really matter," Change.org founder Ben Rattray told Mashable.

If you want into the event, you'll need to apply. There are only 50 spots. Successful applicants will be let know that they're invited in only early June, which suggests a San Francisco-heavy pool of hackers hacking for change that weekend.