We build apps that help communities organize, access,

and apply local resources to their most pressing problems.


These are the tools that we are working on right now.

Member agencies of the Safe Shelter Collaborative (SSC) benefit from a technology platform they use to seek shelter for clients and to alert supporters to donate the cost of hotel stays when shelter is unavailable. Members have access to training opportunities to build capacity and better serve their clients. The SSC helps members find and fund shelter faster and expand services to those who need it most.

Safe Shelter Collaborative

Expanding shelter options for survivors of human trafficking.




The Safe Shelter Collaborative supports the Sustainable Development Goals.

During the summer, millions of youth eligible for free and reduced meals lose the place -- school cafeterias -- where they ate lunch. These meals move from cafeterias to community based organizations across the country, making them harder to find. Range is a tool trusted adults who work with youth can use to quickly find the nearest place where free meals are served and where youth can find a free place--a library--to engage in information and programs.


Meal sites for summer appear in Range in June of each year until the school year starts in your area.


Help youth find free meals and the nearest library this summer.




Range supports the Sustainable Development Goals.


Funding alternative shelter for a safe night.


SafeNight provides staff members at domestic violence and anti-trafficking service organizations a secure way to crowdsource funding from supporters who have downloaded the SafeNight app.


When an individual is in urgent need of shelter, a qualified staff member at a domestic violence service organization can initiate a request for hotel room funding. Supporters who have downloaded SafeNight receive a notification that an individual is in need and have an opportunity to immediately cover the cost of the hotel room as a tax-deductible donation. SafeNight is part of the Safe Shelter Collaborative,


Worker Connect

Empowering workers to provide feedback.




In close collaboration with migrant workers, worker welfare staff, and support networks in the Persian Gulf, Worker Connect is a mechanism for migrant construction workers to learn about their rights, share information about their experiences, and provide anonymous feedback to worker welfare supervisors. The service includes a mobile app for use by construction workers to report feedback on their living and working conditions, and a dashboard where supervisors can analyze anonymous data to highlight areas of concern and intervene when necessary.

SafeNight supports the Sustainable Development Goals.

Worker Connect supports the Sustainable Development Goals.

Find out more about Worker Connect.

GenDesign projects

Community-generated problem-solving concepts

We facilitate 2-day Generate + Design events where communities identify the problems they face, learn how technology might solve them, and design concepts that illustrate their imagination and aspirations for the product they hope to see built. Learn more about our most recent project, and please get in touch if you're interested in collaborating with us.

Public Good App House

Apps for social good




The Public Good App House provides an opportunity to learn about technology that increases the social good in countries throughout the world, with a particular focus on the Americas.


Find out more about Public Good App House.


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We learned about the work MAKAIA, a Colombian NGO and our collaborator, is doing to put air quality sensors on public buildings and bring residents together to understand the results. We got excited about the potential of doing this in more places. And we started wondering about the learnings that come out of other similar citizen science and environmental data projects. We had the opportunity to work with a group of students to follow our curiosity and they shared their learning in a recent webinar. Here are the all the collected resources, as well a recording of the event.

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And we continue to use events as a way to find and learn about interesting projects. We host them -- online and in-person -- on a regular basis.  We also attend events hosted by other organizations. Right now, Catherine Johnson is at the inaugural Texas DFPS Human Trafficking Summit. Later this week, Ricky will be at the National CERT Conference in Naples, FL. In September, Ricky and Marnie Webb will be at the NextLibrary Satellite Conference In Berlin and the International Open Data Conference in Buenos Aires. In November, Sarah will be traveling to Bangkok to attend Issara Institute’s Global Forum.


We are always thinking about libraries. Sarah shared "Can Libraries Accelerate Local Open Data Publishing" and "I'm a public librarian. This is why I'm also a civic-tech advocate."

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The kind of design popularized by IDEO and other firms, most commonly called human centered design, may help when designing products, but is not helping us solve larger societal issues. That's the point Jesse Weaver makes in "Design Won't Save the World."

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Our work in Brazil, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, got us much closer to the world of transit route mapping. The residents of a town in southern Brazil wanted to find out where their bus was and we did too. That work led to us to wonder how many small and medium-sized cities lacked the infrastructure to let residents access bus routes from various online tools. Ricky Abisla shares what we learned in "Caravan Studios Boosts Access to Transit Through Open Data."


Marnie shared a post by Alfonsina Peñaloza on the Hewlett Foundation blog about a big idea to do feminist open government bring NGOs that serve women into the conversation early and make them key stakeholders and decision-makers. 


The Guardian examines the increasing hostility faced by Venezuelans as the migration crisis continues. We have funding from Twilio.org to implement 4Bells in Brazil and Colombia. We may not be able to help the big issues of this crisis, but maybe 4Bells can get people to needed resources faster.  

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In the course of all the work we've been doing for the Public Good App House Festival, we've learned about even more great projects. We've been organizing them by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. We didn't want the list to just be for us, though. We've got the list on a wiki, and you can feel free to contribute.


It's all in the conversation.




The Dispatch


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