Code Switch


from June 4 at 9:00am to June 5 at 5:00pm

What is Code Switch?

Code Switch is intense. Code Switch is fast-paced. Code Switch is [organized] chaos. And Code Switch is extremely fun. Code Switch is a two-day event (June 4-5, 2016). Diverse project teams brainstorm and create products and solutions to enhance economic opportunity, education, health, and safety in the African American and other underserved communities.

We provide breakfast, lunch, caffeine, wifi, and a beautiful space to work. You provide the creativity.

I heard Code Switch is a “Hackathon.” What is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is an event in which programmers, designers, project managers, community members who know about the problem being solved, and people who just want to learn about the app development process collaborate intensively on software projects. Projects ideas can be proposed by anyone (you don’t need to be a programmer).

Code Switch is a hackathon that seeks to achieve maximum social impact by expanding participation among members of underserved communities. We believe having a diverse set of people on teams leads to more effective solutions. Our goal is to work together to develop ideas for solutions for problems that affect Minnesotans. Code Switch projects can be technical or non-technical.

OK, give me some examples.

There are no fixed rules for what Code Switch project teams can work on. Anyone can propose a project (you don't have to be a techie). You don't have to have a detailed plan to propose a project. Projects can begin and end at Code Switch, so don't feel like proposing a project means you'll have to maintain them forever. Some projects will be created on the day of the event and some projects teams will decide to join forces. This is your event, you decide how you spend your time! If you have a project idea, post it below in order to get ideas and feedback prior to the event. Don't be shy, we are an open, supportive community who want to see you succeed!

Here are some example outcomes of potential projects:

  • An app that helps people find affordable housing
  • A get out the vote plan for your neighborhood
  • A website for discovering high performing schools
  • A service to locate nearby job openings
  • An interactive map that shows neighborhood living costs and economic opportunities

To get your creative juices flowing, we have also identified a few “challenge areas” for you to consider when thinking about projects:

  • Closing the Achievement Gap
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Civic engagement
  • Health & Wellness
  • Connected Cities: improve access and safety for communities of color
For more inspiration, have a look at the recent GeoCode 2.0 event where participants focused on issues of geography and technology in the Twin Cities.

Is this event for me? Really?

Yes. Code Switch is for everyone. Tired of seeing problems in your community continue to go unsolved, and, in many cases, get worse? Join us at Code Switch. You hold the key to understanding issues and opportunities in your own community. Code Switch is for you.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you ever had the thought, “This service should be easier”?
  • Have you ever had an idea for how to strengthen your community but did not know how to get started?
  • Are you frustrated that you have been unable to use your skills to help solve critical social problems?
  • Are you curious about the entrepreneurial approach of the technical community and want to see how it works?  

If you answered yes, then join us at Code Switch to help us find paths to closing gaps and create new opportunities. Register TODAY!

So what do I bring to this event?

The only thing that you absolutely must bring is yourself. If you plan on doing computer-oriented work, you’ll need a laptop. If you don’t have a laptop and still want to participate, please contact us at

When and where will the event take place?

When: June 4 and 5, 2016


Hennepin County Library - Minneapolis Central
2nd Floor
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Short URL:

Registration Closed

118 of 150 spots registered.

Submit An Idea

Proposed Project Ideas

Paycheck to Paycheck App

Aimee Soltysabout 2 years ago

Targeting low income or middle income people. We all live paycheck to paycheck. It'd be nice to have an app that will forecast bills and expenses a year ahead of time, so we know how much to put aw...


16 Like 6 Help 1 comments

Ruby Bridge (Learn To Code)

Ian Whitneyabout 2 years ago

Interested in learning how to code? Want to learn the Ruby programming language? In this project we will follow the Learn To Code curriculum ( from RailsB...


16 Like 3 Help 4 comments

Hacking African American History

Chad Fennellabout 2 years ago

Umbra: Search African American History ( is a free digital platform that brings together content documenting African American history and culture in order to enable the creation of ...


11 Like 2 Help 0 comments


Interactive Map App that features local and/or minority owned businesses

Michaelineabout 2 years ago

Create an interactive map of locally and/or minority owned businesses that serve the consumer market. The option for an establishment to offer coupons/announcements/menu updates through the app if ...


10 Like 1 Help 2 comments

Challenge: Data Visualization for Obama Administration's Promise Zones

Jake Akervikabout 2 years ago

Minneapolis Promise ZoneThe Minneapolis Promise Zone (MPZ) is a Federal initiative led by the City of Minneapolis. It is focused on equity and inclusion, economic development, employement, housing,...


9 Like 4 Help 1 comments

One-Stop Shop Application for Social Benefits (both private and public)

Michaelineabout 2 years ago

App to determine eligibility and initiate enrollment in various financially based social service programs (funded via the public and private sectors) using only one online application form/survey. ...


9 Like 4 Help 4 comments

The Renter Helper App

Khalid Adamabout 2 years ago

Developing a web-application that will allow prospective renters to check out the violations history of a property. The web-application could also allow current renters to review their landlords a...

7 Like 0 Help 1 comments

Tribal Data OneStop

ryansdolan@gmail.comabout 2 years ago

Tribal areas and their governing bodies are underserved by the availability of data. Tribal governments need to navigate several sources of data (Census, HUD, BIA, USDA, state resources and more) ...


7 Like 1 Help 0 comments

Get Out the Vote Carpool App (Could be applied to US & International Markets)

Michaelineabout 2 years ago

Offer a ride or sign up for a ride within your zip code to get to your precinct to go vote. Precinct parking is limited and some citizens may not have access to a vehicle or public transportation o...


7 Like 1 Help 1 comments

Estate Claim Tracker

Aimee Soltysabout 2 years ago

Low income seniors over 55 who are on medical assistance or other MN state programs are not getting "free" assistance. The MN Department of Health Services keeps a running total of everything penny...

5 Like 0 Help 0 comments

Available Bed Map App

Ben Martinkaabout 2 years ago

A desktop and mobile web app with logins for homeless shelter staff to update total and available bed counts dynamically as they are filled and vacated permanently or temporarily on a given night, ...


5 Like 3 Help 3 comments


Interactive micro/nanobots in neurosignaling (educational gaming app)

Mauris DeSilvaalmost 2 years ago

Interested in developing an educational gaming app that involves the designing of micro/nanobots for biomolecule transportation in living nerve cells? We will be looking at the naturally occurring ...

5 Like 0 Help 3 comments

Exponential Thinking: Programming, Artificial Intelligence, Sensors, Cloud Computing, Robotics

Dan Yarmolukalmost 2 years ago

This is a sister organization I am starting from Refugees on Rails based in Germany, an organization teaching refugees how to code.  I'd like to take it a step further by introducing the five expon...


3 Like 1 Help 0 comments

Create your own digital history exhibit!

erinjawsalmost 2 years ago

No tech-pertise necessary! Make your own digital exhibit curated using materials found in Umbra: Search African American History ( and other sites on the internet. In this session, ...


3 Like 1 Help 0 comments

Minnesota Jim Crow confirmed by Met Council analysis

Roxanne Johnsonalmost 2 years ago

I saw this article in April, thought it might be worth digging into the data to see how we might use it to understand some of the problems that exist and propose good solutions. I'd love to hear id...

1 Like 0 Help 0 comments

Prescription tracker

chia.lee@live.comalmost 2 years ago

An app that tracks a patient's prescriptions and OTC and warns them if there are dangerous interactions

0 Like 0 Help 0 comments

Fixing the Public Assistance User Experience

Chad Fennellalmost 2 years ago

TeamJustin HollisAntoinette SmithSarah CarlsonSharon Kennedy-VickersAcooa EllisChad FennellBackgroundAcooa Ellis, Director of Social Justice at Catholic Charities of St Paul and Minneapolis outline...


0 Like 4 Help 0 comments


Saturday, June 4, 2016

8:00 Breakfast and registration
9:15 Welcome and Introductions
9:30 Discovery and Define: Understanding the Problem with Thought Leaders
10:15 Project Pitches
11:15 Solidify: Discussions with thought leaders, and begin project work
12:00 Lunch
1:00-5:00 Project Work

Sunday, June 5, 2016

12:00 Welcome back!
12:30-4:30 Project Work
4:30-5:30 Project Presentations
5:30-6:30 Group Conversation: Next Steps
7:00 Wrap Party at Fulton Brewery!

Who's attending