Building Apps for Activism
Activism: the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.

Nearing the end of 2014, there have been quite a few issues that have gone unchanged. As an American, I will speak from my point of view. The mayhem in ferguson leading to continuous racial tensions, the stagnation of our congress’s duty, and more recently the issues of security scandals. Within all of these issues, there seems to be an elephant in the room, “Sure this is bad, but why should I care?” It has become the American blight to speculate rather than act. However, these are all things we know. We know that there are issues and we’re not doing anything about them. So why isn’t this changing? How have we, the originators of modern free speech and democracy, become so passive? Is it because of comfort? Maybe we already won the world and created a perfect society that needs no change. If that’s the case then I’ll just forget about having a country with the largest prisoner population, that’s 22nd in literacy, with 1% of the population owning over a third of the wealth. And if I forgot this I would be doing exactly what I’m supposed to. Furthermore, what if I didn’t forget about the state of my country and acted?

As a software developer, I am calling on not only myself but my brethren to build for change. In a world where social apps dominate the tech industry, there is a need for connecting people for a purpose. So far, Twitter has been the major component for activism, which is great, but why not go further? If Occupy Wall Street had a platform to organize themselves or if you had a platform for starting your own movement, only good could come from it.

I am not saying to drop everything your doing and work on political software. However, if you are starting a new venture it would be awesome if you consider building an app for activism. Apps that facilitate social change are slim to none but there is a clear need for them. More and more people are coming together to fight for what they believe in (e.g. Millions March MYC) and now more than ever we need tools to help citizens demonstrate their voice. In 2015, we will have a chance to make a difference in the world with software. Now is the time to build.

Happy Hacking,

Jared