Tech in the Commons 2018

By Generocity (other events)

Mon, Apr 30 2018 5:00 PM EST Tue, Jun 5 2018 8:00 PM EST

Tech in the Commons returns to offer nonprofits training opportunities in audience engagement. 

Recognizing a need to help place-based nonprofits better engage their communities, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Comcast NBCUniversal and social impact news organization are bringing back Tech in the Commons for a second year. The event and reporting bootcamp series aimed at introducing mission orgs to best practices in better connecting with audiences was piloted in 2017. Following overwhelming attendee demand, the program is being returned with crucial additions.

Like last year, Tech in the Commons will feature four events focused on new engagement techniques including: augmented reality, data storytelling, social media for action and smart cities. New this year will be two project nights for attendees to work with subject matter experts to launch work based on what they learned. There will also be a badge-style certification program so attendees can validate what they learned.

The series will launch during the 8th annual Philly Tech Week Presented by Comcast, the region’s largest annual celebration of innovation, and run as a bootcamp over consecutive weeks. It will be free to attend.


The events will take place on the following dates:


Hosted at 1776, Curtis Center, 12th Floor, West, 601 Walnut St. 
Thanks to 1776 for hosting our Bootcamp Sessions! 

  • Monday, April 30 (5-8pm): Bring AR and VR to Our Neighborhoods (Part of Philly Tech Week)
  • Tuesday, May 8 (5-8pm): Social Media for Action
  • Tuesday, May 15 (5-8pm): Deploy Citizen-centric Smart Cities Solutions
  • Tuesday, May 22 (5-8pm): Digital and Data Storytelling


Hosted at the City of Philadelphia's Innovation Lab: Municipal Services Building, 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, 16th Floor (Guests will need to sign up at the front desk in the lobby)

  • Wednesday, May 30 (5-8pm): Smart Cities Project Night
    • with support from the City of Philadelphia
  • Tuesday, June 5 (5-8pm): Data Storytelling Project Night
    • with support from Code for Philly

Each event will feature case studies presented by experts with wide experience in capturing audience attention and garnering support for community issues. Nonprofit participants will receive direct feedback to develop their own ideas and plans for low-cost and attainable solutions.


Bring AR and VR to Our Neighborhoods

  • Nick Jushchyshyn, Drexel University, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
  • Joel Nichols, Free Library of Philadelphia
  • Susan Poulton, Franklin Institute 

Social Media for Action

  • Tracy Buchholz, Support Center for Child Advocates
  • Marion Leary, Gina Lavery and Ashley Winslow, March for Science
  • Cara Schmidt, Chester County Futures

Deploy Citizen-centric Smart Cities Solutions

  • Ellen Hwang & Mark Wheeler, City of Philadelphia
  • Suresh Madhavan, MachineQ, a Comcast service
  • Ken Steif, Urban Spatial

Digital and Data Storytelling

  • Sixto Cancel, Think of Us
  • Annaka Scheeres, Azavea's Summer of Maps
  • Nicholas Whitaker, Google News Lab


The ebook highlighting lessons for nonprofits will be hosted on, free of charge. Find out more at Follow along on social media using #TechCommonsPHL.

Press Contact: Jeanette Lloyd, [email protected]