The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project NEW!
From the 6th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Call for Code Team - Activating Global Developers to Drive Progress

Winner in Phenom Award - Community Team

About this entry

Call for Code (CFC) is an ecosystem of over 400,000 developers, coders and problem solvers who have created more than 15,000 apps for humanitarian issues across 179 nations.  Over the last year, CFC has deployed solutions to help manage the impacts of COVID-19, help protect firefighters as they battle wildfires in Spain,  provide organizations with data to help respond to natural disasters and help test network connectivity in Puerto Rico.

At the center of the initiative is a commitment to harnessing the ingenuity of the open-source community and an ecosystem of innovators, students, activists, and first responders as a means to solve societal challenges. 

In late 2020, the CFC team did an internal call to employees to prioritize where our technology could collectively make the most meaningful impact around 3 focus areas:

Together, CFC and 400 Black IBMers and their ally’s co-created a range of apps and solutions that addressed voter suppression, police accountability, sentencing bias, incidents reporting and a host of other reform issues. 

In October 2020, IBM launched Call for Code for Racial Justice at the All Things Open Conference, and released  5 of these coding solutions as open source tool kits, freely available to the global developer community. 

These solutions range from Open Sentencing, an open data repository focused on helping public defenders better serve their clients by collecting and sharing racial bias in sentencing across key demographics to Five Fifths Voter, a web app focused on empowering minorities to exercise their right to vote, determining optimal voting strategies and limiting suppression issues. 

In February 2021, The Linux Foundation announced they will host 7 of the IBM Call For Code Racial Justice solutions  lending their important platform to accelerate participation. Our CFC Racial Justice developers talk about their solutions here.

The impact of putting these tools and data in the hands of citizens, law enforcement and our judicial system could be historical in its impact.   

Another great 2021 example from the developing world  is Agrolly, a farming app that aims to close the information gap between rural farms and large factory farms by providing affordable access to the same kinds of AI-powered data and insights that large factory farms use. As mobile phone adoption has grown in rural areas Agrolly saw an opportunity to provide data and information about weather patterns, crop characteristics, tips on what to grow, how to grow, and when to grow it, directly to small farmers

As 70% of food production around the world comes from small rural farms, yet the farmers, many of whom are women, are not connected as an ecosystem, Agrolly’s team also believes this will address socioeconomic issues and give users better access to markets, financing and a mutually beneficial ecosystem.

Since winning the Call for Code Global Challenge in October 2020,  the Agrolly team have provided hands-on training to more than 500 rural farmers across Brazil, India, and Mongolia. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name