6 unexpected historical figures with the civic hacker mindset

TED Blog

Catherine Bracy works at Code for America, where civic hackers help their cities. Here, she points out historical figures who fit the definition of "civic hacker." Photo: Ryan Lash Catherine Bracy works at Code for America, where civic hackers help their cities. Here, she points out historical figures who fit the definition of « civic hacker. » Photo: Ryan Lash

By Catherine Bracy

Hacking has always been an important component of healthy democracies. Despite the bad connotation the word often has these days — indicating rogue criminals breaking into computer systems, stealing identities, spying or worse — hacking is really just any amateur innovation on an existing system. And that “system” doesn’t have to be a technical one. Civic hacking, then, is when citizens see something in the public realm they think can work better and decide to take it upon themselves to push for change. It’s about creating something bigger than the sum of its parts. (You can read about the supposed origin of the word here.)

[ted_talkteaser id=1933]In the talk I gave at TEDCity2.0, I called Benjamin Franklin…

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