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Social Impact at GitHub Universe 2022

Camaley Jennings image

Camaley Jennings @camaleyjennings1

Marketing & Project Manager, GitHub Social Impact

December 5, 2022 // EmployeesPartnershipsDevelopersSkills-Based Volunteering

Published on: December 5, 2022

GitHub Universe, our annual developer conference, took place from November 9-10, 2022. The GitHub Social Impact team was thrilled to host a number of events in person and virtually. Read a wrap-up of our time at Universe below.

Day 2 Keynote: From right here, right now, to galaxies far away

Watch the recording here.

Software has been a core driver in human progress over the past century—and that isn’t changing any time soon. At this very moment, software is powering the people and infrastructure behind all the societal, environmental, scientific, political, and cultural movements each and every one of us interact with on any given day. Stormy Peters, VP of Communities at GitHub looked at some of the people and projects that enable progress for today’s biggest humanitarian efforts—that dream up worlds our most beloved superheroes exist in, and that are looking at universes beyond our own. Hear from Social Impact partners, Norwegian Refugee Council and the World Health Organization, about how open source has helped their organizations support work around the world.


  • Ben McAlindin, Software Engineer, Norwegian Refugee Council
  • Samuel Mbuthia, OSPO Lead, World Health Organization
  • Stormy Peters, VP of Communities, GitHub
  • Dave Coleman, CEO, PickNik
  • Dr. Camilla Pacifici, Space Telescope Science Institute
  • Rachel Rose, R&D Supervisor, Industrial Light and Magic

Day 2 Keynote Speakers Pictured: Stormy Peters, VP of Communities, GitHub and Ben McAlindin, Software Engineer, Norwegian Refugee Council on stage at Universe.

Pictured: Stormy Peters, VP of Communities, GitHub and Samuel Mbuthia, OSPO Lead, World Health Organization on stage at Universe.

Garden Stage: The next era of open source: the rise of the open source economy and the career developer

Watch the recording here.

From diagnosing, treating, and preventing illnesses to helping us improve the health of our planet, open source is powering the world. But to keep its impact scalable and sustainable, we need an ecosystem that supports the millions of developers we rely on. In the case of open source, to empower one, means powering many. Diversifying who gets to be a developer has its natural benefits, but GitHub is interested in taking this one step further to define who gets to be a career developer. Hear highlights about the Social Impact program, All In, a community dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within open source.


  • Stormy Peters, VP of Communities, GitHub

Virtual: How GitHub developed a game for an endangered indigenous language

Watch the film here.

GitHub’s Skills-based Volunteering team and built a game to teach and preserve an indigenous language for Comunidades Indígenas en liderazgo (CIELO). CIELO is an Indigenous women-led non-profit organization that works jointly with Indigenous communities residing in Los Angeles. They turned to GitHub for help in building a Lotería game for children that helps them learn the endangered indigenous Zapotec language.


  • Cynthia Lo, Skills-Based Volunteering Program Manager, GitHub
  • Jessica Rudder, Senior Software Engineer, GitHub Education, GitHub
  • Janet Martinez, Co-founder/ Vice Executive Director, Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO)
  • Odilia Romero, Co-founder and Executive director, CIELO
  • Rafaela Fajardo, User Experience Designer, Google

In-person: Make a difference: volunteer activity to support local nonprofits

Conference attendees wrote notes of uplift to underrepresented students in the Bay Area who are interested in a career in tech. Over 100 attendees stopped by to write their notes of encouragement in support of Hack The Hood, which provides youth and communities of color with tech skill-building programs and career navigation support that are grounded in justice and ensure economic mobility, and Maven Youth, an organization that has been investing since 2014 in LGBT+ Youth Leaders to have access to STEM opportunities.

Make a difference universe

Pictured: Notes of uplift written by conference attendees and the Make a Difference wall with conference attendees.

Demo stage: In-person Skills-Based Volunteering demo on Digital Public Goods

On the Demo Stage, GitHub’s Social Impact team presented on what digital public goods are, how developers can contribute and how any open source tool can become a certified digital public good. Currently over 75% of digital public goods are on GitHub and this demo highlighted an open source project, PRISM. PRISM is a climate risk monitoring system that integrates geospatial data on hazards such as droughts, floods, tropical storms, and earthquakes, along with information on socioeconomic vulnerability to inform disaster risk reduction and social assistance programs.


  • Cynthia Lo, Skills-Based Volunteering Program Manager, GitHub

Cynthia demo stage

Pictured: Cynthia Lo, Skills-Based Volunteering Program Manager, GitHub presenting at the Demo Stage.

Virtual: micro-mentoring with Hubbers and students

As part of our ongoing commitment to drive positive and lasting contributions to the world with GitHub products, our brand, and our employees, we held a Hubber volunteer opportunity to kickoff Universe 2022. Nearly 100 1:1 sessions were held ahead of Universe, providing students with an opportunity to engage with industry experts (aka GitHub employees) on technical career pathing and resume feedback. Here’s what a few mentees had to say:

It was great to engage with the mentor I was assigned, he was very educative and motivated me to keep pushing my career and personal development.

~ Student

It was amazing! Thanks to my mentor, he inspired me a lot!

~ Student

Really appreciated the session, it made the transition from education to the workforce less intimidating.

~ Student

Thank you to those who contributed to showcase the programs and help contribute positive lasting impact, empowering nonprofits and the greater social sector at large. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Universe!

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