The Futurethon was a 2-year project of the Los Angeles Hub. The goal was to tackle some of the most pressing issues in Los Angeles by creating a space for young people to collaborate with expert-based mentorship. 


We held hackathons with local college students who developed solutions for these problems. Winning teams were awarded prizes that included mentorship and/or funding to build out their projects.


The first year of the Futurethon, 2015, was themed around the California drought. The winner of that year was Terracotta, a web app that, as detailed by coverage from KCET at the time, "provided consumers a way to redo their yard with helpful educational resources. Individuals could learn about different native plant life and connect with qualified professionals on designing a drought-friendly garden. During the weekend hackathon, Terracotta's team consulted with landscape specialists Claire Latane and Margot Jacobs of Mia Lehrer + Associates, who inspired them to develop an app that was fun and utilitarian. [...] The team were awarded a summer fellowship with USC, which includes access to mentors, venture capitalists, and drought experts to help further develop their project in time for L.A. Innovation Week in October." 


The second year's focus was on youth voter turnout. 2016's winning project, BallotView, created a free and non-partisan app that allowed voters to preview their state’s local ballot, learn details about each measure and candidate, and save a receipt of their choices to take to the polls. In the following 10 weeks, the Hub supported the development of the app by the BallotView team. As covered by the Daily Trojan"According to Lim, the Nov. 8 election is a pilot run for the new application. State ballot previews are available for almost all 50 states, and the organization hopes to have detailed content on propositions and candidates for states aside from California in the upcoming years. [...] Nate Kaplan, the founder of See Political, a nonprofit organization that creates animations explaining ballot propositions, and an advisor to the five creators of BallotView, said that the app is relevant because tackling low voter turnout among youth voters will require applying methods specifically tailored to millennials."


These events were put together with the coordination and support of the Los Angeles Hub, The University of Southern California (USC), See Political, LADWP, Hack for LA, Deutsch, and a variety of other organizations and generous mentors (more detailed here).

The goal of this project was to create a space that could encourage dialogue and develop solutions with young people to tackle some of the most difficult issues in our region. The collaboration, expert input, and dedicated space provided by this project has lead to the creation of resources that serve the community.


One of the winning teams, BallotView, created a free and non-partisan app allowing voters to preview their state’s local ballot and learn more about candidates in the running.

For more information: