Code for America today announced that it has been named to Fast Company’s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020. The list honors organizations making a profound impact on industry and culture, and Code for America was honored for its work doing social good.

“Code for America is working every day to transform how government works in the digital age,” said Code for America’s Co-interim CEO Zeryn Sarpangal. “This honor is a tribute to our incredible team, which is rethinking how government services are delivered by putting people at the center of the process. In doing so, Code for America and other members of the civic tech community are not only creating a better experience for people engaging with government, but also rebuilding faith in our democratic institutions.”

Code for America, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has developed a delivery-driven government platform that lays out principles and practices for how government should deliver services using modern technology and best practices. Consistent with this philosophy, Code for America has piloted several innovative programs that are changing the ways in which government works. This includes:

  • Clear My Record -- Code For America has developed technology that reimagines the record clearance process in the criminal justice system, moving to an automatic process. This speeds the delivery of justice and demonstrates that automatic record clearance—in California and across the nation—is possible. In total, more than 85,000 records have been cleared thus far as a result of the program.
  • GetCalFresh -- Code for America has also partnered with the California State Government to ensure that every eligible Californian can have a dignified experience accessing much-needed food assistance benefits utilizing the GetCalFresh program.
  • Get Your Refund -- Code for America recently launched an initiative that helps millions of hard-working families claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC helps keep millions of Americans out of poverty, yet Code For America research found that a significant portion of those eligible do not claim the EITC because they do not have access to the free, trustworthy, clear, and thorough tax assistance that they need to file with confidence. To address this challenge, Code for America is partnering with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a program of the IRS, for an upcoming pilot for the 2020 tax season to make free tax assistance more accessible.

Additionally, Code for America is igniting change by inspiring others to this work. Code for America Brigades, for instance, are an alliance of community organizers, developers, and designers that are putting technology to work in service of our local communities. Today, there are 85 brigades across the country. Code for America also partners with the US Digital Service, 18F, and other civic tech organizations to make government work better for those who use it.

Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the most groundbreaking businesses on the planet and across myriad industries. They also judged nominations received through their application process.

“At a time of increasing global volatility, this year’s list showcases the resilience and optimism of businesses across the world. These companies are applying creativity to solve challenges within their industries and far beyond,” said Fast Company senior editor Amy Farley, who oversaw the issue with deputy editor David Lidsky.

Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March/April 2020) is now available online at fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2020, as well as in-app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning March 17, 2020. The hashtag is #FCMostInnovative.


About Code for America

Code for America makes government work for the people, and by the people, in the digital age, starting with the people who need it most. We build effective, easy-to-use digital services that improve government systems, and we help others do the same across all levels of government. We organize thousands of active volunteers across more than 80 chapters nationwide to improve government in their local communities. Our goal: a 21st century government that effectively and equitably serves all Americans. Learn more at codeforamerica.org.

About Fast Company

Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. Since 2011, Fast Company has received some of the most prestigious editorial and design accolades, including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) National Magazine Award for “Magazine of the Year,” Adweek’s Hot List for “Hottest Business Publication,” and six gold medals and 10 silver medals from the Society of Publication Designers. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta and the publisher is Amanda Smith. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at www.fastcompany.com.