It's simply easy to focus on "tech and the social good" as merely about software, or data, or social media....but there are places around the city that take an open source approach, bringing together a community around a common goal.
Free Geek Chicago is one of those organizations; another is Pumping Station One, located on the north side of the city. Pumping Station One is a hackerspace - yes, it suggests people hunched around computer terminals looking at code, but more accurately, it's a place for people to collaborate on common interests and projects....to engage in full-on creativity.
(And oh, how I wish I had thought of this for Blog Action Day. because it is a pitch perfect example of "The Power of We" - a community where people can find the tools and people to drive collaboration, community, and innovation).
Located on the North side near Belmont and Elston, Pumping Station One contains a plethora of resources - a nice, cozy lounge in front belies the large meeting area (complete with TARDIS!) off the hall. Computers hang out with more traditional tools. It's probably one of the hidden gems of Chicago neighborhoods (and this video demonstrates the value that people find in PS1).
Your best bet is to visit one of their open business meetings on Tuesdays from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. They generously hosted a Net2Chi meeting earlier this year, and have been open to encouraging groups to meet and collaborate there. They're one of the friendliest neighbors in the tech world, and anything that drives collaboration and community....definitely is worth checking out.
As always, please feel free to leave comments and questions below, and I'll do my best to answer them. You're also more than welcome to send me a note via e-mail....and as always, thanks for reading!