For more than a decade, I was focused only on the technical part of website building with Django. In the process, I have built a bunch of interesting cultural websites. But I always felt that those sleepless nights were not worthy of the impact.
They say, "Don’t work hard, work smart!" I agree with that phrase, and for me it's not about working less hours. For me, it's working as much as necessary, but on things that matter most.
So after years of collecting facts about life, I connected the dots and came up with make-impact.org – a social donation platform, which became one of the most important long-term projects. All my planning goes around this project.
And I believe I am not the only programmer who sometimes feels that they want to make a positive impact with their skills. So I brainstormed 17 Django project ideas. You can choose one and realize it as a hobby project, open-source platform, startup, or non-profit organization; alone, with a team of developers, or collaborating with some non-technical people.
The job market is pretty competitive, and not all people can keep up with the train. You could build a job search website for jobs that don't require high education or lots of working experience. It could be helpful for people with language barriers, harsh living conditions, or those who are very young or very old. You could build it for your city, region, or country.
Get inspired from Too Good To Go and build a progressive web app for your city about discounted restaurant meals and shop products whose expiration date is close to the end, but they are still good to eat.
Build a website for setting your personal health improvement goals and tracking the progress. For example, maybe one wants to start eating more particular vegetables every week, jogging daily, lose or gain weight, or get rid of unhealthy addictions. Let people choose their health goals and check in with each progressive step. Allow using the website anonymously.
Some people don't have access to schools in general or miss some classes because of illnesses. You could build a global and open wiki-based primary and elementary school education website for children and adults. It should be translatable and localizable. It would also be interesting to compare the same subject teachings in different countries side-by-side.
You could build a website with a video chat providing psychological support to discriminated or violently abused women. The help could be given by professionals or emphatic volunteers. The technical part can be implemented using django-channels, WebSockets, and WebRTC.
Rain harvesting is one of the available ways to solve the problem of the lack of drinking water. There could be a platform comparing rain-harvesting companies all around the world. What are the installation prices? What are the countries they are working with? How many people have they saved? This website would allow people to find the most optimal company to build a rain harvesting system for them.
Use the Open Charge Map API and create a progressive web app that shows the nearest electric car charging station and how to get there.
As remote jobs are getting more and more popular, there is still a matter of trust between the employees and employers. "Will the job taker complete their job in a good quality?" "Will the company pay the employee on time?" There are Escrow services to fix this issue. These are third parties that take and hold the money until the job is done. You could build a remote job search website promoting the usage of Escrow.com or another escrow service provider.
You could build a website listing coworking spaces and cafes with free wifi in your city. It should include the map, price ranges, details if registration is required, and other information necessary for remote workers.
There could be a social website listing the most admired companies to work for in your country. Companies could be rated by working conditions, salary equality, growth opportunities, work relations, and other criteria. Anyone could suggest such a company, and they would be rated by their current and former employees anonymously.
The cost of accommodation is a critical problem in many locations of the world. You could develop a website that lists examples of tiny houses and their building schemas and instructions.
You could work on a product catalog with links to online shops, selling things produced from collected plastic. For example, these sunglasses are made of plastic collected from the ocean. Where available, you could use affiliate marketing links.
You could work on a website for climate-change migrants with information about getting registered, housing, education, and jobs in a new city or country with better climate conditions.
Scrape parts of FishBase and create a website about fishes, fishing, and overfishing in your region or the world. Engage people about the marine world and inform them about the damage done by overfishing.
Create an E-commerce shop or Software as a Service and integrate RaaS (Reforestation as a Service). Let a tree be planted for every sale.
Create a progressive web app about positive parenting. For inspiration and information check this article.
Create a forum with topic voting and automatic hate speech detection and flagging. For example, maybe you could use a combination of Sentiment analysis from text-processing.com and usage of profanity words to find negativity in forum posts.
I hope this post inspired you. If you decided to start a startup with one of those ideas, don't forget to do your research at first. What are the competitors in your area? What would be your unique selling point? Etc.
Also, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts. Which of the projects would seem to you the most crucial? Which of them would you like to work on?
Cover photo by Joshua Fuller