Techsoup’s N2Y4 NetSquared Conference is next Tuesday and Wednesday in San Jose, CA. What differentiates this conference from many is its emphasis on tech-enabled activism, as well as the N2Y4's challenges, which feature a pretty amazing selection of applications for social change. The main event is the Mobile Challenge, which brings together 15 innovative mobile applications designed for community action and progressive social change. The first place winner will receive $25,000 in funding, second place $15,000 and third place $10,000. We’ll split the list of Mobile Challenge finalists into two halves to make the posts more manageable. Here is the first half of N2Y4 finalists:

The Agricultural Market Information Service (AMIS) Project uses SMS to inform and educate isolated rural farm workers in Cameroon, where seasonal roads make it impossible for agricultural field workers to make frequent trips to monitor farmers' activities.

DatAgro promotes the development of rural agricultural communities in Latin America through access to critical information via SMS text messaging, improving agricultural growth and productivity for small-scale farmers, which will directly increase farmers’ incomes and household food security.

Digital Democracy's Handheld Human Rights documents human-rights abuses at Burma’s borders and creates a hub for deploying this information. By allowing users to submit data directly from their mobiles, Burmese refugees in community organizations will be able to turn data on abuses into action.

Equobility combines a low-cost SMS service and solar-powered mobile chargers to offer people around the world equal access to the information and tools they need to fully participate in the marketplace and improve their standard of living.

Face the Change is a web-based communication platform on climate change that explores the use of cell phone messaging (voice, text and video) to engage poor and vulnerable communities in developing countries and empower them to participate in national debates and policy development.

FrontlineSMS Alerts combines FrontlineSMS and Cell Alert to create a suite of information tracking and delivery modules called Grant Alerts, Regional Conflict Alerts, Genocide and Blockade Alerts, World Food Aid Alerts, Economic Aid Alerts and more.

FrontlineSMS:Medic, which used SMS messaging to create an ad hoc medical infrastructure in Malawi (and recently spoke at L’Atelier,) is hoping to expand its operations into other countries.

IJCentral in tandem with documentary film “The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court,” will be at the core of a social network for global justice constituents, implementing a multi-platform citizen engagement strategy using geolocated mobile phone SMS text messages to generate a worldwide conversation about the rule of law and visualize the social network on the IJC Map.

We’ll have the rest of finalists up tomorrow. If you can, you should definitely try to make it to N2Y4, which promises to be an informative and inspirational event. Tickets are still available at the conference’s website.

By Mark Alvarez