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July 22, 2015

World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 & IBM Launch "Go Philadelphia!" App

This free mobile app will provide Philadelphia visitors and residents information about special exhibits and family-friendly events planned for the week of the Congress and Papal Visit, including the World Meeting of Families Film Festival curated by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office

Philadelphia, PA (July 22, 2015) - As the City of Philadelphia prepares to host the 2015 World Meeting of Families and the Papal visit, the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new mobile app "Go Philadelphia!" to help hundreds of thousands of visitors and residents navigate the city during this landmark event. The app will provide information about the region's cultural institutions and family-friendly events taking place between September 18-29 to accommodate visitors who will arrive early or stay after the Papal visit.

With more than 20 categories clustered for easy retrieval, the "Go Philadelphia!" app curates and displays events and attractions on an interactive online map. Visitors have instant access and detailed information about institutions, exhibits, events and attractions, translation services, frequently asked questions, schedules, maps, and more. The app will also give users access to real-time translation and captioning services in eight languages during portions of the Papal Mass being held on Sunday, September 27. Starting today, the free app can be downloaded for Android devices and Apple devices.

Built and designed in collaboration with the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015, IBM, and the City of Philadelphia, the "Go Philadelphia!" mobile app will be hosted on IBM's SoftLayer cloud and will serve as an interactive, digital guide for visitors and locals.

"Smartphones have transformed the way we live our lives, especially when attending major events," said Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director, World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015. "We are grateful to have IBM, a global leader in technology, as a valued and talented partner in creating the superb 'Go Philadelphia!' mobile app. We are also deeply grateful for the great work of Meryl Levitz, Sharon Pinkenson and the 'Go Philadelphia!' Committee for encouraging our wonderful cultural, historic and family-friendly institutions to upload their information into this special app. With an innovative and interactive resource at the tips of 1.5 million people's fingers, it will undoubtedly enhance the visitor experience during the World Meeting of Families, including the Papal Visit."

The 2015 World Meeting of Families Congress will take place from September 22 - 25. More than one million people are expected for a Papal Mass during the visit of Pope Francis (September 27). Beyond the September 2015 events, IBM will give the "Go Philadelphia!" app to the City of Philadelphia for use during other significant and high-profile events, including the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

"This free, user-friendly app serves as a one-stop shop for visitors and Philadelphia residents," said Diane Melley, Vice President, Global Citizenship Initiatives, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs. "With the world expected to gather in the heart of Philadelphia, we are excited to provide our cloud and mobile expertise to help the city prepare for this global event and ensure visitors feel informed and connected. The app will live on past September, benefiting the City of Brotherly Love for years to come."

Noting the app's long-term importance for tourism in the region, Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA� said, "The World Meeting of Families and the Papal visit will be a defining moment that shines a spotlight on our city to the world. With our captivating art, inspiring culture, and intriguing history, Philadelphia is ready for its close up. We are thrilled to launch the 'Go Philadelphia!' app with IBM, which will allow visitors and residents to create their own Philadelphia experience, this September and beyond."

Co-sponsored by the Holy See's Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the World Meeting of Families is a triennial global event that seeks to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe and highlight its intrinsic value to the good of society. This international gathering will welcome Pope Francis to the United States for the first time in his Papacy. Being held in the United States for the first time ever, the official theme for the 2015 World Meeting of Families is "Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive."

For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, visit  For more information regarding The Holy See's Pontifical Council for the Family, which co-sponsors the World Meeting of Families, visit You can also engage the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia on Facebook (World Meeting of Families 2015) (Encuentro Mundial de las Familias - Filadelfia 2015), Twitter (@WMF2015) (@WMF2015ES) and Instagram (WMF2015).

About World Meetings of Families
Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015). Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.

About IBM
IBM created a free app for the City of Philadelphia and envisions providing similar apps to cities, non-profits, government and education institutions through a new philanthropic initiative called "Apps for Social Good." This new grant program aims to better serve communities, strengthen infrastructure, and make information easily accessible.


Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications

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