Tuesday, June 8, 2010
"Random Hacks of Kindness" comes to Sydney
Last weekend, 40 committed volunteers came together at the University of New South Wales' Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to participate in what's geekily known as a 'Hack-a-thon'.
After a successful first event last year in the USA, Random Hacks of Kindness this year went global, organising hacking events with multiple global locations bringing together developers from all over the world to hack on real-world problems. Over the weekend, groups were working away in Washington DC, Jakarta, Nairobi, Sao Paolo, Porta Alegre, Santiago de Chile, and of course, Sydney.
The Sydney team tackled no less than 6 different projects (see them all here), ranging from tools to find beds for volunteers, tracking where your aid money is spent, to "Bushfire Connect" - a tool for building community resilience for the next Victorian Bushfire Season.
Videos showing the teams at work as well as presenting their results are all on this YouTube Channel.
As one of the initiators of "Bushfire Connect", I am really excited that by Sunday evening, the team had managed to install, deploy and customise a proof-of-concept Ushahidi instance for presenting real time information submitted by local community members and emergency agencies.
We know when bushfires happen, people want fast access to trustworthy information. Bushfire Connect aggregates information from multiple sources: official and social, about events and incidents such as community meetings, fires, and road closures, in a way that empowers anyone to contribute local knowledge and make informed decisions.
Feel free contact me if you want to learn more about Bushfire Connect.