This past weekend all around the world technologists and experts gathered for a marathon of creative brainstorming, ingenious programming and rapid development to create prototype technology applications addressing some of humanity’s most pressing issues. In its three short years of existence, RHoK has spearheaded 177 hackathons in 37 different countries. This, RHoK’s 6th international hackathon, was its biggest yet, with over 1000 participants across 30 cities in 16 different countries. In spite of its size, there was an unprecedented level of connection across sites, and incredible enthusiasm from the global community.
With reports and follow-up blog posts still coming in from all around the world, while hackers and experts alike recover from a full weekend of working late into the night, hunched over laptops and downing caffeinated beverages, we can only speculate what the impact of those marathon hours will be. Nonetheless, the wheels are already in motion to take hacks forward to implementation and impact.
All teams that are excited to take their projects forward are encouraged to apply for the Geeks Without Bounds Humanitarian Accelerator. GWOB is committed to providing 6 months of mentorship and expertise in hack acceleration and implementation to 3 projects coming out of RHoK. Apply here by December 15th!
The Weather Website for Rwanda developed by hackers at RHoK Exeter, is already moving ahead, with experts from The Met Office intending to train a local team from Rwanda on maintenance of the site to have it up and running in advance of the Rwandan flood season. Transparency International in Kenya has already expressed a desire to support ongoing development of the winning hack in Nairobi, a system to receive and track SMS complaints of corruption. Belgian organization, Movement Without a Name, plans to launch an app developed at RHoK Belgium as part of their national campaign later this month. A Bangalore team that created a game to incentivize people to maintain clean trails as they hike through India, has already been invited by the problem sponsor, India Hikes, to an excursion in the Himalayas to test their prototype in a few months.
Great results also came out of RHoK’s collaborations with the Peace Corps Innovation Challenge and the World Bank’s Sanitation Hackathon.
In other cities we saw a diverse range of projects and prototypes, truly illustrating the potential impact that volunteer technologists can have on both local and global issues.
Check out this slide show for visual overview of the diversity, energy and creativity of RHoK participants globally during the course of the December 1st and 2nd hackathon!
Blog posts and news articles from RHoK events around the world provide an even greater sense of all that went on, from Trento to Southampton, Bilbao to Philadelphia, and Melbourne (here and here) to Rochester to Washington DC. These posts are great reading and a glimpse into the commitment of the RHoK community worldwide, and the wide variety of projects and issues they are spending these hackathon hours working on.
Watch this space for continued updates from around the world on the results of last weekend’s event and profiles of hacks and success stories in the months to come when some of these prototypes make it out into the real world.
Do you have a RHoK story to tell, or know of a hack that is going on to make a difference? Share it with us here.