On Monday after work I went along to the Information Night for Random Hack of Kindness – Sydney. RHoK is an international initiative that started five years ago that aims to provide a way for people in tech – coders, BAs, designers, PMs, marketers, legal, entrepreneurs, whoever – to help make the world a better place. They have two Hack weekends a year, and the next one is happening on November 29th and 30th. The goal is not to win a prize or churn out a quick hack, but rather to build real solutions that can be put into place. (So obviously the weekend is just a starting point!) I would highly recommend anybody who’s interested to go along to the next event. A few notes I took last night:

  • Two hack weekends a year, preceded by ideation and info nights
  • Hack weekend goes from 9am-8pm Saturday, then 9am-3pm Sunday (when they head to the pub) – they provide beer/pizza on Saturday night
  • Regular “RHoK and Rholl” nights throughout the year to follow up and deliver real solutions

Why should you participate in RHoK?

  1. It’s a safe space to try out new tech, new role, new way of presenting yourself. If you’ve ever dreamed out about changing your job, this is a way to try it out and get experience.
  2. It makes you feel good, obviously.
  3. You get to meet other people with similar interests and goals. And being in a community of those who want to do good makes it easier to do good!

The projects that will be worked on at the November Hack weekend:

  • Something to do with NGOs operating in Mekong
  • Self-driving solar powered boats to check on buoys tracking global warming – also want to create a website to the public can follow along with the project
  • Autistic children – maybe an iPad app or storyboarding tool?
  • First Stop – way for disaster survivors to easily get services – started as a response to Blue Mountains bush fire. They already have prototype of low-powered wifi modem (using Raspberry Pi); goal is to deploy in emergency zones with app that allows survivors to register details easily and quickly to qualify for aid
  • First Robotics Club – program for students K-12 – inspiring next generation of scientists and engineers – looking to improve website and come up with ideas to get more exposure in schools

If you’re interested in taking part, just go to the meetup site and sign up. There’s no requirement that you have to be a coder or consider yourself a “hacker” or even be a techie at all, really. If you want to help use technology to make the world a better place, your help will be welcome.

Unfortunately I’m going to be in Tasmania during this coming Hack Weekend, but I will definitely be at the next one.