Press Releases

Unedited news and product information from vendors.

Volunteers and Experts Around the World Collaborate to Solve Disaster and Climate Problems Through Random Hacks of Kindness
May 12, 2011 (06:05 PM EDT)


NEW YORK, May 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 4th and 5th, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA, HP and the World Bank, through their initiative Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK), will bring together thousands of people in over 18 locations around the globe to create open solutions that can save lives and alleviate suffering. Random Hacks of Kindness is a community of innovation focused on developing practical open source solutions to disaster risk management and climate change adaptation challenges.

Events are planned around the globe, including Hartford, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle and Silicon Valley in the United States and international events in Toronto, Canada, Aarhus, Denmark, Basel, Switzerland, Berlin, Germany, Bangalore, India, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Kampala, Uganda, Lusaka, Zambia, Melbourne, Australia, Nairobi, Kenya, Trento, Italy, and Santiago, Chile.

During past events the volunteers have worked on applications that are already making an impact. I'm OK, an SMS service that lets people inform their families of their status, was used on the ground during the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile in 2010. The World Bank is piloting CHASM, software for visualizing landslide risk, in the Caribbean. Other apps have received support and interest from governments, NGOs and international organizations around the world.

"Climate change adaptation and building resiliency to disasters are closely linked," said Zoubida Allaoua, Director of Finance, Economics, & Urban Development at the World Bank. "This event is a unique opportunity for experts in climate and disaster resiliency to collaborate with volunteers in developing open technology that has an impact on the developing world. We are grateful to RHoK's corporate partners for driving this initiative as a contribution to their corporate responsibility programs."

"Microsoft was founded on the belief that software can change the world and Random Hacks of Kindness is a shining example of how we can all come together to make a difference," said Mark Hindsbo, Vice President of Developer Evangelism at Microsoft. "We are very honored to be a part of this passionate community that codes to make a better world and are very happy to support it."

"Google is very excited to see Random Hacks of Kindness accelerating innovation, collaboration, and the development of open technologies to help make the world a better place," said Alfred Spector, Vice President of Research, Google.  "We look forward to the really great code that results when programmers from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA, and the World Bank join forces with other members of the community to hack for humanity."

"HP is committed to applying our technology, expertise, and dedicated volunteers to support and contribute to the prosperity of people and communities around the world," said Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President, Office of Global Social Innovation, HP.  "With this grant, we are proud to support Random Hacks of Kindness and help foster collective innovation."

"A volunteer technical community like Random Hacks of Kindness is an incredible resource," said Elizabeth Sabet from SecondMuse, RHoK's operational lead.  "Through RHoK, development experts can draw on a wealth of creativity and brainpower in responding to real world challenges, while hackers have a chance to put their considerable skills to work for the greater good."  

"As another example of How Good Grows at Yahoo!, we're proud to support Random Hacks of Kindness because it's an opportunity to give individuals the tools to change the world," said Erin Carlson, Sr. Director, Yahoo! for Good.

"NASA encourages RHoK developers to utilize open data sets to create cutting edge applications that can help solve global challenges," said Linda Cureton, Chief Information Officer at NASA. "We are excited to support RHoK and explore new ways that NASA data can help the world."

For more details, see the Random Hacks of Kindness website at www.rhok.org.

SOURCE Random Hacks of Kindness