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Volunteers and Experts around the World Collaborate To Solve Global Challenges Through Random Hacks of Kindness

December, 2012 - - On December 1st and 2nd, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA, HP and the World Bank, through their initiative Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK), will bring together thousands of people in 30 locations around the globe to “hack for humanity.”
A Random Hacks of Kindness hackathon brings together volunteer technologists for a marathon weekend of work, using minimal resources and maximum brainpower to create innovative technology prototypes in response to challenging problems posed by subject matter experts in fields from disaster risk, development and sanitation, to human rights sustainability and civic activism. More than just an event a RHoK hackathon is a unique forum for collaborative problem solving where experts define the challenges for technologists to work on, resulting in concrete prototypes that can be implemented to create real impact.
During past RHoK events around the world, volunteers have worked on applications that are already making an impact. Bushfire Connect, a crowd-sourced mapping tool to report bushfires, is being used by local communities across Australia. The Philadelphia Food Trust is promoting PhillySNAP, a mobile application connecting recipients of food stamps to sources of fresh produce. The World Bank has piloted CHASM, software for visualizing landslide risk, in the Caribbean. The Government of Colombia has adopted ATAOLI, a shelter management system built at RHoK Bogota, to manage thousands of people displaced annually by winter storms. Other apps have received support and interest from governments, NGOs and international organizations around the world.
"At the heart of RHoK is a tireless global community of people deeply committed to the betterment of this world", says Elizabeth Sabet from SecondMuse, RHoK's operational lead.  "A community represented by local sponsors paying for food and drink, subject matter experts explaining the nuances of problems they have studied for years, technologists writing code into the night and volunteers taking care of a host of critical details that all come together to create solutions to important problems."
RHoK’s 6th global hackathon is taking place this weekend in 16 countries and 30 cities with over 1000 participants working simultaneously to build creative solutions to global challenges. Participating cities include: Aarhus, Atlanta, Bangalore, Berlin, Bilbao, Brussels, Cape Town, Dublin, Exeter, Hartford, Lusaka, Melbourne, Nairobi, Oxford, Philadelphia, Porto Alegre, Pretoria, Princeton, Pune, Recife, Rochester, San Francisco, Seattle, Southampton, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Trento, Vancouver and Washington DC.
For more details, see the Random Hacks of Kindness website at