Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is all about using technology to make the world a better place by building a community of innovation. RHoK brings software engineers together with disaster relief experts to identify critical global challenges, and develop software to respond to them. A RHoK Hackathon event brings together the best and the brightest hackers from around the world, who volunteer their time to solve real-world problems.
RHoK organizes hackathons — marathon hacking events with multiple global locations bringing together developers from all over to hack on real-world problems.
We work together with subject matter experts from around the world and our close collaborators over at Crisis Commons to define and refine those problems through Crisis Camps and in small groups, turning them into concrete problem definitions or “Featured Hacks”. At every RHoK Hackathon the Featured Hacks are thrown out to the RHoK community, and the developers work their hacking magic to create software solutions to respond to those problems and make the world a better place.
And just like in the marathon, there are winners and prizes up for grabs. Each RHoK hackathon is structured as a codejam — a fast-paced competition where software developers have a set amount of time to solve the challenges they are given. At the end of the two-day marathon of hacking, a panel will review each hack, and the winners will walk away with prizes, as well as the right to call themselves “RHoKstars” ever after.
Random Hacks of Kindness is the brainchild of a dedicated team from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA and The World Bank.
Good question. The very first Crisis Camp bar camp was held in Washington, D.C. in June 2009. During one of the opening sessions of the camp an industry panel spoke, and clearly stated that some issues of global importance take precedence over competitive business concerns. That panel included representatives from Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft who agreed to work together to mobilize their developer communities to hack for humanity: to develop code that responds to global challenges and has a real impact in the field. NASA and The World Bank joined forces with Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft to make it happen.