Thank you Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) – Sydney

Thank you!

(Note: letter sent to all the RHoK -Sydney participants)

Each of you made Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) – Sydney a success! Or, as Charles Feinstein, Sustainable Development Leader at the World Bank and our guest during RHoK-Sydney presentations described you: “Inspiring, heart-warming and energizing.”

Over 2 days, up to 35 folks joined RHoK Sydney to hack away at complex problem definitions, some vague, with your diverse knowledge in software development, web design, usability, organization, audio-visual, presentation and humour. Not to be left unchallenged, you brainstormed, analyzed, drew diagrams, mapped out plans, and began coding.

The result development progress on six unique projects:

    Help Stays – a bed finder for volunteers in disaster regions
    Task Turks – aggregating tasks for disasters
    Money Tracker – building a donationtracker
    People Finder – helping match people with their families during emergencies
    Bushfire connect – Helping people crowdsource information in fire struck regions (using Ushahidi)
    UAV – finding real-time Geo-referenced imagery

A number of your projects have live websites or proof of concepts with visuals as part of the presentations. Well done! See the RHoK wiki for all of this content. Some of the projects may continue in other forums as they are huge opportunities for real positive change. Every hack counts and with the excellent documentation, someone (maybe even you) will build on the work. If you are working on the project, please do keep us informed and let us know if you need any help. We firmly believe that real change starts with many hands and brains. Please add your contact information to the wiki if you would like some follow-up. And, we expect that this experience may inspire you to create in your own workplaces or with other volunteer experiences in the future.

We’ve already sung your praises in keen development with the World Bank, RHoK, Second Muse, Crisis Commons Co-Founders and even some Canadian government officials. Tolmie Macrae did a fantastic job creating video content about all of your projects. These can be found on the RHoKSydney Youtube channel.

RHoK Sydney

Photo by Martin Bliemel

Some global Random Hacks of Kindness collaborations:

    Bushfire Connect Team collaborated with Nairobi to learn about ussd/sms and Ushahidi
    Sydney team leads connected Crisis Camp Montreal with RHOK1.0 Nairobi to collaborate on Haiti Amps
    Sydney team leads connected Crisis Camp London to Nairobi for some wiki gardening help
    Sydney UAV project collaborated with Crisis Camp London and RHOK1.0 Washington
    Person Finder Sydney collaborated with RHOK1.0 Washington on the Person Finder project
    Guests from Drumbeat (Mozilla Foundation) and the Sydney World Bank offices attended our presentations. These guests are your new biggest promoters.
    Nairobi and London attended the presentations via Ustream.

Our RHoK Sydney Story in Social Media:

A few blog posts highlighting your work:

The RHoK Global team will be in touch in the future. They have a collective goal of fostering this community in your city and country. A few folks have offered to organize in Sydney and beyond for hackathon or Crisis Commons work. We hope that you will keep in touch, spread the word that Techs can help and join us again. We really are laying the groundwork for the future. Each hackathon for humanitarian aid will build on the collective knowledge and experience. Real change happens in small steps. While your efforts might not draw immediate results, they are tremendous building blocks.

Crisis Commons has a International Congress in July 2010. We will be streaming this event for full participation. The conversations will include some of the gaps you have highlighted. We are a new community and are learning from the best. On a personal note, Heather really welcomes your feedback to help Crisis Commons best serve their members. Please feel free to contact her directly. She will also be sending a message closer to the date to keep the New Zealand and Australian communities engaged. Some of the projects you worked on were Crisis Commons initiated. We consider you a member of our community for your volunteer work.

We would also like to thank the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Australian School of Business at University of New South Wales, Second Muse (the event planning organization), the World Bank (RHoK sponsor for Sydney), RHoK (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, NASA and the World Bank) and Tall Poppies (the caterer).

Thanks again and looking forward to the next RHoK!,

Martin Bliemel
George Dyke
Tolmie Macrae
Heather Leson


It was a true honour and pleasure to be sent to Sydney, Australia to facilitate RHoK Sydney. This successful event would not have been possible without the support and collaboration of the following people:

Zeeshan Suhail, Edward Anderson, Arist Caruna, Deepak Sondhai, Abhas K. Jha, Stuart Gill, and Charles Feinstein of the World Bank
Todd Khozien, Thea Clay, Elisabeth Sabet, Jeremy Stone and Chad Badiyan of Second Muse
Heather Blanchard, Noel Dickover, Deborah Shaddon, Sara Farmer, and Chris Foote of Crisis Commons.

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