7Jun

Salmon Fishing at RHOK

What do Salmon Fishing and hackathons have to do with each other? I just watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen tonight. It turns out that the movie had the best quote to represent those who RHOK:

“For Fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance and humility.”

These are special people out to change the world. To RHOK means to spend a whole weekend braining on a prototype, often with new strangers. The essence of a hackathon like RHOK is to take those moments of crazy focus and big dreams, then distill them into high speed agile development. This selfless act of a global hackathon now has the opportunity to keep building with the Geeks Without Bounds and Social Coding 4 Good’s Sustainability programs.

Over the RHOK weekend, I wrote a number of blog posts on Rhokto.ca:

Rhok Projects and Participants

To show the spirit of RHOK Toronto, I created a series of short videos about the RHOK Toronto projects and RHOK Toronto participants.

While I think all the participant teams and hacks are winners, special kudos goes to first place RHOK Toronto winner:
Mobile Ultrasound in Remote Nepalese Villages

I truly enjoyed watching the participants go through the phases of possibility. We had between 60 – 83 participants at RHOK Toronto. I cannot say enough about the amazing braining by the participants and volunteers. You inspire me. Thanks to all the sponsors for again supporting Toronto’s efforts.

The movie Salmon Fishing in the Yemen has a premise of dreaming big and building a plan to try out crazy ideas. RHOK is that type of testing ground, without the large budgets and sweeping movie stars. Instead, RHOKStars each contribute in small, iterative ways. The crux for organizations is to be sure that the best models continue to be fostered with mentorship and funding.

*****

Why does RHoK matter to the world?

Recently, I had the honour of being featured on the RHOK blog. This excerpt is my own take on how RHOK evolves with participants

RHoK is taste test of tech for social good. If RHoK inspires one person’s view of why their knowledge could affect change in their world and community, then it is successful. It matters because we need to figure out how to connect the right participant action to the real world issues. This is not something that can be perfect overnight. We are inventing the potential as we go. It is worth every single attempt, no matter hard it is.

I like to think of it as the OSI hackathon or RHoK OSI model:

  • Discover: “I can do this”
  • Encounter: Connect with people from a wide array of disciplines from technical to design to subject matter experts
  • Build a common language
  • Create and collaborate sprint-like to prototype
  • Join the movement of possibilities to remix and hack this model for local, national and global issues.
  • Mentor and train others to RHoK the planet


Here’s to more adventures, salmon fishing and hackathons!

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