Tag: rhokto


Canada Rhoks!

This June four Canadian cities are hosting Random Hacks of Kindness (RHOK) this year: Vancouver (new), Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal.

Random Hacks of Kindness is a global hackathon that occurs in over 30 cities with over 2000 participants. What if your knowledge could change the world. This event is open to everyone. You do not need to be a software developer to contribute. The best solutions created use many different areas of knowledge. You’ll be amazed how much you can share.

“RHoK’s model is to start from identifying, defining and refining problem definitions provided by subject matter experts and local stakeholders. This ensures that volunteer time is focused on solving real problems for real people.”
All the solutions are open source. It is a chance to be part of a global movement of tech for social good.

Why attend

What if your knowledge could collide with others to build solutions that solved real-world problems? This concept of using our intellect to affect change will take time, effort and multiple attempts, but if we build on each other’s efforts it is an honourable goal to set and meet.

Last night I attended a talk at Open Bar about “Giving Back and Getting Involved” by James Walker, open source advocate and lifer. James summarized the top reasons to get involved in Open Source projects:

  • get involved to learn
  • gain experience
  • to get hired
  • to hire
  • meet new friends and like-minds

These are exactly the reasons why RHOK is magic. Being connected to ideas and doers around the world. These people inspire in every way possible.

Toronto RHOK needs you

Lead by Melanie Gorka, RHOK Toronto will hack on local and international problems.

  • RHok Toronto seeks sponsors to assist food, tools, services, prizes and funds which help make the event a success. Sponsorship for the event provides for a pre-event reception, meals for participants during the weekend and prizes for the top 3 innovative solutions or ‘hacks’. If you and your organization can help, Contact Melanie Gorka (melanie.gorka AT gmail DOT com).
  • RHoK Toronto Idea Jam is confirmed for May 15th at Bento Miso from 7-10pm. Join Toronto’s Idea Jam to submit your ideas for local and international hacks. Come prepared to pitch your idea. Your hack must meet the RHOK criteria.
  • Register for the RHOK Global hackathon on June 1-3rd
  • Join the next volunteer meeting on May 17th. Contact Melanie Gorka (melanie.gorka AT gmail DOT com) for more details

Join an RHOK event in Canada

Register for Hamilton

Register for Montreal.


If you are in Vancouver, the event will be posted soon.

Host an event

If you want to host a RHOK event in another city, here is the application. Please also drop me a note so that I can join your fan club. If there is not a local event, you can still get involved virtually.

The RHoK community is amazing. I’ve done 5 hackathons so far. The good news is that Geeks without Bounds is now working with RHOK on sustainability for projects. By taking some of the best hacks/prototypes and incubating them, their goal is to have the best projects be activated, tested and used to affect change.

Global hacker friends

We’re looking for some guest hackers for Toronto. I’ve slept on your floor and ate at your tables. Or, we’ve just connected at the many online events. Toronto needs you to join and inspire our local community. Please contact me if you would like to have a place to stay, food, no sleep and be part of Toronto’s vibrant tech for social good community for one weekend.

Let’s do this!



RHoK 3.0: Toronto Wrap-up

RHoK 3.0: Toronto Projects

Random Hacks of Kindness 3.0 – Toronto was a success due to the volunteers, participants, sponsors, judges and supporters. I am always amazed to see a room full of strangers meet, design and build prototypes for social good. Here’s their great work:

1. Message Carrier
2. Data over Amateur Radio (radio to Ushahidi interface)
3. Wound Classification
4. Not far from the Tree
5. Kit Tracker
6. Bacon – Finding People
7. A Patient reporting app for Drug side effects

The Collaborative Risk Assessment Tool was conceptualized by David Black, a University of Toronto Emergency Manager and RHoK TO volunteer lead). While it was not part of Toronto’s hackathon, a team in Trento, Italy picked up the project and continues to hack on it.

The winner, Message Carrier, went on to present at NetChangeWeek’s GovCamp. The Data over Amateur Radio team set up a Google Group to explore communications with Ham radios during crisis. Yaser Alyounes, Wound Classification, and Aaron McGowan, Not Far from the Tree, teams are also investigating options with their initial RHoK projects.

Event Media and Participant Blog Posts

http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/innovation/06/03/hackers.fight.climate.change/index.html”>CNN: Hackers Fight Climate Change and ‘Brains Collide’ during Hackathon for Climate Change, Disaster Relief
C’est la vie!: Random Hacks of Kindness
Rock on, Toronto
Humanitarian Innovation and United Nations
RHoK 3.0, A Marvelous Model to Replicate
Ushahidi: My thoughts, suggestions and recommendations
Syncapse Developers Hack for Good
Port 25: Random Hacks of Kindness


Prepare to RhoK

Only 3 more sleeps until Random Hacks of Kindness Toronto.

I prepared this to help our 90 (!) local participants get acquainted with RHoK and how to make the most out of the event.

Our RHoK Toronto team is working hard to get all the details prepared. We are talking to folks in Nairobi, Seattle, Bangalore and Melbourne to see if we can have Ustream dates to meet each other

Global collaboration for a hackathon is a mash-up. More tonight after our pre-RhoK meet-up.

We are almost at 3rd RHoK from the Sun!



Ready for RHoK Toronto?

With just over a week to go, Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) Toronto is gearing up. We have some updates for participants, potential sponsors and supporters.

What is RHoK?

Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is a joint initiative between Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, NASA, and the World Bank, with the objective of creating solutions that have an impact in disaster management and crisis response. Together they hold semi-annual simultaneous global hackathons (marathon coding events) over one weekend. The event brings together subject matter experts from all over the world in software development, open data, project management, graphic design, videography, emergency management, technology, research, knowledge translation, logistics, just to name a few. Also, see the RHoK global press release.

Before RHoK

RHoK Toronto has 50 participants registered. Won’t you Join us?

Pre-RHoK event for participants:

We invite you to attend our RHoK Warm-up

: Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Time: 19:00 – 21:00 ET
Location: Camaraderie
Address: 102 Adelaide St E.

Meet your fellow hackers, ask questions about the event and brainstorm on the problem definitions.

Recruiting Sponsors:

Our amazing sponsors are providing food and prizes. We are happy to announce CIRA, Jonah Group, Syncapse, University of Toronto and Camaraderie are joining us as sponsors for the second year. Thanks! And, to Marketcrashers/Hackernest for joining us with a prize donation.

If you are a potential sponsor willing to contribute prizes or donate funds for food, please drop us a line at rhokto at Gmail dot com or contact heather at textontechs dot com for more details. We commit to account and use all funds for the event. As per RHoK Global guidelines, we will donate any unused funds to the Canadian Red Cross.

In return for your kindness, we can add your organizational name and logo to the RHoK website, include your name in our media outreach, add postings to our job board and provide you with post event blog content.

Share a Problem Definition:

The RHoK Global team and our local curation team are working on problem definitions. You can submit ideas on the RHoK site or for either of these two call-to-actions:

Calling all Health2.0 Enthusiasts for RHoK, June 4th & 5th

Calling all Climate Change and Open Data Enthusiasts

RHoK Main Event Schedule: June 4 – 5, 2011

RHoK Toronto Location:
University of Toronto
252 Bloor Street West, 5th floor
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V5


Saturday, June 4, 2011
8:00 – 9:00am Arrive and enjoy breakfast
9:00 -9:30 Introductions and Questions
9:30 – 11:30 Pick your problem definitions and teams. Start brainstorming
11:30 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 5:00 Coding, doing, brainstorming
5:00 – 6:00 Stand-up – Quick Discussion about your team’s work
6:00 – 7:00 pm Dinner
7:00 – ongoing (Optional to stay late. Otherwise, we’ll see you the next day)
Midnight – home

Sunday, June 5, 2011
8:00 – 9:00 am Arrive and enjoy breakfast
9-11:30 More coding
11:30 – 12:30 Lunch
12:30 – 3:00 Go teams!
3:00 – 5:30 Demos and Prizes
6:00pm End of event

What to bring:
laptop, electrical power bar, headphones, phone and charger, video camera, camera, webcam, demo equipment, coffee mug, a smile and an open mind.

How to prepare:
Review the problem definitions on the RHoK website. The definitions are still being created, so keep checking back. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with all the tools available to you online before the main event. Some of the tools we might use to collaborate are: IRC, Skype, Github, Wiki, Google Docs, Ustream, Twitter, Facebook and Piratepad. All hacks created are open source.

RHoK Toronto needs some help:

Volunteer run community events always need many hands to make it successful. Here are some ways you can help:

  • There will be errands for food and supplies. Can you help on Friday evening or Saturday for logistics (registration, food delivery, etc.)?
  • We seek a sponsor or volunteer who can provide standard equipment for demos (including mobile devices), a video camera and microphones. This includes some onsite support and set-up. We want the hackers to be heard and to shine. You could really make a difference by lending your expertise.

The RHoK Toronto team:

RHoK Toronto is a collective of talented folks working hard to make this happen:

David Black, Melanie Gorka, Brian Chick, Christine Crowley, Amy Coulterman, Jessica Hazen, James Walker, Aaron McGowan and myself.

Also, we are thankful for all our supporters who are sending outreach for participants and sponsors. A special thanks to Greg Wilson for everything he does.

See you soon,



Help Feed RHoK Toronto Hackers

What is RHoK

Random Hacks of Kindness is a community of innovation focused on developing practical open source solutions to humanitarian aid, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. This is about technology helping people. 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.

We would love if you joined us: Register for RHoK 3.0 Toronto

RHoK 3.0 will focus on the issue of climate change. We’re hoping that this year, RHoK 3.0 Toronto is just as successful as our inaugural RHoK 2.0 in December. Over 50 hackers, citizens, designers, writers, researchers and open data enthusiasts came out in Toronto and joined 1000 others, collaborating with RHoK events in 21 cities and Open Data Hackathon Day events in 73 cities, all around the world.
We could not have done this without the generous support of our sponsors. Last year, sponsors donated space, food, tools, services and funds which helped make the event a success.

Help Feed RHoK Hackers and give them prizes.
RHoK Toronto 3.0 is a Satellite event for the RHoK global event. We are responsible to drum up local sponsorship support for food and prizes. This time, we are looking for sponsorship for a pre-event reception, to provide meals or funding for meals to participants and prizes for the top 3 innovative solutions or ‘hacks’.

In exchange for your involvement in the RHoK initiative, we will do the following:

  • Showcase your logo internationally on the RHoK global website.
  • Mention you in the media and press releases for the Toronto event.
  • Provide you with space at the event for your pamphlets or promotional materials.
  • Offer recruitment opportunities through our job board and your presence at the event.
  • Provide you with blog content about the event

Sponsorship Options

Please let me or our contacts know if you have any questions or suggestions. Any donated funds will be used for food and prizes. Any funds that we do not use will be given to the Red Cross. RHoK global requires that we provide full disclosure on accounting for events. We will happily do so. The Donation button is on Brian Chick’s Left Button Solutions business account. Brian is a core volunteer for this event.

Hope you can join us.


Heather Leson
RHoK Toronto Coordinator


Third RHoK from the Sun: Toronto on June 4 -5, 2011

Third RHoK from the Sun is almost here.

We’d love it if you joined us again for Random Hacks of Kindness 3.0. On, June 4 – 5, 2011, Toronto is one of 20 cities for RHoK’s global hackathon.

Register now!

RHoK is software developers, open data hackers, project managers, graphic designers, videographers, emergency managers, technologists, researchers, idea hackers, storytellers, technical writers, and logistics geeks. We will brain on solutions for humanitarian aid, climate change and disaster risk reduction.

Sign up and help us share the message love:

Steal this tweet:
RHoK is June 4-5, 2011. Hack on climate change, humanitarian aid & disaster risk reduction apps. Join Toronto RHoK. www.rhok.org

Ben Lucier created a RHoK Trailer:

Follow us on twitter: @RHoKto
Share flickr photos

If you are unable to attend, we’d love it if you would tell a friend or your workplace.

We have a problem definition curation team working to make sure the hacks are fun and full of win. Some of the hacks will have gaming or open data components. If you want to help us get prepared, drop me a line. We are fundraising, getting prizes and food donations, procuring tech for demos and organizing a gaming/fun room.

Toronto has a great team of folks working together to make this event possible. Stay tuned for more details.

Third RHoK

This is my third RHoK event (Sydney, Australia (June 2010) and Toronto (December 2010 and June 2011). People hacking away at big issues and building prototypes is pure magic. They collaborate across cities, across career stages and disciplines. The event includes training, braining and laughter. It is a complete honour to be part of a global team of organizers who make it happen.

See my past RHoK event posts.

More details soon,



Random Hacks of Kindness – Toronto (Day 1)

What an amazing first day of Canada’s first Random Hacks of Kindness. We had a great partnership with the Toronto’s Open Data Hackathon team.

(Photo by Cynthia Gould)

Amazing post from the RHoK team with Secretary General of the UN, Ban-Ki Moon, receiving his RHoK t-shirt.

Blog post by Melanie Gorka: RHoKing out in Toronto. She provides highlights on the 7 projects that the ODHD and RHoK teams are collaborating on and captures the solid community vibe.

Raw timelapse of @rhokto day 1 up by Ade Barkah

Check out all the Open Data and RHoK videos on our Youtube channel:

Photos by Ben Lucier
Photos by Cynthia Gould

Steady stream of social media content from CrisisCamp Paris

More details tomorrow.


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