Random Hacks of Kindness
With a clever twist of the phrase "random acts of kindness," an online community called Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is busy inventing a better world, one source code at a time. From apps and interfaces to platforms and systems, volunteer developers (also known as hackers) invent them all free of charge with the aim of solving societal problems, both large and small.
Gururaj P. of Enterprise Services, HP India, recently joined a global hackathon event organized by RHoK because of a
desire to "contribute my knowledge to a greater cause," and co-wrote the winning application at an event held in Bangalore, India. Called Helping Hands, it connects organizations that have excess food (for example, restaurants, hotels, and party halls) via SMS with NGOs that provide food to the needy.
Thousands of miles away, Mark Junkunc of Digital Strategy, HP USA, participated in the same global RHoK hackathon, and his team achieved second place in the Silicon Valley event with an app called Hey Cycle. "I chose to work on this project because, unlike apps designed to solve immediate problems, this idea required Our team to think ahead for the future of life on this planet," says Mark.
Hey Cycle helps rescue useful but unwanted items from landfill, and redirects them to people who want to use them. At the hackathon, this web app took five people 10 hours to create from concept to completion – it delivers a superior interface (instant messaging) to a popular non-profit swap site (www.freecycle.org).
Mark adds, "Ultimately I hope to create a platform that fights climate crisis and allows people to collaborate in combining collective consciousness with imagination to start thinking and acting sustainably."
HP became a RHoK global partner in 2011, joining founders Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA, and the World Bank. There are many opportunities for HP developers to contribute, and HP is creating an ongoing