Hackers Look to Help Disaster Relief Efforts

This weekend, hackers around the globe came together for the second Random Hacks of Kindness event, which looks to find solutions to problems in disaster areas.

The event included developers from Washington, D.C.; Sydney, Australia; Nairobi, Kenya; London, England; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Sao Paolo, Brazil.

The initiative, which is backed by Google, Microsoft, NASA, Yahoo! and the World Bank, focuses on developing creative responses to issues companies are facing in emergency response.

Teams are “ad hoc depending on what people are passionate about,” said Patrick Svenburg, senior manager, developer and platform evangelism, Microsoft Federal. “All the solutions are on an open source license, which is the only way to have developers work together.”

The event had more than 200 registered attendees and allows developers the opportunity to revamp the image of hackers.

“If nothing else, we can reclaim the term hacker,” Svenburg said.

Following last years event held in November, a solution to connect friends and families impacted by disasters was adopted by the World Bank and used in Haiti.

“We’re trying to be proactive—not just reacting to the next crisis but getting out in front of it,” Svenburg said.

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