What Did We Hack? Random Hacks Of Kindness Warsaw

alicjapeas
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The very first Polish edition of Random Hacks of Kindness Warsaw took place this weekend. started on Saturday, December the 3rd with ideas pitching. During the entire weekend teams were formed, community driven ideas developed and technical solutions created. The hackathon  finished on Sunday with 8 presentations of tech for social change projects and prize announcements. 

A diverse cooperative of Polish NGOs, Fundacja TechSoup and others, with a help from the Polish start-up community localized the Random Hacks of Kindness brand guidelines, and  invited the social organizations activists, and programmers to participate. Organizing and promoting the event was as tricky as it is to talk people into doing something completely new, without clearly defined agenda and a vague “for social change” purpose. For many attendees, it was not only the formula that seemed foreign. The types of people that we invited to take part in the event have never worked with one another before. And by one another I specifically mean technically skilled people and NGO workers, and activists.

Around 100 hundred people visited and contributed to the event, 60 of them (half of them being hackers ) stayed up for the entire weekend working on 8 great projects, 5 of which received a special recognition and the following prizes:

 

  • The first project among the recognized was a platform for people suffering from cancer and their loved ones. The project’s name is Drzewo życia (Tree of life) and was inspired by an idea that came from Alivia Foundation. The project uses the time banking pattern to ensure that the ill ones can get volunteer support from on daily basis. This project has received a special award from a DDB interactive advertaising agency. DDB will run a campaign promoting the developed solution.
  • "Where’s that bike path?!", a project which received both the virtual data base and the security audit prize, is a portal campaigning for a better bike path infrastructure in Warsaw as well as improvement of cyclists' safety on the roads. The idea of the portal consists of a user generated content project, where cyclists can add their routes and comment on existing paths/roads traffic in order to facilitate, and raise cycling awareness. An interesting side note here (especially for the US audience) is that in Poland bike paths are typically on sidewalks.
  • Another awarded solution was an advertising portal for animals’ adoptions (Polish only). The winners will be granted a membership in the Polish hackerspace -- a community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects.
  • The special prize from the jury went to the Klimat bez sadzy (Polish only) application which aggregated information about the level of air pollution in Warsaw. 
  • Finally, a team of engineers that decided to deal with displaying financial disclosures of polish parliamentary envoys received create of beer from the organizers for staying up all night coding.

 

Other ideas concerned a portal for young (h)activists (Polish only), a co-learning platform Wantbetter.net, and an app for making food ordering in co-operatives easier

 

What did we hack? We hacked people’s habits, their prejudices, we hacked the usual conference model. But we had a good reason for it. We hacked for good.

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