If you know me, you know that I love to contribute to a variety of initiatives that help make our community a better place through reducing the barriers to access technology. At Rebel, that spirit is built into our ethos - but I wanted to use this space to shine the spotlight and what is happening outside of Rebel.
Random Hacks of Kindness - a hackathon for social good - was meant to happen back in March. Obviously, it had to be cancelled. However, a hackathon would transition quite easily into a virtual format, and that is something we will be looking at doing with RHOK for the fall.
At Ottawa Civic Tech, we simply transitioned to holding our meetups online, providing a space for conversation, presentations, and questions. There’s an eagerness to talk about how governance has been changing to support citizens in new ways during COVID-19. With the move to online meetups, a wonderful side effect has been that we’re seeing a lot more cross-city attendees - we've had folks from Vancouver and Toronto attend Ottawa Civic Tech meetings virtually.
Here are some other hackathons that I've seen spring up as a response to the pandemic:
Codevid19.com: An online community hackathon based in Edmonton that connects hundreds of developers around the world that are finding themselves with more free time than usual. They’re developing projects ranging COVID-19 data visualization to apps that assist people with finding help.
Coronavirus Tech Handbook: A crowdsourced library of tools, services and resources relating to COVID-19 response. It is a rapidly evolving resource with thousands of expert contributors, with an exhaustive list of links and resources.
There are countless other ingenious small projects being launched, such as:
Accessible Business Hub: Helps people with disabilities and employers to adapt to life amidst COVID-19.
Ottawa Support: Helps people to find support and help each other through the COVID-19 crisis in Ottawa.
Where you can find help
If you’re a small business, here are some quick links to government resources: