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:
- Government of Canada - Support for businesses
- Business Development Bank of Canada - Support for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19
- Export Development Corporation - Relief for Canadian businesses
- Government of Ontario - Support for businesses
About the Author
Brett Tackaberry is a digital solutions professional with 20 yrs of experience who uses his tech skills for the greater good. Brett is currently the CTO at Rebel, responsible for the technical team and product direction. In his mission to make the world a better place through technology, Brett helps out with Random Hacks of Kindness, Tech4Good, Ottawa Civic Tech and Child Nature Alliance Canada.