- YOU can make a difference.
People often think that they can’t hack – that you have to speak Perl and Unix and node.js and…
That’s wrong. Hacking is about communities making a difference. We all understand communities, so we can all be hackers. The mayor of Palo Alto ran a city-wide “hack the city”
- EVERYONE is welcome at a hack day.
You don’t even have to have a computer. Just an ability to communicate.
I can’t be there (I am in AU). AU also gets floods (and bush fires). Last time I was here the Melbourne Age newspaper held a hack day in its offices – one of the topics we hacked was bush fires. There were lots of non-geeks there.
What you will find in Shoreditch today is a random selection of people – could be 5, could be 500. The thing in common is that they want to help. They know that no single person has the answer. That they don’t, at present, even know where to start.
That’s where you could well be able to help. Perhaps you are in local government or the voluntary sector? Or, maybe you’ve actually been in a flood or have detailed experience from someone who has. That’s a great starting point to find out what people actually want rather that what we think they want. That’s why I was so impressed with the NHS Hackdays – people identified useful tasks that were achievable and then achieved them. Maybe you’re a teacher, or maybe you are still at school. Yes, school children can change the world.
And, of course, we are unlikely to solve everything this Sunday… Much of the success will be taking good starting points and building the communities and protocols that will make them sustainable. When the 2010 earthquake hit Haiti the Openstreetmap community – hundreds of thousands – leapt into action to use satellite photos to recreate pre-earthquake roads and buildings. Read http://hot.openstreetmap.org/projects/haiti-2.
Maybe you’re a keen photographer and went on holiday in Somerset. Perhaps your photos could be useful – I don’t know. Or maybe you know about low-cost boats. Or fly drones as a hobby. Who knows? A feature of hacks is that we pool ideas at the start and see which catch people’s imagination and which are feasible. It doesn’t matter if *your* ideas doesn’t work out, simply that good ideas get developed. Glory is communal not personal.
Perhaps you can find information on key resources that might be available but unused.
I may be able to log in from AU. What can I do?
- give moral support.
- spread the word
- cross fertilise