Gone are the days when we’d imagine that computer hackers spent their hours in a darkened, below-ground room, plotting world domination. Now, we prefer to imagine today’s generation of computer whiz kids as the type who plot world domination in a co-working space wearing Converse kicks, with a cup of cold drip coffee in hand.
During Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK), an annual hackathon that matches skilled developers to create solutions for companies with real social impact, that type of hacking really does take place – it’s the kind that gives a helping hand to organisations that are already doing good in the world.
RHoK is Australia’s largest and longest-running hackathon and gathers software savvy volunteers together for one day of collaborative work where the real beneficiaries are the companies being hacked. And even though the initiative is started during a hackathon, every project is seen through to the end where hackers are paired with changemakers to see out the project.
Dr. Angus Hervey, who is a political economist, is the Australian manager of RHoK, alongside his other project, FutureCrunch, a platform for optimistic and intelligent thinking about the future.
Along with fellow FutureCrunch co-founder bioinformatician Tané Hunter, the pioneering think tank is leading with ideas rather than concrete objectives, helping others to understand the future of technology with a more optimistic view.
“To be honest, we’re not entirely sure we have an accurate description for what we do yet!” Angus tells Collective Hub. “We’ve recently been calling ourselves ‘field guides for the new economy’ – not only do we help organisations understand what’s happening on the frontiers of science and technology, we also introduce them to new concepts such as the purpose driven economy, shared value, and exponential digital change.”
Angus and Tané met at an outdoor dance party when Angus was trying to construct a string of helium balloons and they’ve been “geeking out” on science ever since.
“We believe [science] makes the world a better place,” Angus explains. “We started Future Crunch because we wanted to get that message out there. It began with some talks for friends, and soon evolved into something that companies and other organisations were interested in.”