If you’re wanting to do something good on January 21st and 22nd, save the date, book a flight and a hotel, and come to Utah for what is certain to be an unprecedented event. The lack of precedence is perhaps not just because of its potential to make a big dent in poverty and homelessness, but perhaps also that it’s being organized by a High School Senior.
The Conference, called “Hacking Poverty”, or , as Zach Stay, it’s founder calls it, is a conference whose sole intent is to gather together developers to group together, come up with ideas, and build software to fight poverty. Zach, who is also my cousin, hopes to organize groups around various software projects, create those software projects, and then release the code and technology as open source software that other Humanitarian organizations can then use freely. The format of the conference is a lot like Phil Windley’s (also from Utah) Internet Identity Workshop, where ideas will be presented, and people can choose which cause they want to participate in and discuss as a group.
Thus far, several projects have been proposed:
- “Building a Fighting Poverty Apps Store”
- “Twitter GPS Locator App”
- “First Aid App”
- “Tsunami Twitter/SMS Broadcaster”
- “Medical Twitter Broadcaster”
- Medical “ChaCha”
You can read more about those over on the Hacking Poverty website. You can also submit your own via their form.
In addition to the above, I plan to announce a new way I think can completely end Street Begging and truly feed and put a shelter over the heads of those that really need it around the world. I’ll be announcing that shortly on this blog, and I hope to recruit volunteers to help with it at the Conference. If you come for anything, be sure to come for that, as I’m sure it’s likely to turn heads.
Zach Stay has great blood, and it’s not from me. His Dad, Tim Stay (my Uncle), is also one of the founders of Unitus, the micro-funding group which has made significant strides in fighting poverty in Africa and other areas of the world. Zach’s got some of the best council around and its bound to show in this conference, and I can guarantee the conference will have an effect as a result.
If you get a chance, and you have any talent at all, come and offer to help. It doesn’t have to be coding either. If you can blog about the event, share it with your friends, Tweet about it, or share it on Facebook, that’s one step towards ending poverty. If you have video talents and can help broadcast the event for people that aren’t attending, let Zach know. If you have graphic design skills, or project management skills, or marketing skills, there is a place for you in these projects I feel. While this is a conference for developers, I think everyone can have a role. If you can offer something, please contact Zach and the Hacking Poverty team via firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, at a minimum, donate to the event via this Paypal link.
If you can come out to Utah, or you’re already in Utah, come on out to this event on January 21 and 22. The skiing’s great this time of year. This is going to be a groundbreaking conference, which could be the start towards the end of poverty in the world. Will you please join us?
Just go here to register. The conference is free! If you need help finding a good hotel let me know in the comments and I can make several good recommendations. If you need me to help you convince your employer to give the day off on Friday to attend, I’ll make a personal call for you – just let me know.
Thanks to Chris Pirillo and Kelly Clay for kicking this off tonight. Check out Kelly’s article over on Lockergnome for more details about the conference.