RHoKing at Google Zeitgeist

dirk-zeitA few weeks ago I was contacted by somebody from Google who asked if I was interested in running a demo booth at their upcoming Zeitgeist Europe conference in London. This was triggered by my involvement in Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) and the plan was to showcase some of the work that came out of RHoK events.

It being an internal event there is little information about it online. But its invite-only, high profile nature made it a unique opportunity to show the tech elite what can be achieved when applying technology to social, humanitarian, and environmental problems.

Other demo booths were manned by 3Doodler, Makey Makey, Google.org and Google Glass. Some very cool projects there and great to share experiences. Its convinced me to order my own Makey Makey kit and see what kind of mischief can be had with it.

On the RHoK front the main apps we (Simon and Florian joined me) demo’ed were Taarifa and Bring The Food. Both excellent examples of rhok projects and easy to explain and understand. Taarifa came out of the 2011 London Waterhackathon and Bring The Food from the 2012 Global RHoK in Trento, Italy. Taarifa has now made it to Uganda, Ghana, and Tanzania while Bring The Food is undergoing its first trials in Italy and Belgium. We had some great discussion and good contacts to follow up on. Time will tell where they lead.

dirk-glassIn between demo’s it was interesting to watch the main sessions going on next door. Attendees included the president of Estonia, a former Pakistan prime minister, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Bionic Man, Project X head Astro Teller, and a whole suite of notable academics and businessmen. In particular the talk by Sugata Mitra on self organizing education stuck with me, well worth a google. I have also never seen so much passion on stage as the talk by Eddie Obeng on New World Management.

So overall a great event, expertly choreographed by the events team. Looking forward to the fall out.


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