We’re all sitting at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and many of us are feeling pretty helpless. You might have offered to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbour or helped a friend set up Zoom and other remote tools to enable them to work from home. But what if you have skills that can help map COVID-19, create support structures or solve problems that have emerged as cities shut down and many services are closed to reduce the pandemic? Consider joining a hackathon.
Hackathons are for everyone
One thing that is often overlooked is that hackathons are just not for developers. You might need writers who can translate tech concepts into practices, designers who can share charts and graphics, and financial folks who can set a potential budget of costings in case you win the funds to finance your idea. Anyone who might be an end-user of whatever you are planning to build will have valuable insights and a perspective you may not have considered.
There are many great, tangible reasons for joining a virtual hackathon:
- Increase your experience working in small groups
- Share your skills
- Help build better products
- Make friends
- Meet potential employers/colleagues
- Gain confidence in explaining your ideas to new people
- Gain mastery of virtual tools and working online
- Learn new skills and hacks
- Try out new tools for free
- Give something back for the greater good
Hackathons you can become involved with:
- Call for Code
IBM and the David Clark Cause, in partnership with United Nations Human Rights and the Linux Foundation, recently launched the third year of Call for Code Global Challenge — an annual competition that invites developers, data scientists, business analysis and others to build applications fueled by data and open source technology such as AI, cloud, blockchain, and IoT. IBM works with the winning team to fortify, test and deploy its solution through IBM’s Code and Response initiative. This year the competition has expanded to two themes – Climate change and Covid-19.
Deadline: April 27 2020
- Health and Security Pandemics
How can communities around the world prepare for, detect, and respond to emerging pandemics and health threats? MIT Solve is seeking tech innovations that can slow and track the spread of an emerging outbreak, for example by improving individual hygiene, developing low-cost rapid diagnostics, analyzing data that informs decision making, and providing tools that support and protect health workers.
Deadline: 18 June 2020
The Decentralized AI Alliance, under leadership of SingularityNET and Ocean Protocol, is bringing together global AI and blockchain projects and developers to create intelligent decentralized tools to combat COVID-19 and to reduce risks from future infectious outbreaks.
Dates : Phase 1 until 30 April, Phase 2 until 1 June
- The Coronavirus Hackathon
A two day exclusive online ‘Open Innovation’ event to inspire every citizen to think of real solutions to the aftermath of the Coronavirus crisis. The winning teams will get the opportunity to present their solutions to investors, philanthropic funds & policymakers and make a change.
DATE: 18 – 19 April 2020
- Hack COVID-19
Azerbaijan is running a global hackathon. It encompasses problem-solving around a broad range of challenges including:
– Supporting the most vulnerable and at-risk people
– How can technology help doctors and nurses on the front line of this pandemic?
– How can tech help in increasing early detection? How can we support small business and informal sector employees stay afloat through the crisis?
– How can tech help people deal with prolonged periods of social isolation, lack of access to information and resources, emotional and physical support?
– How can we use tech to ensure the public are engaged and informed about the ongoing situation without causing panic?
– How can tech be used to deliver virtual lessons, upload teaching materials and enable effective distance learning for children, students and people with disabilities?
– Tech and engineering: “We invite applicants to offer any ideas they can come up with to help create physical objects to help detect, prevent or treat coronavirus. Solutions could include infection sensors, hygiene hacks, DIY facemasks and disinfection methods.”
– New Social Behavior in Tourism: How to overcome the new social behavior in servicing guests: future impact of social distancing in the light of new health awareness?
DATE: 10-12 April
- Hack the Crisis
The mission is to design, test and execute ideas for the future of Sweden and the world. We want to gather creative ideas and develop concepts in an attempt to create solutions helping us make further progress in the ongoing resistance.
DATE: 3 – 6 April 2020
- Product Hunt’s Makers Festival with a focus on COVID-19.
With the proliferation of work from home mandates over the past few weeks, Product Hunt are hosting a global, WFH festival that focuses on relief efforts (in any form) for the COVID-19 pandemic.
DATE: 26 March – 18 April 2020
- Hack Quarantine
A hackathon powered by Hackathons UK, GitHub and others, this hackathon is divided across several tracks and including:
– Supporting People Quarantined or At Risk
– Tech and Health
– Remote Working
– Improving Awareness and Behaviour
DATE: 23 March to 12 April 2020
- Hack COVID
The hackathon is a little scarce on details, but it combines tech, medicine, entrepreneurship, and education to defeat Coronavirus
DATE: Check the site for updates
- Hack the Crisis
On 13-15 March, Garage48, AccelerateEstonia and the whole startup community in Estonia took action and put together an online hackathon to offer solutions on how to use tech for crisis response and deal with the post-crisis era. Now events ran by local communities all over the world are popping up to help solve issues for their communities.
- Kaggle projects
A series of Kaggle projects focused on COVID-19 with an emphasis on forecasting and epidemiology.
Have we missed a hackathon? Get in touch and let us know and we’ll add it to the list.