FB calls for Global Online Hackathon to #BuildforCOVID19

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The FaceBook, in order to encourage innovators around the world, is set to hold a Global Hackathon – to #BuildforCOVID19 using technologies of the choice of participants across a range of suggested themes and challenge areas – some of which have been sourced through health partners including the World Health Organization and scientists at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.

Announcing this here today through a mail sent, DevPost said the COVID-19 Global Hackathon is an opportunity for developers to build software solutions that drive social impact, with the aim of tackling some of the challenges related to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The hackathon welcomes locally and globally focused solutions and is open to all developers with support from technology companies and platforms including Facebook, Giphy, Microsoft, Pinterest, Slack, TikTok, Twitter and WeChat, who will be sharing resources to support participants throughout the submission period.

The Submissions will open Thursday morning. Until then, register now on the right, visit the Participants tab if you’re looking for teammates, the Project Ideas tab, and the Resources tab for data, inspiration, and tools, the

WHY?

With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic, governments have issued guidance for members of the community to practice social distancing, while companies have enforced work from home policies in an effort to flatten the curve of viral infections across the population.

Given the isolation currently being experienced within communities right now, we want to create an online space where developers can ideate, experiment and build software solutions to help address this crisis.

FOCUS AREAS AND THEMES

We’ve connected with a range of partners including the World Health Organization (WHO) to understand some of the key challenge areas that technological innovation could help solve.

Some examples from the WHO here include the need for accurate disease prevention information around the world in languages/formats that resonate locally, as well as regional needs for expertise, resources/supplies and financial support from donors.

Additionally, we’re suggesting the below seven themes to help spark your ideas. Remember that you’re welcome to build with the technologies of your choice, across any areas that you think would drive impact for these issues, so feel free to think outside the box too!

  1. Health: Address and scale a range of health initiatives, including preventative/hygiene behaviours (especially for at-risk countries and populations), supporting frontline health workers, scaling telemedicine, contact tracing/containment strategies, treatment and diagnosis development.
  2. Vulnerable Populations: The set of problems facing the elderly and the immuno-compromised, such as access to meals and groceries, and supporting those who are losing jobs and income.
  3. Businesses: The set of problems that businesses are facing to stay afloat, collaborate effectively and move parts of their business online.
  4. Community: Promoting connection to friends, family, and neighbours to combat social isolation and the digitizing of public services for local governments.
  5. Education: Alternative learning environments and tools for students, teachers, and entire school systems.
  6. Entertainment: Alternatives to traditional forms of entertainment that can keep the talent and audiences safe and healthy.
  7. Other: The above themes are just suggestions. Feel empowered to get creative!

COMPETITION TIMELINE

3/24: Registration opens on Devpost

3/26: 9:00 AM PST Project submissions open on Devpost

3/30: 9:00 AM PST Deadline to submit projects, including a 2-minute video walk-through

Week of 3/30: Judges will endeavour to provide feedback and connect with selected projects shortly after that (so long as these activities remain unaffected)

4/3: Highlighted projects will be announced