Fighting the invisible World War and how you can help

Something is here. It isn’t a debate. It is impacting on our mental wellbeing, physical health, and financial security. The worst of what we will see in our lifetime is already here. Like a lot of people, I have been absorbed into the instinct of self-preservation. I am trying to figure out how to best protect those around me, family members, friends, and colleagues. These feelings of fear and anxiety tend to intensify during times of uncertainty.

This is the World War of our generation.

We are at war with something we can’t see. We are fighting to stay afloat in the economy. We are maintaining social distancing, personal physical health, and mental wellbeing. We are worried about job losses and figuring out the next steps. We are getting into fights and overstocking to make sure we have more food, medical and sanitary supplies for the family while some of us are battling with isolation, loneliness, and suffering silently. Some of us are fighting on the frontline every day. Medical supplies are running critically low for those who need the most.

Hopefully, this war will not last long. Hopefully, social isolation will buy us enough time for the best medical solution forward and we will limit the loss of life. And hopefully, the world will return back to business as usual. Regardless of us being hopeful, the entire world will be at war for the unforeseeable future. The one thing fortunate is that we are fighting a common enemy.

Like all wars, all of us will be remembered by our behaviour during the time of uncertainty. What instinct did we embrace? Is it self-preservation? Is it compassion? During this world war, did you make things better? Or did you make things worse?

  • Did you lash out, overstock and panic buy?
  • Did you reach out to the at-risk vulnerable population?
  • Did you utilize your skills to make a positive social impact?
  • If your neighbour lives alone, did you offer them support?
  • If you wonder how someone is coping, did you ask them?
  • If you are technically inclined, did you offer solutions that help alleviate the shortage, finding the cure, or providing accurate information?

We are going to be fine. But we are going to be fine because there are so many of us who will choose humanity over selfishness. There will always be someone who makes things better and innovate in times of uncertainty and this is the best time to host a remote hackathon to drive innovation and humanity forward.

Hackathons are a good way to learn new things, meet new people and put ideas into action! The good news is that at this time, there are a lot of hackathons and competitions to solve challenges caused by COVID-19.

Data Science Challenge - Help us better understand COVID-19

There is a large body of research and literature continuously evolving around COVID-19. Help the research community and global organizations better digest this to answer key questions. Kaggle is sponsoring a $1,000 per task award to the winner whose submission is identified as best meeting the evaluation criteria. The winner may elect to receive this award as a charitable donation to COVID-19 relief/research efforts or as a monetary payment. More details on the prizes and timeline can be found here COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Challenge (CORD-19)

Open Source Medtech group

This group is being formed to evaluate, design, validate, and source the fabrication of open source emergency medical supplies around the world, given a variety of local supply conditions. Open Source COVID19 Medical Supplies Public Group

Hack Quarantine - March 23rd to April 12th

A fully-online, people-focused hackathon bringing people together to use their skills to help combat the issues the world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

By working with medical professionals and industry, we’ll provide the knowledge and tools to empower hackers to work towards improving health, remote working and helping vulnerable populations. Hack Quarantine

Coronavirus Hack-a-thon - 27-29 March 2020 - Hosted by the Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases

The Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases is proud to announce the 2020 Coronavirus Diagnostic Hackathon, hosted virtually starting on March 25th, starting at 2 PM, and finishing on March 26th. Participants will have access to an online database of fellow participants to try and match up on a team who best fit their scientific interests and background. The teams will be self-organized and it will be left up to the participants how they best feel they can work together. CEND will provide online platforms and resources for participants to congregate virtually. Collaboration | CEND Coronavirus Diagnostic Hackathon | Berkeley

MIT Solve

In the near term, we need improved solutions for prevention, accurate detection, and rapid response. 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 protect health workers. MIT Solve


It's time to come together (digitally speaking) to solve these new and important problems. This means all entreprenuers, innovators, engineers, designers, researchers, analysts, everyone!

We do this in an organised way. With a specified timeframe, and fully online, we focus on the emerging local problems of specific cities. But you can participate from anywhere!

Individuals and teams are free to form around problems they care about most. Then design, build, launch and share their websites, apps, web services, analyses and other digital solutions!

The time to act is now. What are you waiting for?

Want to help and want to learn more about how to host a hackathon?

Angela Bee (CEO of Hackathons Australia) is holding a session showing you how to use digital tools to host a successful hackathon on Tuesday 31 March at 11:30am-12:30pm SYD time on XpertFinder.

Want to talk to a peer?

In the meantime, if you feel lonely or want to talk to someone during isolation or working from home, you are more than welcome to schedule a chat with me. I am very happy to lend a virtual shoulder to cry on or have come up with some activities to take your mind off of it.

Feel free to request a session with me.

XpertFinder empowers knowledge economies around the world to start learning, upskilling and maintaining their knowledge base through conversations. We strive to give everyone a chance at learning and is not limited to location, size of the business, and time. We help diverse individuals to share their voices, perspectives, stories, and expertise through a live streaming service online and get compensated for what they know from their audience. Host a session with us and join us for an intellectual adventure.

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