Earlier today, during a keynote address at Viva Technology in Paris, IBM’s Chairman, President, and CEO Ginni Rometty announced a new global initiative, Call for Code, bringing together NGOs, academic institutions, enterprises and startups to help better prepare against natural disasters.
This initiative unites global developers to improve disaster preparedness to build resilient communities during a three-month-long call for code, across innovative technologies with IBM in pursuit of sustainable solutions.
What is Call for Code?
Call for Code welcomes all developers to apply IBM technologies across Cloud, Data, AI, Blockchain and more to create lasting solutions that address risks stemming from natural disasters. Through Call for Code, we will unite the world’s developers around a new common cause each year.
Unlike other hackathons and code challenges, the code is just the beginning. Winning solutions will not only garner a cash prize, but be elevated and implemented by an IBM Corporate Service Corps team, and find long-term backing by the open source community with support from the Linux Foundation.
Today, developer teams can answer the call and register interest to compete in Call for Code, which begins officially on June 18 and closes on August 31.
Why a Call for Code? Why Now?
At IBM, we’ve seen the importance of focusing developer talent on a specific goal. Like skilled engineers modeling, building, and maintaining the physical infrastructure that keeps our societies connected and progressing, and talented doctors using precision tools and cutting-edge technology to make lives better, the developer is also a key workforce in our society—building the technology these professions and others utilize to enhance how we can put smart to work.
The democratization of technology enabled by a growing, potent open source community has accelerated the advancement and availability of cloud, data, and AI. As a result, technology has never been more powerful or accessible. It’s the perfect time to enable developers to wield the power of technology to help the over 2.5 billion people who have been directly affected by natural disasters since 2000.
2017 was one of the worst years of record for fires, floods, earthquakes, and storms. IBM finds it imperative to help solve such a pressing societal issue, which is why we are the founding member of the global Call for Code initiative created by David Clark–aiming to support the work of the United Nations Human Rights Office and American Red Cross’s international network in their efforts to minimize the devastating human impact of fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.
Who better to quickly discover new and innovative ways to help these efforts than developers?
That’s why we’re inviting them to band together using one of our most universal languages: code.
How can people participate?
Developers can learn more about this initiative at the Call for Code site. In addition, IBM will hold hundreds of events over the next three months in 50 cities around the world—San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and more—to help global developers address the complex problems stemming from natural disasters.
It’s my earnest hope that every developer, in some way, chooses to answer the Call for Code.
To get more insight into how critical of a moment this is for the developer profession, I encourage you to read the thoughts of IBM’s Vice President of Developer Advocacy, Open Source, and Technology, Angel Diaz.