Humanitarian world boosted by free and open source software

Coding for good: Highlights from the open source humanitarian movement

Posted 28 Sep 2012 by 

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HFOSS, Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software, is a movement inspired first by the December 2004 Asian tsunami, and then by other humanitarian needs in the health, civic, finance and academic sectors (especially for women and people of color).

Leslie Hawthorn, part of Red Hat's Community Action and Impact team, gives example after example of how HFOSS has improved and made possible disaster preparedness and relief programs, as well as empowered other projects:

  • OpenMRS, electronic health records. 
  • Public transportation applications. 
  • Microloans for thousands to start small businesses in their communities (especially women, worldwide). 
  • Computer Science programs, students' code used for social good. 
  • Grace Hopper Codeathon for Humanity, growing conference for women in technology.
  • Random Hacks of Kindness, helps to mitigate disasters as they occur. 

YouTube Video

As an internationally known Developer Relations strategist and Community Management expert, Leslie has spent the past decade creating, cultivating, and enabling open source communities. She’s best known for creating Google Code-in, the world’s first global initiative to involve pre-university students in open source software development, and receiving an