MyKartavya: Driving Responsible Volunteerism and Social Good through Hackathons
MyKartavya’s tryst with hackathons emerged post its participation in the first ever India edition of JP Morgan Chase’s Code for Good challenge at Mumbai last year. While judging the finalists, Rita Soni, experienced the huge potential of doing social good. This encouraged NASSCOM Foundation to further explore the space of Hackathon.
Subsequently this year, Foundation partnered with Code For India (CFI) for its first ever multi city hackathon which was held across Google offices at California and Bangalore during May 2014. MyKartavya was the outreach partner for Code For India’s hackathon and ensured the much needed visibility through its social media channels and the media outreach through its PR agency, which published articles on both print and online media. Over 330 coders participated in this social hackathon which saw participation of coders from member companies such as CISCO, VM Ware, Intel, Google and others. The hackathon paved way for coders to design prototype solutions for NGOs across India, some of which were part of the NASSCOM Foundation network. NASSCOM Foundation was also instrumental in structuring the problem statement from one of its NKN partner called Digital Green, the solution for which emerged out as the most exciting solution developed among the Bangalore group of coders.
MyKartavya team is now working closely with Code For India (CFI), core team to formulate a plan for follow up event for the hackathon, wherein it aims at bringing together the coders who took part in the event along with the NGOs for which the prototypes were designed. These meet ups would result in taking these ideas into tangible solutions which could then be deployed by NGOs in their day today activities.
As part of creating awareness on hackathon’s emerging as a vital tool for engaging the employee base within the industry, MyKartavya, put together a first of its kind panel discussion on “Finding Talent, Finding solutions: Hackathon, your new and progressive HR strategy” at the recently concluded NASSCOM HR summit 2014 at Chennai, which brought out the finer nuances of how to go about organizing hackathons and the need to integrate hackathons within the larger HR and CSR goal of a company.
The panel which was represented by Mr. Hari Vasudev (VP and Head – Yahoo R&D, India), Mr. Gaurav Ahluwalia (MD and Head – Human Resources, JP Morgan Chase Global Shared Services India) and Mr. Kumar Sachidanandam (Senior Director – Innovation Group, Cognizant Technology Services), had the right mix of diversity in terms of nature of the companies and the perspectives of how hackathons are used in various ways to engage their employees. The session provided the much needed dissemination of information on how hackathons can be organized. It also broke the traditional myth that hackathon is concept confined within the four walls of a product company and also revealed how these could be integrated with a social component for doing social good.
The session also opened up views on how hackathons need to be promoted within Indian companies in order to foster indigenous product innovation and the crucial role NASSCOM Foundation can play in bringing together the various stakeholders under a single umbrella, which could drive strategic employee engagement, foster innovation and promote social good. MyKartavya thus envisages bringing about a positive social impact through advocating and participating in hackathons within the larger ecosystem of the IT-BPM industry.
Students coding for NGOs at the JP Morgan’s Code for Good Hackathon
Narayana Murthy giving the key note address at the Code for India multi city hackhathon in Bangalore