The Call for Code Global Initiative, created by leading philanthropic producer David Clark, CEO of David Clark Cause and powered by multinational technology company and Founding Partner IBM, is the largest and most ambitious effort to create a coalition of leading NGOs; celebrities; brands; and startup, academic and enterprise developers to help solve pressing social challenges with advanced technology and software solutions. This year’s focus is disaster preparedness and relief.
During a keynote address in May at the VivaTech Conference in Paris, IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty called on the technology industry to help build a better future, committing IBM technology and $30 million USD over five years in the annual Call for Code Global Initiative. Its goal is to unite the world’s developers and tap into data and AI, blockchain, cloud and IoT technologies to address societal issues.
To show support of the Initiative and its charitable partners, to include United Nations Human Rights and the American Red Cross, celebrities, dignitaries and social advocates are lending their powerful voices to support the brave efforts of humanitarians by participating in the #CallforCode global social campaign on World Humanitarian Day, August 19. Recognized as an official UN observance supported by the 193 member states of the United Nations, World Humanitarian Day is devoted to the humanitarian personnel who come to the aid of people in need.
“In addition to the amazing response we’ve received from the developer and tech communities, we’re also grateful for the support we’re continuing to receive from celebrities,” said Call for Code creator David Clark. “In support of Call for Code, the total social voice that our celebrity supporters will post out to their followers and fans on World Humanitarian Day will top 610 million people, which is truly remarkable.”
Call for Code supporters include Oscar®, Emmy®, Tony® and GRAMMY® Award winners. Celebrities include: Justin Bieber, Trevor Noah, Pierce Brosnan, Kesha, Ryan Seacrest, Luke Bryan, Yolanda Adams, Aloe Blacc, Robin Thicke, Marcia Gay Harden, Pentatonix, Cyndi Lauper, Alyssa Milano, Cody Simpson, Jane Seymour, Logan Henderson, Sasha Pieterse, Chayanne, Alessandra Ambrosio, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Ron Livingston, Andrea Bowen, Easton Corbin, Eric Paslay, Raja Kumari, Sheléa and White Panda. The social voice is the total Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram followers of participating celebrities, and the public at large.
“As Founding Partner of Call for Code, we are allowing technologists to access IBM technologies – that have been used by large enterprises and companies to solve their most pressing business challenges – to help save lives and solve societal problems,” said Bob Lord IBM chief digital officer. “We are overwhelmed with excitement about the projects we are seeing in development and the social media support we are receiving from celebrities, academia and developers in an effort to improve our world.”
Since inception of the global challenge, there have been more than 300 events in 50 cities around the world – including an IBM-hosted virtual hack comprised of 5,000 participants – in addition to Call for Code days across 13 IBM Development Labs in eight different countries to engage developers to create software solutions addressing challenges around natural disasters. Submissions close on September 28, and all of this activity will culminate on October 29, when the Call for Code benefit concert will be live-streamed from the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. During the all-star concert benefiting United Nations Human Rights and the American Red Cross, the prestigious Call for Code Global Prize will be presented to the team who creates the most innovative and sustainable solution related to natural disasters.
A charitable partner of Call for Code is United Nations Human Rights, which promotes a human rights-based approach to humanitarian action, by securing the participation of affected groups in preparedness, response and recovery efforts, and bringing attention to the most excluded and marginalized populations.
“Technology today has the potential to unleash large-scale social change. We are excited to be a part of Call for Code as it harnesses the time and talent of passionate developers around the world who seek to create software solutions to address social issues and protect the rights of the most vulnerable,” said Laurent Sauveur, head of external relations of the United Nations Human Rights Office.
Call for Code also integrates the American Red Cross’ focus on new ways to deliver support to disaster victims – especially important with 2017 ranked as one of the worst years on record for catastrophic events, including fires, floods, earthquakes and storms.
“Responding to large-scale natural disasters is a team effort, and we are excited to leverage skills and insights from the tech industry to address global challenges,” said Brad Keiserman, vice president of Disaster Cycle Services at the American Red Cross. “Partnerships and technology like this allow for smarter and faster response efforts, which are critical to help more people in need more quickly and with greater efficiency.”
How to Join Call for Code
- Developers can register today at https://callforcode.org/
- Projects can be submitted by individuals – or teams of up to five people – between June 18, 2018 and September 28, 2018.
- Thirty semi-finalists will be selected in early October. A prominent jury, led by Linus Torvalds the creator of Linux and Git, will choose the winning solution from five finalists.
- The winner will be announced on October 29, 2018 during a live-streamed all-star concert and award event, and receive a $200,000 cash prize, deployment of their technology via IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, and the opportunity to pitch their solution to New Enterprises Associates (NEA) for evaluation and feedback.
- Additional details, a full schedule of in-person and virtual events, and training and enablement for Call for Code are available at https://developer.ibm.com/callforcode/
- To lend your social voice to the #WorldHumanitarianDay campaign, visit: https://callforcode.org/act/