Logging on to better technology

Express News Service | Published: 09th September 2018 09:56 PM
Participants of the hackathon held at Sports Hub

TIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Tech experts often tend to find out solutions before even focussing on the problem, many think. But Seema Kumar, the country leader for developer ecosystem and startups at IBM, points out that we should look into the problems first before coming to the solutions. She was attending a two-day hackathon at Sports Hub, Karyavattom, organised in collaboration with the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and NASSCOM to build innovative solutions to alleviate the effects of natural disasters. 

Seema says, “We announced a global initiative in May where IBM is a founding partner. It is a multi-year challenge and every year we pick up a cause and concentrate on it. As in 2017-18, the highest number of losses were reported due to natural disasters. We decided to take up natural disaster this year.”
 The idea behind the challenge is how to apply technology and bring together the community and developers around Kerala to come out with solutions when natural disasters occur.

The ‘Call for Code’ global challenge was introduced in Kerala with the aim of bringing in the startup, academic and enterprise developers in a single platform to solve problems like preventing, responding to and solving natural disasters.

Seema says, “We have been actively promoting it and so we decided to leverage the talent in Kerala in this area. Through this, we intend to help the developers to come up with something that can be deployed. One of our exercises is the design thinking area where they can come up with ideas to tackle the situation during natural disasters.”

In this initiative, software is the primary element and how it can be  used to reach out to the remote places during such situations. Seema said, “There are many problem statements but how we deal with it is what matters. You can’t do much with the climate. So, how do you take preventive measures to mitigate natural disasters is important. It can be either by building an app or through other CSR activities.”
There are about 100 events happening worldwide regarding this challenge and the final date for submission of ideas is September 28.

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