Flow Perth – Coders Doing Good

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There are few things in this life that are unarguably Good, but Flow Perth is one of them.

Flow Perth is about helping not-for-profits with their tech problems. The organisation selects a worthy cause, who then explain the problems they’re having and the assembled mass of hackers work for a weekend to solve those problems and help the cause. The Press Release from last year, which explains it more clearly:

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Flow 2013

Flow is a fundamental part of our lives, if we only ever take and never give back, humanity will be in serious trouble! With access to 750 smart brains in Perth, WA, we set out to change the way we give back to the community by helping one not-for-profit at a time over a two day coding marathon, starting this weekend!  The first organisation we are helping is… the Miracle Babies Foundation. The Foundation is Australia’s leading organisation supporting premature and sick newborns, their families and the hospitals that care for them.  With more than 45,000 babies born premature or sick in Australia every year, it isn’t a surprise to find that some of the volunteers have been personally affected and see this as a great way to help out other families going through the same experiences.

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Flow 2013

FLOW organiser Richard McAllister said ‘My beautiful daughter Lulu Belle came along 4 weeks earlier than planned. She spent 9 days in the neonatal ward in St John’s hospital in Subiaco. Even though the hospital staff were amazing, the whole experience was extremely stressful, worrying and lonely. Having support when times are tough is the key to great friendships and communities. We met lots of great families in the neonatal ward and are still friends to this day. Even though our experience was very small in the scheme of premature babies, we know how it feels and are so pleased to know that there is support out there from the Miracle Babies Foundation. If all we do in the first FLOW event is help one baby or one family then everything we have done has been a success.’  The specialised skills on offer for the weekend include coding, customer journey flows, user experience specialists, designers & social media strategy experts. The value add of the FLOW weekend is estimated at $80K – $100k. The event is so important to the foundation that Founder Melinda Cruz has flown in from Sydney to attend. 

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Flow 2013

“Having an online presence that is effective and efficient is so incredibly important to our large miracle community. It is a vital resource for our families that is available to them 24/7 wherever they are on their journey and it is one of the primary ways we communicate and connect with them, the health professionals we work with and our amazing supporters. We are not a rich charity and without the extreme generosity of the FLOW volunteers would never have access to such expertise. We are humbled by their willingness to help us help others” Miracle Babies Founder and mother to 3 miracles, Melinda Cruz. 

Last year’s event created some real value and help for the Miracle Babies Foundation, reducing their costs involved in onboarding new volunteers, so allowing them to reduce friction and expand their staff base. That sounds pretty geeky and irrelevant, but the net gain is more babies and families helped, less human anguish, a better world. Something Unambiguously Good!

This year’s Flow Perth event starts on the 12th September, runs to the 14th September, held at the Bankwest building, if you’re interested then head to http://www.meetup.com/Agile-Perth/events/201980862/ for more details. They’re particularly interested in people with UX and design skills at this point.