By his own admission, it was the first time that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has made the keynote speech at a gathering of open source software technologists.
The event marked the end of Global Pulse's three-day Pulse Camp workshop and the opening of the second Random Hacks of Kindness Hackathon. Mr. Ban observed that the huge technological advances that we take for granted today offer a unique opportunity to improve the way the UN advocates for and responds to the needs of vulnerable populations around the world.
He highlighted the convergence of two complementary movements: participatory development and open source technologies. "Both movements have a common denominator," he stated, and "because people have a sense of ownership, what is created is more sustainable and effective. It empowers people at the grassroots to build solutions to their own problems."