I was honoured to have the chance to talk about the broad applications of technology in crisis and emergency management. I was even more honoured to be asked to speak in a meeting involving such respected figures as:
- Patrick Meier from Ushahidi and Crisis Mappers Net (@patrickmeier on Twitter) (via teleconference ... see pic to the right ...)
- Christiaan Adams from Google Crisis Response
- Heather Leson from Ushahidi (@heatherleson)
- David Black from CrisisCommons and the University of Toronto (@db7)
Some of the points that were made:
- DFAIT is looking for evidence-based and validated info for their response to emergencies and disasters abroad ... crowdsourcing that works and crisis maps could be tools ....
- As diplomatic "first responders", Consular ops need credible info to support decision making for humanitarian assistance but also to take measures/provide info to Canadians on how to protect their safety/security abroad.
- Crisis mapping and crowdsourcing can help build resilience for Canadians abroad.
- Patrick Meier talked about dynamic, real-time situational awareness as a result of crisis mapping and its role as a decision-support tool.
- need to focus not only on the tech but also on what it allows and the human behaviours it makes possible or amplifies
- the benefits of the whole social convergence phenomenon (social media + mobile tech = empowered citizens and volunteers + enhanced ability to mobilize data and vols)
- need for clear objectives and then match the tech tools and not vice versa
- need for clear policies and expectations re: relationship between gov't and volunteer organizations who do mapping and crowdsourcing
- the need to use social media as effective crisis comms tools