Sunday, December 16, 2012

at #8: holding a SMEM conference in Toronto

You'll excuse me for being a bit parochial in my choice for the 8th spot on my list of top smem-related events in 2012. I include the SMEMTO (social media in emergency management - TOronto) conference because it marked the first such event in Canada that gathered government officials, emergency managers, law enforcement officers, academics, NGOs, VTCs and private sector organizations.

The goal was to further promote the acceptance of social media by governments and emergency management officials and showcase the powerful force-multiplying effects that digital volunteers can bring to the table.

Putting together an event like that is never easy but our team (Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services + Public Safety Canada + University of Toronto) was able to attract relevant and respected speakers which included, among others:

  • Shayne Adamski from FEMA (@shayneadamski)
  • Chris Stelmarski (then from DHS) (@ski)
  • Doug Allport from MASAS
  • Lance Valcour from CITIG  (@lance_valcour)
  • Jason Cameron from the City of Calgary (@jayCyyc)
Special thanks to Peter Sloly (@deputysloly), the deputy chief of the Toronto Police Service whose keynote at lunch had everyone talking. And on a personal note, to my good friends Kim Stephens (@kim26stephens) and James Garrow (@jgarrow) for coming up and animating the last session of the day. Their presence confirmed to me once again, how knowledgeable and always willing to help, these two leaders of the SMEM community really are.

What did we achieve at SMEMTO? We started a lot of conversations, bridges were built, the CanVOST creation grew out of it too ... We made a positive impact for the more than 200 people who attended ... perhaps our reach extended much further since our conference hashtag (#smemto) actually trended in Canada that day! 

Thanks again to all that made it possible.

Series introduction (Dec. 5,m 2012)
#10: the Israel-Hamas War (Dec. 9, 2012)
#9: the wildfires in the western US (Dec. 12, 2012)
#8: the SMEMTO conference (Dec. 16, 2012)

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