Tech@State 2011


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Heather Blanchard's presentation at Tech@State 2011 given on February 22, 2011. For more information on the event please visit

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  • Tech@State 2011

    1. 1. What We Learned FromCrisisCamp HaitiFebruary 11, 2011Presented byHeather BlanchardCo FounderCrisisCamp & CrisisCommonsatTech@ StateWashington DC
    2. 2. CrisisCamp Haiti Columbia• Call to action; global footprint• Low barrier to entry; replicable• Recognized by CROs and VTCs• 62 events, 8 countries, 30 cities United Kingdom• 2,300+ highly skilled volunteers• Focus on mapping, missing persons, language and search Canada France
    3. 3. What We Learned• Disasters can create opportunities for innovation, rules relax, people are willing to be open to solutions from anywhere• Disasters create the rise of the “crisis crowd”• Disasters can benefit from existing programs with training and leadership have the best change in effectively harness the emerging crisis crowd into their existing community• Disaster response requests need to originate from the local area/field
    4. 4. What We Learned• Disasters are not the time to deploy new technology or develop new policies of engagement with stakeholders• Disasters bring a cloud of economic interest and competition, even within the open source community• Disasters require pre-existing relationships and a “game plan” for engagement. Predetermined mission assignments are necessary to connect technology volunteerism to official response processes
    5. 5. What We Learned• Disasters have little if any Technology After Action Reporting, thus limited best practice sharing, standards development and lessons learned curation (especially regarding society’s use of tech and tech volunteers)• Incident management protocols lack policy to effectively coordinate with the rise and growth of technology volunteer communities• Development which occurs in disasters are prototypes at best and require iteration to meet basic safety, security and special needs accommodations standards (and a community of developers committed to the project)• Tools for disasters need to be used everyday. Disaster-only tools, especially on the fly development, are harder to implement.
    6. 6. Opportunities• Community-based technology after action reporting, shared lessons learned and best practices curation• Community-based technical and policy standards development• Incorporation of volunteer technology communities within domestic and international crisis management systems - with a focus on harnessing the crisis crowd for initial surge capacity efforts• Provide sustainable risk-free environments (physical and virtual) for innovation and crisis-tech R&D which promotes multi-disciplinary collaboration before the disaster which solve everyday problems (and can be used for crisis)• Community-based curation of open source code to allow prototypes developed to be shared across communities