Technology and the Crisis in Haiti - London UK Crisis Commons Launch
What is Crisis Commons?
Crisis Commons http://crisiscommons.org/ facilitates partnerships and maintains a network of technology volunteers to respond to specific needs. We are an international network of professionals drawn together by a call to service. We are developers, specialists, communicators, first responders, project managers, and people who just want to help! People work on projects based on their skills and interests. We create the technological tools and resources for responders to use in mitigating disasters and crises around the world. We focus on neutrality, transparency, and collaboration. We believe in the power of one person to make a difference.
What about Haiti?
Crisis Commons has responded to the crisis in Haiti with a series of Crisis Camps which are focused on providing specific technical services including application development, mapping support and data acquisition. Hundreds of people have worked together at Crisis Camps in Washington, DC, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Brooklyn and Boulder, Colorado and many more are planned - including London.
What is a Crisis Camp?
A CrisisCamp is an individual event with an overall purpose to create specific tools for a specific problem. Before a CrisisCamp, organizers reach out to responder organizations – governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and others – seeking requests for technological supports. We organize into teams to support those requests. We also develop around things that are just good ideas. What we create is open-source – meaning that it’s free for anyone to use, the labor has been donated, and the user community is encouraged to take it and build on it … to make it work for them. The London Crisis Camp will join the other Crisis Camps in building vital tools for Haiti.
We believe in the power of one person to make a difference. Here are some of the tools Crisis Camps are working on right now.
Process and Outcomes
The goal of this session is to establish Crisis Commons London and a series of Crisis Camp events in London in support of Haiti. The international Crisis Commons team expect to hold regular events for a month or six weeks, and are focused on weekend-long work sprints involving both technical and non-technical people working together on tasks as diverse as coding apps, mapping work and translation. We need to staff up a temporary organization to organize the London branch of this effort, including electronic infrastructure, getting a large coworking space with good network, and above all finding and facilitating efficient volunteering. To this end we will do a brief meet-and-greet, a short situation report on Haiti, and then get into the practical details of making the Crisis Camps happen. Please read up on the US efforts, identify projects you would be interested in being the London point of contact for, and come prepared to take responsibility for things if you have the time.
We also expect to discuss some of the broader policy implications of this kind of distributed electronic assistance program, in the light of US-led efforts like the STAR-TIDES http://star-tides.net project. How do we build a "network of networks" to get the job done?
signup: http://crisiscamplondon.eventbrite.com/ (Nobody turned away while there is room capacity)
event wiki: http://wiki.crisiscommons.org/wiki/Crisis_Camp_London
The hash tag for this event is #crisiscampldn