There are a countless number of factors that can hinder response efforts to humanitarian emergencies – war, weather, a lack of resources. But, one of the most influential factors as well as one of the most often overlooked ones, is the prevalence of information and “Big Data”, which complicate and confused relief efforts and threaten to paralyze humanitarian organizations.
According to Patrick Meier, author of the book Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data is Changing the Face of Humanitarian Action, which discusses these very issues, and the current director of the Qatar Computing Research Institute’s Social Innovation Program, it is during these situations that humanitarian organizations are in need of tech-skilled individuals who are able to create and harness the power of crowdsourcing platforms using artificial intelligence insights. He calls these individuals Digital Humanitarians.
On March 13, Meier will be speaking at the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Berkeley about his book, as well as the role of Digital Humanitarians and how they weave their skills through the realms of social media, satellite imagery and humanitarian relief efforts around the world.
Meier is an alumni of Ushahidi, a nonprofit software organization that uses crowdsourcing tools to promote social activism and public accountability and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative which seeks to improve responses to humanitarian emergencies across the globe. His renowned blog iRevolutions has accrued more than 1.5 million hits since its release and he has gained much fame for his role in the overlapping sphere of technology and humanitarian relief efforts and his innovative work with crisis mapping.
WHEN: Friday March 13, 2015 from 12 – 1 p.m.
The Blum Center for Developing Economies, B100 Blum Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, 94720-5570