In the last few years the increased access to streaming data, user-generated content and mobile media capturing devices has opened up new capabilities in responding to emerging, dynamic situations. I've been fortunate to be invovled in a number of projects dealing with immediate crisis such as hurricane evacuation or wildfires, to slow rebuilding of cities through community participation, and even more general technology development through work with Ushahidi and now Swift. I'm still new to the domain and have a lot to learn about on-the-ground action and effectiveness, and integration with first responders and officials.
It's for just this reason - the mix of expert crisis responders, with technologists, sociologists, policy makers, and many others that there has been a desire for a venue to bring them together to share experiences, thoughts, and collaborate on innovating together. Mikel and Jesse have talked about Disaster Tech and their lessons learned - but there still needed to be a broader discussion of international, local, regional, fast, slow, prediction, analysis, response, and rebuilding around crisis. So it was very exciting that at Government 2.0 Camp, a meeting of interested people metup and we finally pulled together to make this conference a reality.
CrisisCamp will be a 2-day unconference - June 13 + 14, 2009, held this year jointly in Washington, DC and London, UK - to bring together this wide array of people, organizations, and ideas to connect and build solutions together. In DC, the event will be hosted at the George Washington University School of Policy and the Internet - a wonderfully open and well-situated venue that also hosted TransparencyCamp. Equally as exciting is that there will be a Friday night Ignite session on Crisis experience and tools hosted at the World Bank Headquarters auditorium.
Help make it happen
Besides coming to the camp as an active participant, we're also looking for sponsors. The costs are quite low, thanks to the generosity of GWU, but there are still fixed costs to cover security, A/V equipment, rentals, and potentially food for attendees in order to keep them fueled and together to collaborate. Please contact us via email (crisiscommons (at) gmail.com) or through the sponsorship page directly. We truly appreciate your support and will make sure everyone knows about it - they will appreciate it as well.
In addition - we're looking for Ignite speakers. While the unconference itself will be open with no preset agenda, the Ignite talks are fixed, 5-minute lightning talks meant to highlight particular stories and lessons that you would like to share with the attendees. Again, email us - crisiscommons (at) gmail.com - to let us know that you would like talk.
I realize this may come as a late notice - things have been very hectic with Where2.0 and other conferences, but we truly hope you can come to this amazing unconference to share your thoughts, tools, experiences, and help build the next generation of crisis techniques.