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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly noted the unprecedented role of mobile technology in the disaster response when she highlighted how interactive maps and text messages were used to save lives in Haiti. This presentation will describe how Ushahidi’s interactive Crisis Map of Haiti was combined with crowdsourcing and text messaging to enable unprecedented and near real-time, two-way communication with disaster affected communities. The talk will include real examples to explain how emergency responders used Ushahidi-Haiti in their relief efforts. In closing, the presentation will outline how the Ushahidi platform and mobile technology will be used by Haitians themselves as a transparency and accountability tool in the coming months. For the first time ever, a disaster affected population will have the ability to use crowdsourcing and mobile technology to hold the development community fully accountable for the way their country is rebuilt. Secretary Clinton has described this as the new nervous system of our planet.
Patrick Meier is the Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi and the co-founder of the International Network of Crisis Mappers. He previously co-founded and co-directed Harvard University’s (HHI) Program on Crisis Mapping and Early Warning. He has consulted for many international organizations including the UN, OSCE and OECD on numerous crisis mapping and conflict early warning projects in Africa, Asia and Europe. Patrick is a recognized expert and thought leader on the intersection between new technologies, early warning, civil resistance, human rights and humanitarian response. He has written extensively on these topics and has presented his work at numerous high-profile conferences worldwide. Patrick is also completing his PhD at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and is currently a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Program on Liberation Technologies. He has an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University and is an alum of the Sante Fe Institute’s (SFI) Complex Systems Program. Patrick blogs at iRevolution.net.