Sahana Software Foundation Overview at the 2016 Global CAP Implementation Workshops on 8/22/2016

As president of the Sahana Software Foundation, I had the privilege of delivering a brief overview describing Sahana to the 2016 Global CAP Implementation Workshops held at the Asian Institute of Technology near Bangkok, Thailand. Slides are embedded below.

This conference was my first time engaging, in-person, with the disaster relief community outside the United States and I was extremely impressed. Unlike most conferences I attend in which there is an abstract “theme” with random and broad sessions, this conference had a laser-like focus on a very specific data standard called the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP).  The goal of this protocol is to facilitate in the exchange of “all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over all kinds of networks.”

Presentations and discussion were focused on the design and implementation of this specific data standard. There  were also sessions organized in which stakeholders worked together to create field-by-field recommendations for how to improve future versions of CAP. The amount of information that was shared and the effective collaborations that took place were inspiring.

We need many many more events that are focused exclusively on the design and implementation of data standards within the disaster relief and resilience community. If we can come together to create  a shared language and set of data standards for our work, then information sharing will become radically easier. Easier information sharing leads to better situational awareness, more efficient resource distribution, and more positive outcomes.

I’m look forward to bringing some of the the tools and techniques I learned at this event back with me to the USA.

“Open Tech and Open Data: The Key to Whole Community Engagement” at IAEM 2015

The International Association of Emergency Management (IAEM) Conference was described to me as the Oscars of Emergency Management field. The event took place in the Paris Hotel in Las Vega November 14th. It was three days after the Paris attacks. Walking under the hotels faux Eiffel Tower and through its simulated Parisian streets was uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, the event was quite informative. Right before my presentation was a session about building your own emergency operations center (EOC) with inexpensive off the shelf tools and another one by the head of St Louis’s Office of Emergency Management explaining how he managed the reaction to the killing of Michael Brown.

My presentation wasn’t as well attended as I had hoped. Maybe the title wasn’t compelling. But it went well. The audience was engaged and we had a good back and forth. Unfortunately, due to technical problems, my sessions wasn’t recorded like all the others. I would have really liked to have seen that video. Instead, at the request of the IAEM, I recorded my presentation via Hangout Live. You can see that video here.

This presentation is the most well rounded of them all. It gives a solid overview of the four facets of open aid:

  • Open Technologies
  • Open Data
  • Grassroots Disaster Relief Networks
  • Volunteer Technical Communities

At the end it offers a diagram for how we build an integrated information management ecosystem cycling information from local community groups through municipal, state and federal agencies and channel resources effectively.

Google Presentation

Video of Presentation

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“Sharing Data to Improve How We Cooperate, Coordinate, Communicate & Collaborate” at NVOAD 5/14/15

This presentation was delivered at the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Conference 2015 in New Orleans.

I’ve been an active (and actively marginalized) participant in my local NYCVOAD community, so it was nice to feel accepted by the broader VOAD community.

Of all the presentations I’ve given, this one felt the best. The audience was very engaged and we had a robust back and forth. It felt electric. Outbursts came from the audience. It felt like a unique space. The feedback was fantastic. Much thanks goes to Marie Irvine who helped put the presentation together and who co-presented with me.

This presentation is based around the concept that “Open Networks that efficiently provide relief after a disaster are built on Open Technology and Open Data. It explains NYC:Prepared’s toolset and has extensive training materials about open data within the context of disaster.

Google Presentation

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NYC:Prepared Presentation at RaCERS John Jay College 10/14/14

“The Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies (RaCERS) is a unique applied research center focused on documentation of lessons learned and planning for future large-scale incidents.”

I had the honor of presenting to one of their classes of students pursuing masters degrees in Emergency Management as well as a number of professors in the school.

This presentation was very similar to the one at the IEEE HTC Conference a few days earlier, but since it was to a New York focused audience, I explored the connection between Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Sandy a bit more extensively.

The audience reaction was extremely positive. The professors and students asked a ton of questions and everyone expressed frustration with the state of information sharing in the Emergency Management sector. There was one older man who mean mugged me the entire presentation, had no questions and didn’t say a word. I couldn’t tell if he was upset with me for arriving late (sorry!) or because he really didn’t like the way I presented Occupy Wall Street as an important element in the resilience of New York City.

Google Presentation

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NYC:Prepared Presentation at IEEE HTC 2014

I had the honor of presenting NYC:Prepared at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Humanitarian Technology Conference 2014 held in San Jose, California.

The presentation situates Occupy Sandy within the context of Occupy Wall Street and explains how social movements prepare participants to respond during disaster.

It goes on to outline four phases of Occupy Sandy activity:

  • Scouting
  • Networking
  • Relationship Building
  • Autonomy Projects

NYC:Prepared is one of the autonomous projects that emerged from Occupy Sandy. The presentation continue with a vision of how grassroots communities and institutional relief providers can use free and open technology to more effectively collaborate.

I review the software and data needs of various stakeholders and propose a set of free and open solutions.  Then I present the various tools and template we’ve made available in New York City and beyond.

The presentation is long and pretty comprehensive – too much so for the audience. They appreciated my style and enthusiasm but in the future I’ll certainly try to reduce the comprehensive nature of the presentation and focus more on precisely what I want to deliver the specific audience.

Presentation on Google

PDF Archive

NYC:Prepared Presentation at NYC OEM Volunteer Conference 5/31/14

Thanks to a positive reviews from my presentation at the Red Cross in April 2014, I was invited to present at NYC Office of Emergency Management’s Volunteer Conference on 5/31/14.

Since I was speaking to city officials and volunteers, I tried to show the audience how they could use simple techniques to understand, share and collaborate using data.

Some of the elements in this presentation were developed further to create my Data Basics Training.

Google Presentation

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