Director for CGD Europe
Author of "Digital Humanitarians"
The information overflow that occurs in the wake of a disaster can paralyze humanitarian response efforts. Computers, mobile phones, social media, mainstream news, earth-based sensors, humanitarian drones, and orbiting satellites generate vast volumes of data during major disasters. Making sense of this flash flood of information, or "Big Data" is proving a perplexing challenge for traditional humanitarian organizations. Aid groups are more adept at dealing with information scarcity than overflow.
To address this problem many organizations are turning to Digital Humanitarians: tech-savvy volunteers who craft and leverage ingenious crowdsourcing solutions with trail-blazing insights from artificial intelligence. This talk focused on the rise of Digital Humanitarians and described how their humanity coupled with innovative solutions to Big Data is changing humanitarian response forever.
Patrick Meier is an internationally recognized thought-leader on humanitarian technology and innovation. His new book "Digital Humanitarians" has already been endorsed by Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, UN, World Bank and the Red Cross. Patrick directs QCRI's Social Innovation Program where he develops "Next Generation Humanitarian Technologies" in partnership with international humanitarian organizations. He has a PhD from The Fletcher School, Pre-Doc from Stanford and an MA from Columbia. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Times, Wired and Mashable. Patrick's influential blog iRevolutions has received over 1.5 million hits. He tweets at @patrickmeier.