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Collaborate, Build, Deploy, Repeat: The Next-Generation Emergency Response Platform

Emerging Topics
Location: Room 207 B
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 2 ratings)

After a succession of catastrophic natural disasters, there has been a surge in interest, participation and technical innovation in the disaster response community. The Internet now exposes a global audience to the raw fury of disasters like the earthquake in Haiti. It also informs, enables and empowers those that want to help. This session will examine what next-generation disaster response platform might look like. How can the multitude of government agencies, NGOs, and citizens collaborate to provide help to those who need it most? How can they build sustainable technologies and collaborative frameworks? How can current services be upgraded to meet the demands of thos in crisis?

Andy Carvin


Photo of Noel Dickover

Noel Dickover

Department of Defense Chief Information Officer (DoD CIO), Commercial Technologies & Systems Directorate (contractor)

Noel Dickover is a co-founder of CrisisCommons, and an independent consultant with over nineteen years professional experience focused on all aspects of human performance technology. His areas of expertise include: social software/Web 2.0 strategy & implementation, online community building, risk management, performance centered learning, needs assessment, usability design, work culture transformation, and group-based facilitation. He has consulted within a number of Federal agencies, including USAID, Health and Human Services, and the Department of Defense. Currently, he is supporting the DoD CIO’s office on social software and emerging technology. He has an MS degree in Cybernetics and General Systems Theory focusing on organizational change and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. As a consultant to the Department of Defense, Noel has served as one of the principle authors of DoD’s Web 2.0 policy (Responsible and Effective Use of Internet-based Capabilities), and also has contributed to a number of open government efforts which were recognized in the President’s Open Government: A Progress Report to the American People. Noel is also a Board Member for the Open Forum Foundation, a non-profit devoted to fostering responsive, open government. He has been published on a number of subjects including situational awareness and cultivating net-centric environments.

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Patrick Meier


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

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John Crowley

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and STAR-TIDES

John coordinates a community of developers who build solutions for big problems in humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations. One of those issues is how to create a bridge between governments, NGOs, and stressed populations using crowdsourcing and other forms of collective intelligence.

Supporting the STAR-TIDES initiative at the National Defense University, he led a tiger team to connect crowdsourcing communities with the U.S. Southern Command’s emergency operations centre during the Haiti response. Between earthquakes, John coordinates the “Camp Roberts” RELIEF experiments through the Naval Postgraduate School—a program that gathers participants from responder communities and challenges them to swarm around shared problems. Through the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, John is expanding an existing program in crisis mapping to include the theory and practice around collective intelligence for response operations.

John holds an MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was the Robert C. Seamans Fellow in Science, Technology, and Public Policy. He also holds masters and bachelors degrees in intellectual history and music from Boston University. He tweets at @jcrowley.

Heather Blanchard

Crisis Commons

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Walton Smith

Booz Allen Hamilton

Walton Smith is one of Booz Allen’s thought leaders in Enterprise/Gov 2.0. Walton’s entrepreneurial approach has led Booz Allen teams to design, develop and implement social media strategies for government agencies and private sector clients. Currently he leads the firm’s internal corporate investment strategy to bolster the Knowledge Management and Information Sharing Program including the platform. Mr. Smith steered the successful Enterprise/Gov 2.0 engagement across multiple teams improving the flow of information to and from consulting staff, and increasing the value of collaborative outcomes. He ensured adoption and usage of the new enterprise program by integrating change management strategy with the implementation of IT technologies including social networking and enterprise search. Mr. Smith previously led the successful implementation of two firm wide Business Process Reengineering (BPR) efforts, and the firm’s Microsoft SharePoint implementation.

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