HunchWorks: Combining human expertise and big data

Chris van der Walt (United Nations Global Pulse), Dane Petersen (Adaptive Path), Sara Farmer (UN Global Pulse)
Location: Sutton North Level: Intermediate
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

Global Pulse is a United Nations innovation initiative that is developing a new approach to crisis impact monitoring. One of the key outputs of the project is HunchWorks, a place where experts can post hypotheses—or hunches—that may warrant further exploration and then crowdsource data and verification. HunchWorks will be a key global platform for rapidly detecting emerging crises and their impacts on vulnerable communities. Using it, experts will be able to quickly surface ground truth and detect anomalies in data about collective behavior for further analysis, investigation and action.

The presentation will open with an introduction by Chris van der Walt (Project Lead, Global Pulse) to the problem that HunchWorks is being designed to address: How to detect the emerging impacts of global crises in real-time? A short discussion of the design thinking behind HunchWorks will follow plus an overview of the HunchWorks feature set.

Dane Petersen (Experience Designer, Adaptive Path) will then discuss some of the complex user experience design challenges that emerged as the team started to wrestle with developing HunchWorks and the approaches used to address them.

Sara Farmer (Chief Platform Architect, Global Pulse) will follow up with a discussion of the technology powering HunchWorks, which is based on autonomy, uncertain reasoning and human-machine team theories, and is designed to to allow users and automated tools to work collaboratively to reduce the uncertainty and missing data issues inherent in hunch formation and management.

The presentation will conclude with 10 minutes of Q&A from the audience.

Photo of Chris van der Walt

Chris van der Walt

United Nations Global Pulse

Chris van der Walt is the design lead for the United Nations Global Pulse project which is developing real-time technologies to identify vulnerable populations in crises. He has also worked extensively on communications strategy and design at the UN for the last 5 years. Previously, he worked as a freelance web development consultant for a variety of corporate and NGO clients. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Photo of Dane  Petersen

Dane Petersen

Adaptive Path

Dane is a designer at Adaptive Path’s San Francisco studio, where he has helped craft digital experiences for companies like SK Telecom, Capital Group, CEB, Aol and From obsessing over typographic grid layouts to wrestling with abstract theories of interpretation, Dane risks intellectual whiplash every day so that he can create more meaningful interactions for people.

Sara Farmer

UN Global Pulse

Sara is Global Pulse’s Chief Platform Architect. She’s spent over 20 years as a lead engineer, innovations strategist and manager of fast-paced creative small teams developing new technologies and business cultures, and is passionate about turning theory into reliable practice. Her specialist areas include innovations theories, technology strategy, business analysis, intelligent systems, systems engineering, information fusion and autonomy.


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