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I am passionate about:
human empowerment through sustainable technology
A little known fact about me is:
I moved 53 times before 18 years of age
Show my name on the attendees list for events I am attending:
Boston, MA, United States
Technical Writer / Inventor / Artist
"partially reformed gypsy with deep love for human nature"
I am an innovator coming into his prime as the means of production falls into the hands of the imaginative. Empathy, sensuality, vibrance and action are values for me. I have a traumatized history that compels me to bring healing through creative empowerment. I am a firm believer in the human potential for resiliency and I never hesitate to question the status quo.
Thank you so much for your comment. Much of my idea for this was created by watching 'western' aid workers using their technology to coordinate *for* affected populations. I also saw training situations where aid workers were taught to not trust input from local populations. The worst, to me, was the practice of not providing updates to affected persons for fear of ‘getting their hopes up’. I found all of this behavior colonialist and patronizing in a world where access to a cell phone with SMS capability is reaching 100%. The very premise of this project is aimed at persons using a cell phone with at least SMS capability. We do find that migrant populations very often have smartphones, or at least one in the group however. The interactions for persons with an SMS-only phone would be limited to lists of resources matching, but I envisioned these persons sending their needs and what they have to offer, to a central location where more sophisticated matching would take place, rather than on their phone specifically. Using SMS shortcodes, we can alleviate connection costs. For an example of how sophisticated interactions can take place with SMS I would point you to an excellent example called Elva. These developers started around 2011 and have been able to provide a great deal of community benefit through ‘simple’ interactions using regular ‘non-smart’ phones. My design accommodates sophisticated analysis and technologies, but does not rely on them exclusively. Thank you again for the comment, and I look forward to more conversations around Has/Needs or other aspects of respectful autonomy for the human family!
P.S. I think the lack of positive response is because the premise is so different than social workers and humanitarian aid workers are trained to think and operate. I have found that “you can’t trust the people” is a common sentiment (that seems profoundly off base).
Chau, Thank you so much for responding, and for your interest. I haven’t finished the descriptive presentation yet, but this idea is the most scaleable ever! Primarily because the network resulting from it’s use grows organically from any one seed. Example. I have the app, and you have the app. We are in a similar geographic location, and we both post a need, and we both post a resource, and we both agree to share all that without sharing specific location. We both need “water” for instance. You know the email address of a city worker who drives a water truck, so you send your water request to them. Perhaps as a driver they do not schedule the water deliveries, so they forward it to their supervisor who then forwards it to a city official. Both of those ‘forwards’ create a notification in your app when they happen (so you know the location and status of your request) and the city official responds to you. The app now ‘knows’ that for a water request, the city official responds, and any new requests can go straight to that person. Being in the same geographic location, you and I can choose to identify as being in the same ‘community’ and you can share your network with me, and my “water” request can then be sent to the “functional node” (the city worker who responded). Similarly, the city worker might have the app, and join the ‘community’ of city services, listing “water” as a “resource” they have to offer, so when we submit our water request (a need) in our location, that resource will show up for both of us. This exchange required only one person to have access to the app. Every additional person with the app can join into the community, or they can remain independent and just share with a select group (such as a group of transiting IDP’s). This idea scales because the network resources are contained in each node. Network growth benefits from more users as the connection between ‘need’ and ‘resource’ becomes consolidated (i.e. more direct and relevant) and that shared network is available to all users in that self identified ‘community’, which, in turn makes the response more efficient through clustering of similar needs in similar geographic locations. Each IDP group coming through an area can share their network with others, and the local community can be a network of their own, offering resources to anyone with that need in their geographic location (ensuring continuity when IDP traffic has long gaps). Just as a need or resource can be anything, a community can be anything. There is no overarching authority, no top-down control, and absolute self managed security in the hands of every user. The advantage is that large scale responders get to know exactly what’s needed and where in high detail, allowing them to shape the most efficient delivery. This method also gives a great amount of detail concerning who is trusted and who is not. Every node is subject to reputation ranking that influences to what degree their needs or resources are shared with others and are utilized. This even works in the negative. Nodes with very poor reputation should get some additional attention to stave off problems in the future. Nodes with very good reputation in any community (especially post disaster) become organizing hubs and points of contact, naturally. This system provides safety and empowerment at the cost of authoritarian control (not a bad trade off). I am working on the infographic as I have time (I’m looking for work myself right now... so I’ll keep plugging away) but if there are any missing pieces or unconsidered issues PLEASE let me know and I’ll address them. BTW this system also provides a means to use the output of biometric scanners that keep popping up everywhere, without compromising personal security and dignity.