Home > Uncategorized > Crisis Relief and Crowd-sourcing – ‘Clowd’ Technology Comes of Age

Crisis Relief and Crowd-sourcing – ‘Clowd’ Technology Comes of Age

Over the last few weeks I have gone through something of an awakening.  For the first time in a long time I am not underwhelmed by technology, not frustrated at the gap between the vision and the reality and no longer despairing over the amount of effort its takes by a specialised few to crank the handle, only to deliver a small, deformed nugget in place of a bronze masterpiece.  I am truly impressed by the coming of age of information, technology and people, their agility, versatility and ability to deliver change.  Let me explain…

Following the Haiti Earthquake, an organisation called Crisis Commons (http://crisiscommons.org/ Twitter: @crisiscommons) spearheaded what was to become a global phenomena, encouraging anyone connected to the internet to make a difference to Haitians and relief workers on the ground.  Leveraging relationships built during Hurricane Katrina, Crisis Commons acted as broker to NGO’s, government organisations, relief agencies and internet savvy volunteers to rapidly define, refine and deliver hundreds of (wo)man-hours supporting the development, delivery and management of data.  People have come together to work on all sorts of activities and projects from ‘tagging’ photo’s in a people finder system with descriptive words to developing new mobile applications and databases for Creole translation, coordinating aid, managing hospital places and bringing together resources.  Crisis Camps, as the local meetings are called, are happening from LA to London with more starting up in Europe and beyond.

I have long been an advocate of Agile approaches in all aspects of the delivery of business systems.  This has led me down paths into the worlds of SOA, DSDM, Agile, Open Standards,  XML, BPM and Agile Project Management but it is the gelling of these with Cloud and Crowd-sourcing (Clowd?) that has pulled all the pieces together for me.  The significance here is that technical and non technical people can now take part in information creation and management in a previously unseen way.  Granny’s to teens can contribute to essential activities that can make an immediate difference to people’s lives on the ground.  From a business perspective, this whole process has reinforced the writings of people like Reuven Cohen (Twitter: @ruv) and Chris Potts (Twitter: @chrisdpotts) which, although very much aligned with my beliefs, eluded me.  The Enterprise Architecture can truly be fully owned by the business and its value realisation is now enabled for innovation by the workforce, not dictated by a technical few.

For more information about Crisis Commons, their projects and how you can get involved see http://crisiscommons.org

– Barry

barry_sage@hotmail.com

Linkedin: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/barrysage

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