LOTE4 is all about tapping into citizen-resources and reorganizing services to tap into peer-to-peer networks and assets. Not surprisingly, when we feel lonely or isolated, are in immediate danger of flooding or some other disaster, or living with a long term medical condition it is help from friends, family and neighbors that we find the most helpful (this is why I think @Ben’s and Remy’s session on Future of Care in the Hands of Hackers? is the place to be at LOTE4)
Now imagine being able to mesh together all sorts of digital data- private sector ‘big data’ (telecom providers on how people user mobile phone); city’s data on urban planning, energy and water supply; citizen-generated crowdsourced data and tweets; digital platforms and networks that help organize and coordinate stuff like Uber and AirBnB. In a way, it’s tapping into the growing infrastructure of a sharing economy to help citizens reduce risks before a disaster strikes and bounce back faster from its effects (one of the better write-ups I’ve come across is by Helen Goulden of Nesta, with h/t @gquggiotto, while Patrick Meier has been a source of constant inspiration).
As mentioned up top, we’re already seeing some of this in action. San Francisco and Portland are working with AirBnB to strengthen city-level emergency preparedness, Rio de Janeiro is trading data on construction projects, city events, road sensors and cameras on its highways for real-time data of popular travel and cycling apps- Waze, Moovit and Strava- to do better traffic management and urban planning. In FYR Macedonia, an initiative is looking at whether the mobile phone data can be used as a proxy for real-time disaster management.
So, a few questions that may be interesting to go through (would love to get comments though- adding more, vetoing some of these?):
- Could we start a list of interesting digital data ‘stewards’ whose services and actions can be tapped into in emergencies?
- My 4-year old says that each time a particular boy in her school gets sniffles, the entire class is sick the next day. So, if preschoolers can be an early warning sensor network for a flu epidemic, do we consider only digital data or the existing data that can be made available in a form that it helps better, faster decision making?
- What nudges may get and keep these outfits playing ball? In San Francisco, some AirBnB hosts will be trained to be first responders in emergencies in their communities- who wouldn’t want to stay at that person’s place, right?
- Can or should this type of a process be engineered in a first place? After all, the examples we have (AirBnB, Waze, Moovit) took place without someone like UNDP getting involved. On the other side, most of these cases are coming from countries where a lot of services are already working well- what about the less developed places?
Update based on Twitter feedback:
A case from Japan where scientists figured out that the way people use their mobile phone can help predict where they will run when an earthquake strikes.
Date: 2014-10-25 13:30:00 - 2014-10-25 13:30:00, Europe/Brussels Time.