When Crowdsourcing is Not Democracy

A response to “Democratizing ICT4D with DIY Innovation and Open Data” In the digital era, it’s easier to conflate participation with democracy. This is a dangerous and unfortunate trend as it degrades the very concept of what a democracy can and should be: a transparent, participatory, and accountable means of representative governance. Voting itself doesn’t … Continue reading

Learning From Japan’s Disaster

Originally published on Huffington Post During the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shooting, students and witnesses desperately tried to send text messages to 911. Local dispatchers never received them because their systems only take voice calls. As technology rapidly changes, what lessons can be learned from tragic situations like the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, … Continue reading

Leaking Peace

Modern warfare is not just violence, but also peacebuilding initiatives. One of the problems with releasing 90,000+ documents, as WikiLeaks did, and not reporting on the contents of those documents, as the media didn’t, is that the story of the war becomes skewed. Meaning that anyone trying to make sense of a war that has raged … Continue reading

Haiti: this is not a test

Do countries need a 911-type emergency response system? The situation in Haiti proves that this is not only necessary, but that it needs to be open for anyone to enter and access the data. The response to the earthquake in Haiti had shown a radical shift in relief efforts. Rather than organizations with similar interests … Continue reading