Innovation Versus Security In Kenya

Kenya is an exciting innovation hub spurring creative projects and pursuing steady progress. How long can this sustain and how will the upcoming elections fare, given the violence of the not-so-distant past? I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Kenya. Aside from seeing old friends, I had the pleasure of meeting with key members … 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

Volunteerism For Solidarity Or Social Capital

Clay Shirky opens the evening on stage, explaining that Ushahidi is a system that shows a community what it already knows. What’s interesting about the volunteer effort that developed around in response to the recent earthquake in Haiti is that it soon became something entirely different. A few nights ago, I had the pleasure of … Continue reading

Haiti’s need for community-led reconstruction

The outpouring of support in response to the devastating earthquake has been astounding, with over $58 million being raised by Hollywood alone through the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon organized by George Clooney. The European Union’s 27 nations are contributing $575 million. U.S. charities have raised $470 million for disaster. The U.S. is providing the … 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