There are a couple very exciting disaster preparedness and response events occurring in Washington, D.C. at the end of this week — the CrisisCommons Roundtable and the First International CrisisCommons. (I was hoping to attend but my medical treatment prevents me from traveling right now.) The good news that if you cannot make it to the Nation’s Capital, you can follow the proceedings on the web.
CrisisCommons, according to its website, “is a volunteer technology community dedicated to bringing together technology, innovation and volunteers to help people and communities in times and places of crisis.” I was lucky to have attended the first CrisisCamp held in Washington last June. Since then, the organization has taken off with CrisisCamps organized all over the world in the wake of the Haiti earthquake and Gulf oil spill. Already, output from the Commons (such as the Oil Reporter) is having a significant impact.
On Thursday, the CrisisCommons and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars are hosting, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a series of roundtables with crisis response organizations (nongovernmental groups or non profits), members of the private sector and the academic community.
To sign up for the CrisisCommons roundtable series, click on any of these: NGO/Nonprofit Roundtable, Private Sector Roundtable, Academic Consortium Roundtable. If you are a member of these communities and cannot attend, you can provide written feedback or suggestions on their wiki and participate via webcast. (Roundtable Webcast Schedule: 8:15AM EDT – NGO/NonProfit Webcast / 12:45PM EDT – Private Sector Webcast / 3:45PM EDT – Academic Consortium Webcast)
On Friday, CrisisCommons community with support from the Sloan Foundation and the World Bank will host the First International CrisisCongress at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC. This forum will explore lessons learned from CrisisCamp Haiti and CrisisCamp Chile and the opportunities and challenges of building a sustainable volunteer community whose mission is to use technology tools and expertise to aid communities in crisis.
There are a small number of tickets left to attend the International CrisisCongress in person. To register to attend click here. To attend virtually please click to the Congress webcast beginning at 8:30AM EDT (mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/live). The CrisisCommons Twitter feed is here.
To give you a better sense of the CrisisCommons concept, I have posted this Current TV segment (below) “Geeks for Haiti”:
Current TV segment on CrisisCommons