Five years ago we presented at PodCampTO discussing the novel emergence of virtual volunteers using digital technology, social media platforms and crowdsourcing as an ad hoc response to the Haitian Earthquakes. This year we return to share our journey from our spontaneous, citizen-driven community resilience efforts to formal international networks of digital humanitarians supplying Information Aid to communities and acting as key partners with traditional humanitarian NGO’s and government agencies. This follow up will explore how the activities of virtual technical communities have evolved from being independent actors during major humanitarian disasters to fully integrated partners with international response agents such as the United Nations; and locally, the development of Virtual Operations Support Teams that are changing the way governments manage disaster response information and communication.
Key Take Aways
- How to get involved to contribute digital skills to citizen-driven community resilience
- The history and evolution of virtual technical communities related to digital humanitarians
- Specific digital volunteer activities such as response efforts to the Syrian conflict, Nepal Earthquakes, and Hurricane Sandy
- Emerging research and applications of technology such as machine learning and aerial robotics
- The creation of the Canadian Virtual Operations Support Team