Gathered in meeting rooms at universities and offices in four different countries, a flurry of typing, conversations, collaborations and snacks are powering an army of technology volunteers committed to helping the situation in Haiti.
CrisisCamps, sponsored by CrisisCommons, are open, collaborative events that allow digital citizens to come together using technology to support the Haitian earthquake relief efforts. This tech-savvy crisis response is building the tools and resources being used on the ground by responders and non-governmental organizations. Over the last two weeks, volunteers at CrisisCamps have built some radical technology tools, including mobile applications, to aid the flow of vital information in and out of Haiti.
If you fear you have no place amongst the programmers at CrisisCamp, think again. CrisisCamp coordinators find a way for everyone to contribute. Part of the Wiki is "Simple Tasks That Anyone Can Do," which consists of matching text messages to records in the Google People Finder that has been created.
Government 2.0 on an international scale can also be evidenced at CrisisCamp, with the United Nations Development Program asking CrisisCommons and its legion of volunteers to provide a list of RSS feeds in English and French to aid their ability to monitor all news on the crisis. It is this outsourcing to volunteers that is making information flow to aid the relief and rescue efforts in Haiti. A visit to the CrisisCommons Wiki will give you a list of innovative ways that you can get involved, even from the comfort of your own home.
CrisisCamp reflects our ability to apply technology to serve humanity. The message is clear: every click counts.
Camps are taking place in Montreal, Toronto, Bogota, London, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Portland, Seattle, Sunnyvale (CA) and Washington, D.C. To follow the progress of CrisisCamp, search Twitter with the hashtag #crisiscommons.
Follow Christina Gagnier on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gagnier