Science and Technology Innovation Program
Webcast Day 2: Connecting Grassroots to Government for Disaster Management: A Policy Roundtable
In recognition of National Preparedness Month,
the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars presents:
Connecting Grassroots to Government for Disaster Management:
A Policy Roundtable
On behalf of the Commons Lab of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (The Wilson Center), the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation, the International Association for Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ESRI, TechChange, NetHope, and Project EPIC, we are honored to invite you to participate in a LIVE WEBCAST of the policy roundtable “Connecting Grassroots to Government for Disaster Management."
Unfortunately, the workshop itself is now full, but we will be making the majority of the panel discussions available live over the web from this Wilson Center webpage on:
- Thursday, September 13th from 8:30 AM to 5:35 PM Eastern (click on this link for Day 1), and
- Day 2: Friday, September 14 from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM Eastern (stay on this webpage for Day 2)
See the bottom of this page to download copies of the agenda and background materials.
Social Media Engagement
In addition, we had so much fun with TechChange helping us with our last event (Crowdsourcing and USAID Development Credit Loans) that we’ve asked them to facilitate the social media engagement for two keynote sessons:
- Keynote Discussion: Decision Maker Information Needs on Thursday, September 13th, from 8:30 - 10:00 AM Eastern, and
- Keynote on Connecting Grassroots to Government through Open Innovation on Friday, September 14th, from 1:00 - 2:00 PM US Eastern.
To watch the live webcasts of these two keynotes and submit your comments and questions:
- Draft Workshop Agenda
- Workshop Overview
- Research-to-Operations Position Paper by Eric Rasmussen
- Security of Crowdsourcing Letter by Rebecca Goolsby
- Vision for the Future Position Paper by Gisli Olafsson
By harnessing the collective power of citizens and engaging communities in their own response and recovery, new technologies and methods, like social media, crowdsourcing, and “crowd-mapping,” have the potential to transform disaster management. Yet many challenges – including characterization of reliability, guidelines for use, and demonstration of value – must be addressed before federal agencies can take full advantage of these approaches. Early uses of social media and crowdsourcing methods in disasters have raised a number of questions: Can citizens generate inputs to critical decisions faster and perhaps more accurately than traditional methods? What is the research telling us, and how are the best ideas being translated into practice? How have agencies successfully navigated potential roadblocks to the use of citizen-generated information, such as privacy and procurement or the Paperwork Reduction Act? When and how is it possible to innovate through open and participatory design with citizens and communities? This event will bring together members of the research, practitioner, policy, and “digital volunteer” communities to discuss the questions posed above and expand the list, as needed. The objectives are to build a community of interest, prioritize key issues, and identify possible solutions.
Keynote Discussion: Agency Vision and Decision-Maker Needs
Thursday, September 13th from 8:45 - 9:45 AM
Moderated by Alex Howard, Government 2.0 Washington Correspondent, O'Reilly Media
What information do local and federal government decision-makers need for disaster response and research? How do information needs differ for on-the-ground responders, back-office decision-makers, and those conducting research? Where might government agencies effectively leverage the power of social networking, crowdsourcing, and other innovations to augment existing information or intelligence and improve decision-making? What agency policies will need to be adapted or established? What is the strategic vision for the next 5-10 years?
Keynote: Connecting Grassroots to Government through Open Innovation
Friday, September 14th from 1:00pm-1:55pm US Eastern
Federal procurement rules are often oriented to controlling fair competition between entities that are unlikely to collaborate. Open innovation often takes the opposite approach: aggregating multiple tools into ecosystems that can solve complex problems through collaboration of organizations across specializations. When should agencies use competition or collaboration? What are the best methods and models for organizing collective work? From the perspective of leaders in government, what are the main challenges that need to be overcome if open innovation is to take a wider role in federal problem solving? This panel will assemble key players in the federal technology space and ask how to work towards open innovation for disaster response.