Last weekend I attended CrisisCamp Boston organized by the Hurricane Hackers out of the MIT Media Lab. I went primarily to work on the meta-community organizing stuff (as is my custom) but also ended up working on a crisis response app with some really cool peeps.
Before I get to that, a few links.
Many of you know that I use Evernote for absolutely everything.. but this was the first event where I experimented with publishing my personal notes as a means of public engagement. I found this really helpful for both communicating with collaborators as well as keeping my head on straight. My notes: http://j.mp/sandyboston
Last weekend the NYC Office of Emergency Management put in a request for a hotel availability platform to streamline the process of sheltering people displaced by disasters like hurricane Sandy. A bunch of us naturally gravitated toward this project, and off we went!
We encountered a number of challenges (technical, legal, etc) along the way, and a few conceptual shifts.. but we ultimately decided on an app that:
searches for hotel room availability with filters such as low cost
enables hotel room booking using donations
We call it InnCrisis. Rather than deploying this app ourselves, we intend for InnCrisis to be a white label application that can be deployed by aid organizations to augment their existing placement efforts for people suddenly in need of shelter.
This app will be made possible by mashing up a few 3rd party API’s:
A few years back I used to organize a monthly meetup called NetSquared Atlanta which is an offshoot of Techsoup’s Net2local program. It went on for about a year and we had an absolutely wonderful host in the American Cancer Society.
There have been multiple attempts to start the group back up over the years but so far these attempts haven’t gelled.
So it’s time to try again!
My aim is to create a space where social change agents, techies and nonprofit professionals can come together and build an action network based on collaboration and innovation.
My plan is to organize three months of programming (August through October) and see where it goes from there.