Yoda: UN Explores Data Revolution

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Thinking, they are.

Towards a Data Revolution

This summer UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established the Independent Expert Advisory Group (IAEG) to provide concrete recommendations on how to achieve a Data Revolution for sustainable development. The IEAG report – due in early November – will be a crucial opportunity to explain how better quality and more timely data can transform development. The group is also looking for innovative approaches to data collection, publication, and use.

To solicit input from all communities of practice – particularly academia – the IAEG is hosting a public consultation at undatarevolution.org to solicit input into its work until October 15, 2015In spite of the short notice, we strongly encourage you to submit your ideas and suggestions for the data revolution. Please share this message widely and provide your comments on the IEAG website.

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Oct 11

Event: 13-15 July NYC Hackers on Planet Earth

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Call for Activities: workshops, artwork, collaborative spaces.  Submit your ideas.

HOPE Number Nine Call for Hackerspaces seeks participation

Keynote announced!  The Yes Men will talk about their approach to hacking corporations and saving the world.  See the press release at 2600.com.

About HOPE

HOPE Number Nine will be taking place on July 13, 14, and 15, 2012 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. H.O.P.E. stands for Hackers On Planet Earth, one of the most creative and diverse hacker events in the world that’s been happening since 1994.

We’re planning three full days and nights of activities, including more of the provocative and enlightening speakers that the HOPE conferences are known for. In addition, we have access to a massive amount of space to put together all sorts of hacker projects and assorted fun stuff. In the past we’ve had huge hackerspace villages, film festivals, Segway rides, lockpicking villages, a wide variety of vendors, art installations, live radio, vintage computers, robots, ham radio installations, electronics workshops, book signings, and the country’s biggest supply of Club-Mate.

Now imagine all of that happening right in the middle of New York City, across the street from Penn Station and down the block from the Empire State Building. It seems impossible, but with the hard work and dedication of our huge volunteer staff, we’re able to pull it off. You can also become part of the magic, whether by attending or volunteering to help run the event with us. We also encourage attendees to submit ideas for talks or to suggest projects that we may not have ever thought of before.

We’ll be adding more information to the various sections of this site as it develops. Please explore and spread the word!

Phi Beta Iota: The least expensive most versatile mind-expanding event in the English-speaking world.

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Jun 12

Patrick Meier: Does the Humanitarian Industry Have a Future in The Digital Age?

Patrick Meier

Does the Humanitarian Industry Have a Future in The Digital Age?

I recently had the distinct honor of being on the opening plenary of the 2012 Skoll World Forum in Oxford. The panel, “Innovation in Times of Flux: Opportunities on the Heels of Crisis” was moderated by Judith Rodin, CEO of the Rockefeller Foundation. I’ve spent the past six years creating linkages between the humanitarian space and technology community, so the conversations we began during the panel prompted me to think more deeply about innovation in the humanitarian space. Clearly, humanitarian crises have catalyzed a number of important innovations in recent years. At the same time, however, these crises extend the cracks that ultimately reveal the inadequacies of existing humanita-rian organizations, particularly those resistant to change; and “any organization that is not changing is a battle-field monument” (While 1992).

These cracks, or gaps, are increasingly filled by disaster-affected communities themselves thanks in part to the rapid commercialization of communication technology. Question is: will the multi-billion dollar humanitarian industry change rapidly enough to avoid being left in the dustbin of history?

Crises often reveal that “existing routines are inadequate or even counter-productive [since] response will necessarily operate beyond the boundary of planned and resourced capabilities” (Leonard and Howitt 2007). More formally, “the ‘symmetry-breaking’ effects of disasters undermine linearly designed and centralized administrative activities” (Corbacioglu 2006). This may explain why “increasing attention is now paid to the capacity of disaster-affected communities to ‘bounce back’ or to recover with little or no external assistance following a disaster” (Manyena 2006).

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Apr 9

David Isenberg: Revolution at State? Or Lipstick on the Pig?

David Isenberg

Revolution @State: The Spread of Ediplomacy

Executive summary

The US State Department has become the world’s leading user of ediplomacy. Ediplomacy now employs over 150 full-time personnel working in 25 different ediplomacy nodes at Headquarters. More than 900 people use it at US missions abroad.

Ediplomacy is now used across eight different program areas at State: Knowledge Management, Public Diplomacy and Internet Freedom dominate in terms of staffing and resources. However, it is also being used for Information Management, Consular, Disaster Response, harnessing External Resources and Policy Planning.

In some areas ediplomacy is changing the way State does business. In Public Diplomacy, State now operates what is effectively a global media empire, reaching a larger direct audience than the paid circulation of the ten largest US dailies and employing an army of diplomat-journalists to feed its 600-plus platforms. In other areas, like Knowledge Management, ediplomacy is finding solutions to problems that have plagued foreign ministries for centuries.

The slow pace of adaptation to ediplomacy by many foreign ministries suggests there is a degree of uncertainty over what ediplomacy is all about, what it can do and how pervasive its influence is going to be. This report – the result of a four-month research project in Washington DC – should help provide those answers.

2012-04-03 Hanson_Revolution-at-State (PDF 34 pages)

Robert Steele

ROBERT STEELE:  Fergus Hanson of Australia has done a truly superb job of describing the considerable efforts within the Department of State to achieve some semblance of electronic coherence and capacity.  What he misses–and this does not reduce the value of his effort in the slightest–is the complete absence of strategy or substance within State, or legitimacy in the eyes of those being addressed.  If the Department of State were to demand the pre-approved Open Source Agency for the South-Central Campus, and get serious about being the lead agency for public intelligence in the public interest, ediplomacy could become something more than lipstick on the pig.   The money is available.  What is lacking right now is intelligence with integrity in support of global Whole of Government strategy, operations, tactics, and technical advancement (i.e. Open Source Everything).

See Also:

2012 THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth & Trust

2012 PREPRINT FOR COMMENT: The Craft of Intelligence

Open Source Agency: Executive Access Point

Preparing America’s Foreign Policy for the Twenty-first Century

Review (Guest): No More Secrets – Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence

Review: No More Secrets – Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence

Robert Steele: Citizen in Search of Integrity (Full Text Online for Google Translate)

Robert Steele: Itemization of Information Pathologies

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Apr 3