2019 FOSS4G Bucharest Talks speaker: Eriol Fox

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Designing for Crisis

Ushahidi designers have been investigating what makes communities strong, resilient and what empowers them to feel like they are an integral and valued part of a whole.

Building on a research led hypothesis, that more communicative and integrated communities fair better and recover faster when disasters like hurricanes, floods and terrorist attacks hit, we are building upon this statement from users: “We want to help people in a crisis and be helped back from our own”

Now the Ushahidi product design team are finding a way to foster connections between people to help each other in little ways using technology and innovative processes like Machine learning, automatic systems and digital social trust, then we believe that we can create more of these resilient communities world wide.

We’ll cover our recent in-depth field study in Nairobi communities and our wider community research worldwide.

From Government services, Ambulance and Police to lesser known organisations like urban search and rescue (USR), SARAID, Team Rubicon and The Red Cross and then on to the communities of regular people that are supported b services and organisations and how they participate in the safety and growth of their communities

Open Source Design with Humanitarian tools

Open Source design has a plethora of hurdles to leap before it could become fully adopted by the global design community. Exploitative ‘work for free attitudes’, workflows and how design functions/roles connect up through a product life cycle, how our software doesn’t yet allow for robust and collaborative versioning across different designers and how the open source community as a whole, is over represented by those with privilege, access and ability.

Ushahidi builds humanitarian tools, remotely for some of the most marginalised people across the globe. To tackle these systemic problems with how to ‘open source’ a design effort and bring the community along with the, ‘on-staff’ Ushahidi designers, we’ve been piloting a series of design jams on our crisis communication tool TenFour with our partners Designit and Adobe. Together, we’re looking to solve the problems with how open source design can work by engaging through meaningful technology that makes a difference in the world.

We’re here to take you through that journey.