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Breakout Session [clear filter]
Tuesday, March 21


Afternoon Breakout 3 – Climbing the Tower of Babel: Eliminating the Language Barrier in Crisis Response
Limited Capacity seats available

Aliens have arrived and no one knows what they want or how to work with them. Call in the linguist! That may have been the premise of the recent Hollywood blockbuster Arrival, but it is not dissimilar to the situation that humanitarians and affected people often face: a language barrier reducing communications and affecting the overall effectiveness of the response. In this session, we will explore the problem and exciting new technologies in voice, machine learning, accessibility to information and community engagement to improve true communications. We will ask and try to answer the following: How do we listen to all voices in a crisis, regardless of language? Should we be focused on communications and content from affected communities, not the other way around? Is our content actually understood by people who need it? Is translation enough, and does it matter? Registration is required for this session and participation is capped at 35 people.

avatar for Rebecca Petras

Rebecca Petras

Deputy Director, Translators without Borders
The 'participation revolution' in humanitarian response requires a re-think on how we communicate, and, more specifically, in what languages. If we are truly letting go and allowing affected populations to lead response in the way that makes sense for them, then we need to consider... Read More →

avatar for Ed Bice

Ed Bice

Chief Executive Officer, Medan
Meedan (from the Arabic for town square or gathering place) is a global cabal of journalists and technologists working on open source software designed to _deepen_ (context, annotation, fact-check, verify) and _widen_ (translation) the www. Check is a platform for collaborative... Read More →
avatar for Rob Munro

Rob Munro

Humanitarian and Technology experience includes: working in post-conflict development in Liberia and Sierra Leone for UNHCR; researching health communications in Malawi; software development supporting endangered languages; running crowdsourced translation following disasters in Haiti... Read More →
avatar for Jeff Pitman

Jeff Pitman

Lead of Product Engineering, Google Translate, Google
Jeff Pitman joined Google in 2005 and currently leads the Google Translate product engineering team. His team is responsible for showcasing Google's state of the art in translation technologies through Search, Chrome, Web, and our native Android and iOS apps. His teams have integrated... Read More →
avatar for Diane Wagner

Diane Wagner

Director, Language Solutions, Microsoft
Access to information in a language an individual understands is a human right. At Microsoft, we’re working on automated language solutions - machine translation and speech recognition - that support many scenarios, including humanitarian relief. 

Tuesday March 21, 2017 1:30pm - 3:15pm
CL5 - Altoona Curve 1500 Crittenden Lane, Mountain View, CA 93403
Wednesday, March 22


Morning Breakout 2 – Collecting and Analysing Data to Improve Humanitarian Response
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Humanitarian organizations are under increasing pressure to collect community feedback and other data points to continuously improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and relevance of humanitarian programmes. How can humanitarian organizations partner with ICT companies to collect and analyse data in a timely and efficient fashion?

avatar for Simone Ross

Simone Ross

Co-Founder, Techonomy Media
Simone oversees the organization and programming for the Techonomy (techonomy.com) conferences. Techonomy conferences and editorial focus on the intersection of tech and the economy, and the role of tech as a driver for social and economic productivity and progress.At FORTUNE Simone... Read More →

avatar for Linus Bengtsson

Linus Bengtsson

Executive Director, Flowminder
Flowminder Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Stockholm, Geneva and Southampton. Flowminder's mission is to improve public health and welfare in low- and middle-income countries. We work with governments, inter-governmental organizations and NGOs and collect, aggregate... Read More →
avatar for Dale Kunce

Dale Kunce

Global Lead – ICT and Analytics, American Red Cross
Dale Kunce leads the international ICT and Analytics teams at the American Red Cross where he is responsible for the adoption and creation of open source software, open data standards, and open data to inform the international work of the Red Cross. Dale is a geospatial engineer... Read More →
avatar for Josh Musick

Josh Musick

Principal Design Director, frog
Josh Musick is a veteran experience designer and hands-on creative lead with deep expertise with complex design systems, experience strategy and product design. He works as a Principal Design Director at frog and faculty member at the MFA Interaction Design program at the School of... Read More →
avatar for Nicholas van Praag

Nicholas van Praag

Director, Ground Truth Solutions
Nick van Praag directs Ground Truth Solutions, an organization he founded in 2012 to help humanitarian actors systematically listen and respond to the people aid agencies set out to help.Ground Truth Solutions is now working with a range of partners in some 15 countries, from Syrian theatre and the Philippines to Nepal and Haiti... Read More →
avatar for Erik Schlegel

Erik Schlegel

Senior Engineer, Microsoft
Mr. Schlegel is a senior engineer at Microsoft, and based in the Austin area. He's an open source enthusiast and one of the earlier contributors to the react native Universal Windows Platform (UWP). Erik leads the engineering effort of Project Fortis, an open source early warning... Read More →
avatar for Adele Waugaman

Adele Waugaman

Senior Advisor, Digital Health, USAID
Adele Waugaman is Senior Advisor, Digital Health, at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). An affiliated expert and former fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, she is also a frequent commentator on technology and development trends, having appeared in news... Read More →

Wednesday March 22, 2017 10:45am - 12:30pm
CL2 - Crane Beach Tech Talk 1200 Crittenden Lane, Mountain View, CA 94303


Morning Breakout 3 – Towards Common Humanitarian Standards for the Use of ICTs
Limited Capacity seats available

In a modern humanitarian response, success often depends on the use and deployment of ICTs. However, while the humanitarian community has general protection principles and standards, there is currently no comprehensive guidance on the use of ICTs and the information they generate. ICT solutions in emergency settings require ethical standards so that they can be truly deployed in a humanitarian way. How can humanitarians and the private sector work together in agreeing on common humanitarian standards for the use of ICTs in emergencies, and what should these be? Registration is required for this session and participation is capped at 35 people. This session will be conducted under Chatham House rules.

avatar for Daniel P. Scarnecchia

Daniel P. Scarnecchia

Researcher at Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
Daniel Scarnecchia leads the Standards and Ethics program at the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, focusing on data governance, standards, and ethics in the Humanitarian sector.  His current work aims to understand and identify... Read More →

avatar for Joseph Guay

Joseph Guay

Associate, The Policy Lab
Joseph Guay is an independent consultant who has developed innovation strategies for the Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation (GAHI), World Vision’s Nepal Innovation Lab (NLab), the Global Protection Cluster at UNHCR, and the inter-agency Response Innovation Lab (RIL) drawing... Read More →
avatar for Christine Knudsen

Christine Knudsen

Executive Director, Sphere
Christine Knudsen joined Sphere as the Director in November 2014, bringing with her nearly 20 years of experience balanced between UN and NGO assignments, field response and policy development, focusing on operational collaboration.  As the chief of UNICEF’s humanitarian partnerships... Read More →

Wednesday March 22, 2017 10:45am - 12:30pm
CL5 - Altoona Curve 1500 Crittenden Lane, Mountain View, CA 93403


Afternoon Breakout 3 – Increasing Data Literacy through the Humanitarian Data Fellows Programme
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

More and more data is being collected in humanitarian operations, but is it being used effectively? Early warning, trends analysis, beneficiary feedback and other important opportunities to improve humanitarian operations may be missed because humanitarian organizations lack data-analysis capacity. This interactive, small-group workshop will support the establishment of the Humanitarian Data Fellows Programme being launched through the Centre for Humanitarian Data in The Hague later this year. Academic and technology sector partners will work together with humanitarian organizations to consider the requirements and design of this programme to increase data literacy for humanitarian organizations. Registration is required for this session and participation is capped at 35 people.

avatar for Amanda Noonan

Amanda Noonan

Strategy Director – frogImpact, frog
Passionate about data, systems and social impact, Amanda is excited to bring her experience as a researcher and implementer across the global humanitarian and development worlds to frog.At frog Amanda is the lead for frog’s global social impact design practice frogImpact where she... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Telford

Sarah Telford

Program Lead – Centre for Humanitarian Data, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Sarah Telford is Chief of Data Services at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. She oversees a global open data platform, the Humanitarian Data Exchange, and is the lead for establishing a new Centre for Humanitarian Data in the Netherlands in early... Read More →

Wednesday March 22, 2017 1:30pm - 3:15pm
CL5 - Altoona Curve 1500 Crittenden Lane, Mountain View, CA 93403