Drone U: Using Drones to Save Lives in Humanitarian Crises

Slate

 

Here’s an excerpt from my podcast for Slate’s Future Tense series. Listen to the podcast on Slate:

This week, Drone U features a podcast from Celina Agaton, the Google-USAID fellow for the International Conference on Crisis Mapping. Agaton looks at ways that drones can supplement traditional geographic information systems to help save lives in humanitarian crises.

After Typhoon Yolanda, Agaton has been creating a network of drone volunteers in the Philippines to quickly map areas for damage assessment and rehabilitation projects. She is also working on a first-of-its-kind system to use drones to verify aid reports.

Could emerging economies end up teaching countries like the United States how to best apply drone technology to solve real world challenges?

Listen to the podcast.


Update on Drones for Mapping Typhoon Yolanda and Tracking Aid Relief

SkyeEye

Courtesy SkyEye


Just a quick update on the fly:

We’re up to 10 drones now and are looking at getting live streaming capabilities. The drones are currently being using for disaster mapping but will soon also verify aid delay reports.

Current mapping plans include these areas. We’re looking for volunteer pilots and mappers. Please PM me if you’re interested.

Priority Areas:
Northern Panay
Northern Negros
Northern Cebu
Leyte
Samar
Zamboanga

Our current team will be in Panay Island next week December 11 to December 15 our targets are:

A.) Capiz
B.) Aklan River Headwater (Libacao and Banga)

If we finish early we may go to Northern Negros to map some areas there.

December 16  to December 20  we will be in Davao and Compostela Valley
December 21 to December 28 will be in Cagayan De Oro Area (and maybe Zamboanga).
On the Return to manila we will head towards Cebu First and do Northern Cebu Again if we can.

In the long term, we’re looking to establish drone nodes that overlap with the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation’s eight priority areas:

-Northern Cebu
-Northern Negros
-Northern Panay
-Leyte
-Samar
-Palawan
-Bohol
-Zamboanga City

And then we hope to have 20 areas of coverage based on the disaster preparedness and response hubs we’ll be setting up and training in January. If you’re in Manila or available online over the next six months, we’ll need all the help we can get as we’ll be conducting a cross sector community resilience analysis identifying risk areas with logistics and political challenges in preparation for the upcoming monsoon season in June. I’ll set up a sign up sheet to organize contacts, availability, skills and locations soon.

More to come soon –

Celina


NGO and Private Sectors Launch Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation

PDRF Left PDRF Right

Update: Here’s Interaksyon’s coverage of our press conference.

This morning, I joined the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation to help announce a new initiative for the private sector and NGO sectors to collaborate together to share relief data, map initiatives and outline capabilities for Typhoon Yolanda, and to lay the groundwork for a national disaster preparedness plan. The PDRF is co-chaired by PLDT and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Ayala Corporation Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle.

The PDRF will act as a connecting point for the business community with the government, international aid agencies and the NGO community. For the Typhoon Yolanda disaster response, the foundation has identified six sectors for early recovery efforts: Shelter, Livelihood, Education, Environment, Infrastructure, and Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH), which will be focused in the following priority areas:

-Northern Cebu
-Northern Negros
-Northern Panay
-Leyte
-Samar
-Palawan
-Bohol
-Zamboanga City

UN Aid Clusters

I’ll be leading the cross sector mapping platform, where we map aid efforts and capabilities across NGOs, government and the private sector along the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (UN OCHA)’s current international humanitarian coordination system of 14 clusters. Two important new channels will be added to the map: citizen groups and citizen reports. There are clusters of large scale, self-organized, citizen groups with access to planes and helicopters and a network of volunteers who quickly mobilize to deploy aid. These groups have been critical in filling the gaps that inevitably emerge in disaster response.

Once the platform is ready, we will be opening a citizen reporting channel via SMS short code where we can begin to more immediately respond to needs by analyzing clusters of verified citizen reports. I’m excited to engage and empower the public to not only help aid groups prioritize aid, but to help add accountability and transparency by tracking and reporting on the status efforts for throughout the relief, recovery and rebuild phase. On the back end, we’re mapping our stakeholder network to receive alerts on verified report clusters, and enabling an SMS and online tasking system to respond to reports.

Right now I’m working on the categorization of aid items with UN OCHA to be able to help standardize the way aid inventories are reported. And then we start the process of asking sectors to share their spreadsheets of delivered and planned aid, capabilities and catchment areas.


Google ICT4Peace Crisis Mapping Fellowship

2013 Google ICT4Peace Fellows with ICCM sponsors, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

2013 Google ICT4Peace Fellows with ICCM sponsors, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

I’m grateful to be one of ten fellows selected to attend the 5th International Conference of Crisis Mappers (ICCM) in Nairobi, Kenya from November 18-22. The ICCM brings together the most engaged practitioners, scholars, software developers and policymakers at the cutting edge of crisis mapping and humanitarian technology.

I’ve been volunteering as a crisis mapper since the Haiti earthquake, and have helped with the Japan earthquake, Typhoon Pablo and the recent Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. Having grown up in Jakarta and Manila, the cycle of devastation, international aid and corruption has been all too familiar. With the power of social media and the tools of crisis mapping, I believe we can develop a platform to track aid not only when it’s pledged in a press release, but through to when it is delivered at the village level. If citizens can participate in sending social media reports of aid delivery delays, then we can identify and track issues and the NGO, government and private sectors can collaborate more quickly and effectively to help communities.

A large part of the Philippines’ emergency response efforts are organized by a robust network of private citizens and their network of fixers who are able to act quickly through email, text and social media, and part of what I’m trying to do is help get their reports included in relief tracking initiatives. Through this network we have been able to update the disaster maps for under mapped and underserved areas. I’ve also connected with the Ateneo de Manila University who are currently using drones to map these areas, and am looking into the use of drones to verify data on aid delivery delays.

We’re also looking to fund the set up of a radio and SMS network in partnership with news networks to help communicate with remote communities.

I’m currently in Manila to help develop and launch this citizen reporting platform, and with anything else I can for the next little while. If you’re interested in donating to help Typhoon Yolanda victims, Gawad Kalinga and Tao Philippines are doing excellent work.

 


A Heart to Art Chat at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Celina Agaton with the Art Gallery of Ontario's Education Committee

Celina Agaton with the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Education Committee

A Heart to Art Chat was an unconference-style event I developed to co-create ideas for the Art Gallery of Ontario. 70 community leaders and participants from the arts, culture and events communities came together in the beautiful new 35,000 square foot Weston Family Learning Centre. Over a six month process, I led the strategic planning, digital and community strategy for the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and currently sit as an advisor to the AGO’s Education Committee.

I am currently developing a plan to create a sustainable infrastructure for youth and the arts through museum, NGO, government, and business partnerships and crowdfunding.

View the full gallery on Facebook.

Learn about the Weston Family Learning Centre at http://www.ago.net/weston-family-learning-centre.

Follow the AGO on Twitter at http://twitter.com/agotoronto

Photos courtesy Rannie Turingan Photography http://www.rannieturingan.com/

 


Global Solution Networks

by Celina Agaton

Global Solution Networks

 

I consult as a researcher and community engagement director for Don Tapscott’s think tank, Global Solution Networks.

Understanding the New Multi-Stakeholder Models for Global Cooperation, Problem Solving and Governance

The institutions and mechanisms responsible for global cooperation at the international level are having increasing difficulty solving global problems—problems like poverty, climate change, access to water and human rights. There is growing urgency to rethink our aging global institutions. Today’s challenges demand solutions that transcend the traditional boundaries of the nation-state—solutions that include authentic citizen voices and new initiatives in social innovation that extend beyond communities and nations to the global stage.

The Martin Prosperity Institute is pleased to announce a new, landmark study of the potential of global web-based networks for cooperation, problem solving and governance. Through a series of major research projects led by global experts, we will identify and explain key issues, strategies and approaches that can help these new multi-stakeholder platforms thrive, scale and become material on the global scene.

Join institutions, corporate partners and individuals from around the world in this program to create a series of publications, tools, video and ultimately a book authored by contributing members, to explore, explain and illustrate emerging models for policy choices and ultimate impact on the problems we collectively face.

The program officially launcheS on January 29, 2013 at the Martin Prosperity Institute and on June 4, 2013 at the Summit on New Models of Global Problem Solving, Cooperation and Governance hosted by the U.S. State Department.

For more information, or to subscribe to updates on this landmark program, please contact:
Joan Bigham, Managing Director at joan@tapscott.com +1 860.536.6693

 

 


Volunteer Toronto

Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 4.15.39 AM

During my two years as Communications Director at Volunteer Toronto, I led and developed a training curriculum on social media, cross sector collaboration and volunteer engagement for non-profit organizations. I created an online process to enhance the matching of non-profit needs with corporate volunteer interests and established a program to provide low cost and free technology tools and discounted program resources to support Volunteer Toronto’s community of 500 non-profit organizations. I created Volunteer Toronto’s ChariTee campaign which was sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, George Brown School of Design students, and youth social enterprise, Me to We Style.

I conceptualized and launched Volunteer Toronto’s Free Movie Night, a social change film series to bring together funders, non-profits, business, government and volunteers, and to connect them to social innovation events and collaboration opportunities. These free movie nights brought together audiences of 300 people at each screening.

I collaborated with volunteers to create Volunteer Connect, a Facebook application for volunteer opportunities, which was endorsed by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

I hosted Volunteer Toronto’s annual event, Toronto TimeRaiser, an event to connect people in their 20s and 30s to volunteer opportunities.

I also created and managed successful e-newsletters, social media content and campaigns. Highlights include using social media to recruit 200 volunteers in two weeks to attend an 8am volunteer program at Toronto Zoo.


Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet

by Celina Agaton

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 3.50.42 PM

 

I was a contributor to Don Tapscott’s follow up to international bestseller, Wikinomics. Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet was published in the October 2010. I also developed the creative concept for the paperback edition and launched the website, Macrowikinomics.com. Macrowikinomics is available in 10 languages.

Macrowikinomics was shortlisted for the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. More than 200 books were submitted for the competition.  MacroWikinomics won its place on the list because of its “energetic call for commercial and political organisations to reinvent themselves or risk stagnation or collapse.” Wikinomics was short-listed for the Book of the Year Award in 2007. Macrowikinomics was also shortlisted for the Thinkers50 2011 Book Award and the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Award Book of the Year.

About Macrowikinomics:

In 2007, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything was the best-selling breakthrough introduction to the new economics transforming business and competition with the emergence of web 2.0. Wikinomics showed how mass collaboration was changing the way businesses communicate, compete, and succeed in the new global marketplace. But much has changed in three years, and wikinomics’ principles of openness, peering, sharing, and acting globally are now more powerful than ever and present not only in business, but across all our community sectors. This is macrowikinomics at work.

In this new age of networked intelligence, businesses and communities are bypassing crumbling institutions. We are altering the way our financial institutions and governments operate; how we educate our children; and how the healthcare, newspaper, and energy industries serve their customers. In every corner of the globe, businesses, organizations, and individuals alike are using mass collaboration to revolutionize not only the way we work, but how we live, learn, create, and care for each other.

Drawing on an entirely new set of original research conducted with countless collaborators in fields such as healthcare, science, education, energy, government and the media, we tell the stories of some of the world’s most dynamic innovators, from a global citizen’s movement working to reverse the tide of disruptive climate change to for-profit startups that are turning industries ranging from music to transportation on their head.

We argue that collaborative innovation is not only transforming our economy but all of society and its many institutions. Now the onus is now on each of us to lead the transformation in our households, communities and workplaces. After all, the potential for new models of collaboration does not end with the production of software, media, entertainment and culture. Why not open source government, education, science, the production of energy, and even health care?

As this book shows, these are not idle fantasies, but real opportunities that the new world of wikinomics makes possible.