The second Tuesday of each month, social changemakers and web innovators get together to network, socialize and share ideas at Net Tuesday, a free event produced by NetSquared, http://www.netsquared.org, a project of TechSoup, http://www.techsoup.org.
At the September Net Tuesday, Ephrat Bitton of iCare (http://icare.ieor.berkeley.edu) and Jonathan Thompson of Humanlink (http://www.hlink.org/) will be discussing how their projects use the web for disaster relief.
iCare is a new web-based technology that transforms the process of charitable giving by directly matching individual donors with recipients of aid via the principles of peer-to-peer delivery and swarm distribution. This grassroots, decentralized system can be significantly more effective than traditional methods of charitable assistance, offering higher levels of service to disaster victims while avoiding the costly overhead and logistical shortcomings observed in recent responses to national emergencies. The iCare project was co-founded by PhD students, Anand Kulkarni and Ephrat Bitton, and it received accolades in UC Berkeley's Technology Breakthrough Competition in 2006 and the Bears Breaking Boundaries competition in 2007.
Humanlink's mission is to help alleviate suffering around the world by providing immediate and long-term technology solutions for some of the world's most urgent problems. Jonathan will discuss the pros and cons of using the web for disaster relief. He’ll address how low bandwidth/high latency networks affect operations and some of the solutions Humanlink has developed to allow greater access to the Web in remote locations. He will also speak about the effectiveness of GIS ( i.e. Google Earth) and VOIP (Skype) systems in this environment.
Ephrat Bitton is a PhD student in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated with a BS in the same subject and from the same university in the Spring of 2006. Her technical interests involve the development of mathematical models concerning issues at the intersection of society and technology. She has worked for NASA, Intel, Amazon, and Xerox PARC, and is presently affiliated with Professor Ken Goldberg's Automation Sciences Laboratory under a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Jonathan Thompson started his career in the humanitarian field in 2001 when he served as Logistician for Medecins Sans Frontieres during their emergency response to a meningitis epidemic in northern Ethiopia. The following year he took the position of Log/Admin, again with MSF, at the world's largest Sleeping Sickness treatment center in South Sudan. Since then he has served as a Logistics Officer in Kuwait/Iraq, Emergency Response Coordinator in Chad, Logistics Officer in Liberia and Site Supervisor during the 2005 Tsunami response in Medan, Indonesia. The last four postings were all with International Medical Corps. Most recently he held the post of Logistics Officer for International Medical Corps in Santa Monica, CA where he had the responsibility of overseeing headquarters
Official Website: http://netsquared.meetup.com/1/
Added by netsquared on August 29, 2007