Many digital responders often work alone. And just as independent consultants migrate to coffee shops and coworking spaces to seek out human company, so too do those of us in the humanitarian and disaster response sector. Whether working on the code for tracking infrastructure, struggling with how to tell a story about refugees using mobile technology, thinking about how to invest in a project without disrupting local economies, or wanting feedback on the latest design of your incident-reporting dashboard, we want you to be with friends and cohorts. Many digital humanitarian and disaster responders are the only person in an organization working on this topic, OR you're on a dedicated but distributed team, OR you're just coming to the topic and wanting to put faces with all those online usernames. So it's just nice to hang out, get to know each other, our projects, and brainstorm about challenges.
We also rely on the networks we already know when a crisis occurs. By establishing bonds of trust, knowledge, and having explored and bettered our own projects and understandings, we'll be able to more effectively respond to the next extreme event. We'll know where we can meet up for physical solidarity, a solid internet connection, and people we know and have worked with before. All those background technical links that allow data and knowledge to be shared for a more holistic response are more likely to happen when we're all in the same space as each other.
So please bring your questions, your projects, your challenges. We'll provide the soda, beer, and snacks. We are tool- and sector-agnostic, so long as you are dedicated to listening, sharing, and empowerment.
Want to host one of your own? Here's how! All we ask is that you let us know you are, so we might support you.
Find yourself in the Bay Area when one isn't happening, or simply don't want to wait until the next one? We welcome digital responders (and others) to come cowork from the Nonprofit Technology Center at 16th and Mission in San Francisco any time. Just give us a heads up.