willowbl00 | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by willowbl00

Humanitarian Technology Festival

I came on with Aspiration back in January as the Community Leadership Strategist, to merge the work I've been doing in the humanitarian and disaster response space with Aspiration's practices and team. It's been a *blast* so far, and continues to be.

A workshop with Kenya Red Cross

Hi. It's been a bit, so just in case - I'm Willow Brugh, and one of the hats I wear is as a research affiliate at Center for Civic Media. I also wear "digital responder," "fellow at Berkman," "stick figure draw-er," and "faciliatator" hats. I care about how people help people, more directly, across cultures, as equals. This means I often work at the overlap of technology and disaster/humanitarian response through participatory events. I also advise organizations and distributed social groups in how to engage with each other. My month working with KRCS and Climate Centre culminated on Nov 11th in a codesign workshop to explore the work I had done, comment on the current understanding, ensure it was appropriate and accurate, to then decide on next steps together. This was an exercise in not waiting until the last minute to ask people to sign off - it was asking people what they thought during the process, asking for their participation. You can read more about (my personal take on) the set-up over here.

Framework for Consent Policies

I recently got back from Budapest for the Engine Room's Responsible Data Forum. It took place in the Open Society Archive, which was full of heart breaking and wondrous things. Things like the transcripts and translations from Radio Free Europe's listening in on radio from the other side of the Iron Curtain to be able to respond via their own broadcast, a sort of strange conversation in broadcast mode. And pictures stolen and then found from repositories of censored developed film. At the event, we talked about harm stories, and about security first aid kits, and about all sorts of other things. The group I spent the most time working with built on work started at Stanford, around frameworks for consent policies. We started an overview of why consent matters, in case members of your organization aren't sure why to use the framework.

What is Death in a Networked Age?

Early this year, yet another friend of mine up and died. There was of course a mess of things that had to be figured out. It wasn’t just the traditional things of cleaning out her house (I wasn’t around for that part) or figuring out the funeral (Viking in variety). It was new and interesting technical and moral turmoil of getting into her hard drive, questions of “should we even?”- her prolific music and authoring contributions rivaled by her extreme privacy.

A Contributor Community Doing It Right

Around 2011, Geeks Without Bounds hosted its second Random Hacks of Kindness. Microsoft provided us space, East of Seattle, and I remember rolling in on my motorcycle to a set of bright-eyed gents who had come up from Portland. That morning. Rather than their pre-caffienated enthusiasm being annoying, it was utterly infectious. They helped carry things. They set things up, said hello to incoming people, and generally made my role of an organizer and facilitator leagues easier than it might have been. And then - they also knew how to code. Well. And to help others be amazing. I had just met Ben and Marlin.

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