Open Source: Saving the World


Most of us get involved with open source as a way to solve the problems we face on a day-to-day basis. But technology in general, and open source software in particular, also provides the key to solving the more catastrophic problems that people face around the world today.

Open source software is being used around the world to keep people safe and help ensure self-determination when the existing democratic processes break down. It's providing innovative, scalable, and locally appropriate solutions to the issues of literacy and information dissemination. And it's solving the practical problems of getting help
to the right places, and letting people know where to avoid as a disaster unfolds, and where to go for most impact when cleaning up.

This talk will not only give you an insight into the theory side of how software can solve these problems, but will also present a unique view of how a real-life scenario unfolded, and how volunteers from around the world pulled together to help after New Zealand's recent earthquakes.

About the speaker:

Noirin Shirley is executive videpresident in the Apache Software Foundation and works tirelessly on the Apache Incubator Project, but recently she has spent a significant amout of time on the Ushahidi project and the coordination of the crisis relief for Christchurch, NZ following the earthquake. For a dayjob she works as a technical writer for Google.

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