Benjamin Mako Hill on Disasters + Free Software

March 8th, 2008 by Amber Frid-Jimenez

A good friend from the MIT Media Lab, Benjamin Mako Hill joined us last week to talk about the importance of free software in disaster response management. He described Sahana, a system deployed during the aftermath of the tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2005, pointing out that often a free and decentralized method for creating and deploying technology can be more effective than a closed response driven by economic interest. I find this overview particularly helpful in understanding the power of this approach. Mako also touched on Selectricity, an online voting machine or the masses that he designed while doing his Masters at MIT.

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