– By Julie Demaree
Recently, I have been reading the book MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams. Note for more information regarding the book please visit http://www.macrowikinomics.com/. At the beginning of the book, the authors mention 5 principles (Collaboration, Openness, Interdependence, Sharing and Integrity) which are then highlighted with examples. One significant example of collaboration, I will be highlighting here is the non-profit tech company called Ushahidi.
What is Ushahidi? (http://www.ushahidi.com/)
Ushahidi (meaning testimony in Swahili) developed free and open source software for information collection, visualization, and interactive mapping (Ushahidi, 2013). This means anyone can contribute information and anyone can improve the service. The idea of the platform is to get critical and timely information to those who need it most, and on a platform anyone can use.
Why is this worth talking about?
Well having never heard of Ushahidi before until reading about it in MacroWikinomics, this example of collaboration really pulled at my heartstrings and made me excited to learn more about how I myself could collaborate. The idea was built out of helping Kenyans after the post-election fallout, and then was utilized again when the earthquake hit Haiti. Ushahidi was able to map locations of where people in crisis needed help, then they were able to direct relief workers to those locations most affected by the earthquake. This company didn’t hesitate but took action, and they were able to use the information of not only the Kenyan conflict, but those of collaborators to make this service better for other countries experiencing a crisis. For more information of their efforts, please watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huQpn0D0eK4.
This company is a true example of how greatness & kindness can come out of people collaborating.
- Crowdmap & Ushahidi as a Museum (ushahidi.com)
- Macrowikinomics 2: Ushahidi and Information as Bottleneck (whimsley.typepad.com)
- Ushahidi Makes Datasets Available (afrinnovator.com)
- Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (fatimahaidarblog.wordpress.com)
- Watching Ushahidi’s Mumbai response unfold, with co-founder Erik Hersman (ted.com)