Tag: CrisisCommons


Create Joyous Insurgency

Inspiration! Mitchell Baker and Cathy Davidson kicked off today’s Drumbeat activities with their thoughts on the future of the open web and open learning.

Baker said that the future of the web means we need to: see, touch, get your hands on it and pull it apart. Mozilla’s goal is to provide opportunities to create your own world. We need to merge the open source software and education world to change the conversation, build connections and merge
common values.

Cathy Davidson: “I’m among my people. Education does not work, we have to change it.” Kindergarten to University education is broken. It is based on industrial revolution/assembly line models. We need to add peer-to-peer university (P2PU) learning and open education. This means triggering the edge thinking a. instrincically for what you do and b. change what we do. The world has changed. We don’t need this old hierarchical structure.

The call to action was quoted best by Davidson: “Create Joyous Insurgency”.

(Note: Throughout the Drumbeat Festival of Learning, Freedom and the Web, I’ll create some brief posts with quotes and topical highlights. Think of it as headline news.)


Dispatch: Drumbeat Festival – Day 1

Barcelona is the perfect location for the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival. With attendees are from around the world, you get the sense of “otherness” and “innovation” by the city and the Raval location.

Raval is a revived district. The Barcelonian city government situated the MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona) in this area to drive change. How appropriate! Today I adventured in the city with a 3-hour bike tour of various regions. It started in Raval around 11:30am. The MACBA site was just starting to see an influx of Mozillians, Drumbeaters and, best of all, tents which signify a real festival happening. The bike tour took us to the symbol of Raval: a cat. (sculpture by Fernando Botero)


After the tour, I stopped by the MACBA site again. It was 4:00pm and the registration desk was close to ready. I returned at 5:30pm and the vibe was incredible:

Skateboards, Mozillians, Drumbeaters, a Hackbus in the centre, tents, a registration desk with people milling near.

If only we had set up a timelapse camera in the MACBA square to capture the day’s evolution as the Drumbeat Festival kicked off. Incredible. Exciting. We are all here as the change in the place of change. It is such a convergence of like and unlike minds of many disciplines. The common thread is an open mind and spirit to bounce ideas and energy.

By 8:30pm, the Joi Ito was on stage telling us that “the Internet saved my life.” He captured the spirit of Drumbeat for me. Each of us has a corner of open web and open education. We converge. And, he was right on point for me. The Internet has saved my me and changed my life in immeasurable ways.

The Science Fair was so engaging. What a great opportunity to share ideas about open education with each of our organizations. I was happy to share the CrisisCommons story. Every conversation had my head spinning with ideas and questions. It My only regret is that I was so busy at my table that I was unable to tour and meet the other Fair participants.

Here’s to another amazing day.


Drumbeat Festival: Bicycles, Hackbuses, Robots, & Science Fair

I’ve read the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival of Learning, Freedom and Web schedule more than once and it is still daunting. Mark Surman, Executive Director, Mozilla Foundation, even created a Drumbeat Festival Users Guide for attendees to help.

How to choose sessions, activities or spaces to hang out? I have three days and a flight to Barcelona to finalize my plans. Overwhelmed by awesome the selection. Well, I know I want to participate in badges, open video and open web sessions. These are the ones that will help with my CrisisCommons work and my choose adventure paths. I’m also blogging for the event.

Tents, Robots, MACBA and the Science Fair

Here are some of my schedule picks, but they will change as I navigate and explore. And, the whole schedule is subject to awesome and might be changed by the crowd!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010:
Join me: Sharing the CrisisCommons story at the Science Fair.

Thursday, November 4, 2010:
10:30am Badge Lab:Badges, badges, everywhere
11:30amEducating your Users or the Skills Lab: Learn what you need to hack Open Video (Video Lab)
14:00pm Arduino, Processing and Fantasia
15:00pmBadges, learning and online identity: design jam
16:00pm Arduino, Xbee, Bicycles and the Open Web or Learning accessibility:values and skills
17:00pmCalm after the storm: Yoga for Hacktivists
or the School of Webcraft: use case on Badges

Friday, November 5, 2010:
10:30am Pathways to Open Content
11:30am Encourage Content Reuse: Educate your users!
14:00pm Badges, learning and online identity: wireframes + prototypes
15:00pm Dale Dougherty How Maker Faire works or Build your own Personal Learning Environment Part II
16:00pm The Next Big Thing
17:00pm Build, Make, Learn in the Hackbus and Hackerspace Playground

Saturday, November 6, 2010: OpenRaval classroom, for the community
10:00amBe a GoodWill Reporter
12:00pmCommons Time Traveler

I’m going a bit early to be a tourist. Some of the greatest architects have works in Barcelona: Gehry, Meier, Mies van der Rohe Gaudi, and much more. It is my first time in Spain and I can’t wait to explore and learn at the festival and in the city.


Joy of Learning: it must be Event Season

Where did Autumn go? It is conference, event and learning season. Well, learning should always be important, but it just seems the next two months are going to be chaotic and awesome.

Most of my other spare time is spent writing for the Sloan Foundation deliverables for CrisisCommons. We have a stack of deadlines until the Trustee meeting in December. Every time I share this story it helps refine my contribution to the documentation. It is so exciting to focus on this project.

The events:

October 23, 2010:
Social Technology Conference/Unconference (Toronto, ON)
I’ll be sharing some CrisisCommons and Crowdsourcing stories at the Social Tech Conference/Unconference this weekend. Very excited to talk about open source and humanitarian volunteerism on a global scale. My co-presenter will be CrisisCamp Toronto’s Steve Kalaydjian.

November 1 -7, 2010:
Mozilla Drumbeat Festival of Learning, Freedom and the Web (Barcelona, Spain)

November 10,2010:
Emergency Management Conference, Ontario Red Cross (Niagara on the Lake, ON)
I am honoured to co-present with David Black, Brian Chick and Melanie Gorka about CrisisCommons and how social media and Emergency Management groups can collaborate.

December 4/5, 2010:
Random Hacks of Kindness (the world)
I am partnering with technology companies, hackers and software developers to organize a Random Hacks of Kindness event in Toronto. More on this soon. Toronto has a great hacking community, especially Hackto.ca. If you are reading and want to lend a hand, I’d love the help with sponsors, outreach and more.

Back to writing



My Ignite Toronto presentation: Brainsharing

I was honoured to join the O’Reilly Ignite family by presenting at Ignite Toronto on Thursday, September 2, 2010.

Brainsharing: How Crowdsharing your Brain Cells can Change the World


(Thanks Brian Chick for recording.)

Heather’s Ignite Slideshare:

It was a fantastic experience. I learned so much from preparing and presenting.

Please share. Hopefully this will inspire people to volunteer.


Heather Leson

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