NSL Blog

Juliana Rotich on Ushahidi mapping humanitarian needs

July 4, 2014

Juliana Rotich. Co-founder of Ushahidi

Juliana Rotich. Co-founder of Ushahidi

Juliana Rotich’s talk on Ushahidi where it came from and where it is going. In talking about innovation Julia says, if it works in Africa it can work anywhere. Out of adversity comes innovation. I am proud to be part of the advisory board for Ushahidi.

Ushahidi asks us to rethink how we view the process of innovation and organisation. Theirs was a non-linear response in every sense of the word where high levels of motivation and a blend of skill sets realised Ushahidi as a platform that circumvented all obstacles to its success. From an organisational perspective, we can see that participatory cultures, open source and collaborative tools, combined with communication networks, enable a coalition of the willing to form and work together.

Why is Ushahidi relevant to how we can better understand innovation? The constraint of design fuels innovation. In this instance the only way was to use open innovation, and to create good enough and then continually iterate improvements. This is called rough consensus running code. The platform was designed to be participatory and this has become part of its DNA.

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