Category Archives: Event

Technology: corporate vs. humanitarian needs and trends

Lybia Crisis Map by UshahidiThis week, the 3rd International Conference of Crisis Mapping was held in Geneva. However, don’t expect this article to be a wrap-up. No, a wrap-up is later or elsewhere. This article is just one of many inspirations by ICCM put into words, reflecting on our expectations in technology and the direction we are heading.

It is about where we expect technology to take us. If we don’t know what is possible, our estimates will always be wrong.

During the first day’s keynotes and Ignite sessions it became very clear already: what is expected from technology – and the way it is used – corresponds explicitly to some requirements/trends identified independently from humanitarian applications already. I had to realize that it makes a lot of (imaginary?) boundaries between corporate and non-profit disappear.

(However, let’s not forget that the weight of a need/trend is very different in the two areas: what is an interesting tool for branding/customer retention/sales/… or simply a nice gadget in the corporate world can have life-saving impact in the humanitarian field. Nothing less.)


In countries where there are no accurate maps, how to get people to contribute to the Humanitarian Open Street Map project? And how to get them to contribute useful data? Learning by doing. Kate Chapman said that in Indonesia, they organized a contest at a university where teams of students were invited to map their city. 5 points for each building mapped, 1 point for everything else.

User-based design and simplicity

Before a crowd-sourced mapping of Indonesia was even possible, the tool had to correspond to something people were able to understand. Kate Chapman explained that they had to adapt the iconography and create icons that would make sense to Indonesian people – the standard Western ones simply wouldn’t. Continue reading

What was TEDxZurich?

Yesterday, I have attended TEDxZurich. TED stands for technology, entertainment, design and is branded “ideas worth spreading”. What is TED and TEDxZurich?

There is, of course, the official answer to this question.

And then, there’s my personal answer: TEDxZurich is many things at the same time. It is conference, entertainment, education and community, it is a networking event, a recruiting platform, a film set and, accessorily, an advertising opportunity.

I’ll explain myself, by starting with the last point.


Almost 1 year ago already, TED aligned their advertising strategy with their core values. They created a competition called Ads Worth Spreading, perfectly in spirit with pull marketing: ads should be so good people would actually want to watch them.

They succeded. Because it is a great illustration of transmedia storytelling, I would like to share with you The Chase Film, one of the winning ads, screened at the very beginning of TEDxZurich.
Continue reading


October 4, 2011 (Zurich)

To my great pleasure, I have been handed one of the highly sought after invitations for TEDxZurich. I am looking forward to attending this promising event.

TEDxZurich is a day of wonder, inspiration and awe. You will meet and get to know interesting people and learn about topics you never thought about before. The event is a series of short talks, ranging from about five to eighteen minutes length. Between the talks, you get to listen to amazing music and eat some great food.

(What is TEDxZurich)

Please let me know if you will be there, too. It would be nice to get in touch…


February 22-24, 2012 (Geneva)

LIFT – a great, international conference, taking place almost next door. I’ll be attending. And so should you.

They describe themselves as follows:

The Lift conferences are a series of events built around a community of pioneers who get together in Europe and Asia to explore the social implications of new technologies. Each event is a chance to turn innovation into opportunities by anticipating the major shifts ahead, and meet the people who drive them.

(About Liftconference)

A beta version of the Lift 12 programme has been released recently and you can be sure the actual event will be… uplifting (ok, that was easy).

PS: Even if you won’t be able to attend, I encourage you to join the Lift Community by registering a profile. And feel free to connect (my LIFT profile).