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LCIL Friday Lecture: ‘#HELP: Digital Humanitarian Mapping and New Cartographies of Governability’ - Prof Fleur Johns, UNSW
Lecture summary: Like many other areas of work, international humanitarian practice and thinking are being transformed by digital technology and associated socio-technical practices. Institutional developments within the United Nations (UN) are telling. Just over ten years ago, the UN Secretary General announced the launch of the UN Global Pulse project, dedicating to enabling, showcasing and promoting the “scaled adoption of big data innovation for sustainable development and humanitarian action”. This project has since been advanced through Pulse Labs in Jakarta, Kampala and New York and one soon to be set up in Samoa. Other, cognate initiatives have been launched throughout the UN system. Prominent, international public-private collaborations aim to harness digital technology for humanitarian ends: initiatives such as the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. And more or less every major technology company across the world is investing in the humanitarian field: Facebook’s Data for Good initiative; Google.org’s Crisis Response work; and Alibaba’s collaboration with the World Food Program to develop Hunger Map LIVE are indicative examples. International humanitarianism is taking on new imperatives, protagonists, investments, techniques and objects of inquiry in connection with the expanding reach of the digital. Given the centrality of humanitarianism to the way that the international plane has been imagined, regulated, materialized and militarized throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, these shifts are worthy of close attention.

(More lecture details on www.lcil.cam.ac.uk)

Feb 26, 2021 01:00 PM in London

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