What are you doing at work?
My role is to help field operations at the Norwegian Refugee Council engage in an ambitious digital transformation process, with the objective to becoming the lead organization in using data and tech to assist populations displaced by conflict.
What are the most important concepts in your technology?
The progress done in mixing machine learning and geodata is just mind blowing. We are also extremely involved in exploring the concept of selfs-overeign identity as proposed by those pushing for decentralized governance systems.
Why is it exciting?
The new role that humanitarians can play in shaping emerging technologies. We are moving from being passive users, to actually contributing in advancing the sector.
What do you think are the most interesting controversies?
The struggle to define the emerging concept of digital harm, and identify appropriate mitigating measures that do not cripple our efforts in engaging with these technologies.
Your own favourite projects in your technology?
I am especially attached to one of our ongoing initiatives – Smart RRM - aimed at digitizing the Rapid Response Mechanism, those who provide first response to onset crises.
Your other favourite examples of your technology internationally and nationally?
I like how UNICEF is leading the way when it comes to exploring blockchain tech for innovating governance strategies. I also like how Red Cross is exploring Islamic financing to introduce bond-like systems in traditional humanitarian activities, such as water and sanitation.
What do we do particularly well in Norway of this?
Norway is extremely engaged in exploring distributed ledger technologies, but more broadly one of the main focuses is on digital identity. Unsurprisingly, Norway has one of the most solid systems, but there is still?a lot to learn in how to make these strategies resilient to crises, and flexible to adapting to changing demographics and migratory phenomena.
A favourite future quote?
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Most important takeaway from our conversation?
Humanitarians need tech partners just as much as tech companies needs us. If there’s any hope for a future of ethical and positive technology, it goes through learning how to design for the most complex scenarios and the most vulnerable users.