Juliana Rotich is the Executive Director of Ushahidi and editor at Global Voices. Juliana has been invited to FutureEverything by Catalyst: Citizens Transforming Society, Tools for Change.
Juliana is originally from Kenya where she spent her early life and schooling. She later moved to the US where she majored in IT and has worked in the industry for over ten years. She was named in the Guardian’s Top 100 Women in Technology in 2011.
She collaborated with the online community and co-founded Ushahidi, the Swahili word for testimony. Ushahidi is a web-based reporting system that utilises crowd-sourced data to formulate visual map information of a crisis on a real-time basis. In Kenya it was used to map out incidents of violence.
Ushahidi then grew to be an open source platform that has been used in various situations such as the Haiti and Chile earthquakes, the Palestine conflict crisis, and the heavy snow crisis in Washington. As a Program Director she manages projects and aids in the development and testing of the Ushahidi platform.
She also blogs at ‘Afromusing‘ blog, typically with a focus on African tech and renewable energy. She is a budding African Futurist and a TED Senior Fellow. She often speaks at international conferences about tech and Africa.
Juliana is joined by Jon Whittle, Professor in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University. He is interested in how digital technologies can promote social change and leads projects on this theme. Projects include Voice Your View (voiceyourview.com) that uses inclusive social media, data visualization and motion tracking to promote democracy; and Serena (serena.ac.uk) that looks to recreate serendipity in the digital world. He also leads Catalyst (catalyst.org.uk), a project that focuses on community-driven research on the topic of tools for change.
Catalyst is a £1.9M project, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPRSC), which brings together academics and communities to jointly imagine and build the next generation of tools for social change, and to explore innovative, bottom-up technology-mediated solutions to major problems in society.
This three-year project explores how different communities use technology to make the world a better place. And, in a series of sub-projects, communities and academics from a range of disciplines including social science, computing, design, environmental and management science, will envision and build next-generation tools more suited to the job.
Catalyst’s involvement in FutureEverything includes a one-day intensive workshop, Catapult, on Tuesday 15th May with the findings of the workshop presented at a short talk by Catalyst at the FutureEverything Conference.
CaTalyST is a research project at Lancaster University that focuses on citizen-led content.
Juliana Rotich is the Executive Director of Ushahidi and editor at Global Voices.
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