So today I’m at #indieconf, in the blogging class, and asked to write about the future. Hmm. What am I hungry for? Well, apart from that seemingly-contradictory combination of a stable life with lots of adventure and chances to change the world for the better in it, I have to say that I’m hungry for what I was always hungry for: seeing people get more equal chances in this world.
Which, from a crisis and development data nerd, pretty much means more people in the “developing world” having access to global opportunities. But what do we mean by “developing world”? Developing how? For whom? Is this term outdated already in a world full of mobiles, internet, and people in pretty much every country who can access them, travel and become part of the global collective consciousness. I can, and do, help any coworking space, any collective effort to learn and help and be part of the global geek world, but sometimes we need to think about who needs this help – about how they can help each other, about how we don’t have to *be* there to help, and that one of the most beautiful things in the world is to watch a subculture emerge that’s truly local, truly part of the external cultures around its members.
It also means more people who’ve been disadvantaged, or even potentially deeply trashed by things like disasters, being able to get themselves back together faster. And that’s everywhere. One thing that Hurricane Sandy made really really clear is that you don’t have to be in Africa, South America etc to have your life destroyed by a disaster. That people live on the margins in all societies, and that even the richest countries in the world still have people who need help to get themselves back together.
So that’s what I’m hungry for. I need to ask whether it’s the right thing to ask for – especially since it involves effects on a lot of other people, who may or may not need this to happen. Introspection – a useful part of the crisis aid toolkit. And perspective – one thing that years of working with crisis data has taught is that I cannot look at the world from just my own western, white, middle-class eyes – that I must perhaps think of a skeleton plan then listen very very hard, work with others and adapt. Which is how to feed the hunger. Ask, then listen, then do…
(That was 7 minutes. Perhaps I should do this more often!).