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Listen to This #016: Heather Leson & Brian Chick of Crisis Commons

Graham F. Scott

Heather Leson, left, and Brian Chick, coordinators of Crisis Commons in CanadaIn this edition of Listen to This — the premiere of our second season of original interviews with Canada’s most fascinating activists, politicos, and artists! — we talk with Heather Leson and Brian Chick, two of the more senior Canadian coordinators of Crisis Commons, an international online community of people who use their technology skills to assist with disaster relief, crisis management, and humanitarian efforts around the world. Crisis commons was founded in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 2009, but has quickly spread to more than a dozen cities around the world, including hubs in Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary. We talked about the role technology can play in disaster relief scenarios, the group’s shifting identity as it assumes a more prominent role in the aid community, and the limits of online activism.

Crisis Commons is holding a global CrisisCamp day on September 25, with events happening in London (UK), Washington, D.C., Toronto, and Calgary. The events are free and open to all. If you’re not in Toronto or Calgary, it’s still possible to participate online. You can sign up through EventBrite for Toronto and Calgary.

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