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Pulse Camp 1.0

1 December, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 3 December, 2010 at 10:00 PM EST

About Pulse Camp 1.0

On December 1-3, 2010, United Nations Global Pulse is launching its inaugural Pulse Camp 1.0 to design a new, global system architecture for its real-time data & analysis technology platform. This platform will serve to improve evidence-based decision-making and help close the information gap between the onset of a global crisis and the availability of actionable information to protect the vulnerable. (For further information about the Global Pulse Initiative, please visit www.unglobalpulse.org).

At this invitation-only event, innovative software developers, designers, researchers, practitioners, academia, citizen media, and other thought-leaders from around the world will gather in New York City to kickoff the first of many Pulse Camps. During this 3-day workshop, participants will work to design the new platform for team-based collaboration, data analysis and visualization.

Global Pulse Platform Requirements

The Global Pulse platform will be developed as a global public good according to the following principles:

  • Open design. The platform will evolve through a series of open workshops, innovation competitions and on-line engagement with volunteer designers, software developers, researchers and practitioners.
  • Free and open source.By making the source code of the platform available to the open source community, Global Pulse will have access to the most innovative ideas and approaches from around the world, including those from developing countries. Moreover, the open source licensing of the software ensures that the technology created will be available to be re-used on other development projects and modified as required.
  • Open standards. There are hundreds of technologies already in use around the world with potential to play a role in collecting, analyzing, and using real-time information to improve resilience to global crises. Global Pulse will be building its technology platform based on an open architecture that will support a broad range of different data standards. Support for open data standards will allow the technology platform to bring together and build on what is already working and interoperate with existing tools for data collection, analysis, mapping and visualization.

Global Pulse believes that the best approach for maximum utility is to design a reference architecture which will allow users to integrate their existing data collection (e.g. Rapid SMS, Frontline SMS, Ushahidi), mapping (e.g. Open Street Maps, Google Earth), fusion and visualization (e.g. Protovis) tools into a collaborative workspace where practitioners will be able to share their data and metadata through trusted networks within their communities of practice.

The platform must be based on a federated architecture and include rich social networking capabilities.

Agenda Overview

Wednesday, Dec 1st
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Opening Keynote
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM – Background of Global Pulse and Q&A (socializing the concepts)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Lunch and Learn
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM – Scenarios & Use Cases (working with practitioners, technologists and designers to build out stories around how real-time information will be used)
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM – Product-in-a-Box (specific brainstorming around elements of the global pulse – data collection, visualization, and getting a “rapid prototype” built)
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM – Quick review of prototype and comment cards (Comment cards help the facilitators focus for the next day)
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Consolidation of Outputs and Working Time

Thursday, Dec 2nd
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM – Showcase & Recap of Day 1 Outputs
9:45 AM – 11:45 AM – Capabilities and Information Flow (running through how the prototypes and systems in day 1 would function)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Lunch Ignites (Ignite speeches are short (under 5 minute) speeches with automatically advancing slides that highlight specific projects, issues or ideas)
12:45 PM – 2:15 PM – Information Architecture (how do all the pieces fit together)
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM – Breakouts – API’s, Workspace Environment,
Collaboration, Design, Partners, (these will be arranged ad-hoc based on the discussions that have been had in the prior two days)
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM – Comment Cards – What worked? What can we change and do better?
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Consolidation of Outputs and Working Time

Friday, Dec 3rd

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM – Showcase & Recap of Day 2 Outputs
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM – Keynote
10:45 AM – 12:15 PM – Working Sessions (“un-conference” style breakouts and flexible groups based on the needs and scenarios built up around real time information)
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Lunch and Learn
1:45 PM – 3:15 PM – Working Sessions (as above)


hosted by Global Pulse in coordination with Random Hacks of Kindness

December 3, 2010 – 7pm – 10pm – New York City (location tbd)
Follow-up event – For those of you interested in coding


hosted by Random Hacks of Kindness
December 4-5, 2010
New York City (location tbd)
The Pulse Camp will be followed by a 2 day hackathon on December 4-5, 2010 in partnership with Random Hacks of Kindness where some of the immediate priorities identified during the workshop will be tackled by hundreds of hackers looking to make a difference. This is a developer event and we welcome participation by any developers attending the Pulse Camp who wish to stay on and code (separate registration is required to participate – get in early!)


Global Pulse has a small travel and accommodation fund to assist participants wishing to attend from developing countries. If you would like to apply for funding for travel and accommodation please contact globalpulsecamp@gmail.com.

We will provide a list of hotel recommendations within close proximity of the event venue.

More details to follow…


1 December, 2010 at 9:00 AM EST
3 December, 2010 at 10:00 PM EST
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