A lethal and highly-contagious virus gradually begins to spread around the globe. Infection rates are high, deaths are frequent, and no vaccine is available. Cities all over the world fall under quarantine. Emergency services and medical centers are stressed and national government agencies, affected just as severely as the cities themselves, cannot provide assistance. And then the situation goes from bad to worse.
A terrorist cell, having long waited for such an opportunity, launches a wave of successful cyber attacks in a medium size city somewhere in the developed world, bringing down grid power, Internet access, land and cellular telephones. Other, more subtle, attacks follow, and it’s difficult to sort out the mess.
This is the core scenario of Strong Angel III, which follows the tradition of SA I and SA II in bringing a wide spectrum of first responders, civilian and military, humanitarian and defence corp representatives together to envision pervasive and resilient systems for humanitarian work and disaster response.
My interest in SA III will be in the exploration of the technologies for ICT4Peace – the same technologies used for humanitarian aid are those that InfoShare has used for peace process and negotiations support in Sri Lanka, including Groove Workspace. Technologies such as Ray Ozzie’s SSE offer fascinating new ways of networks diverse technologies & devices, from the HQ to the field.
Beyond the rhetoric, the reality in the field is that many technologies fail – sometimes miserably. This is no joke – as the recent tsuanmi in Indonesia demonstrated, we have still a very long way to go in the design and application of technology that actually saves lives. While I’ve written extensively on the design, use and evolution of such technology for peacebuilding and conflict transformation, SA III offers a unique opportunity to meet with and learn from those elsewhere in the world on the ways that technology is going to deeply influence the study and practice of conflict transformation and peacebuilding in the future.