This week I meet a nice group of industrial people working in the area of information systems for civil security and crisis response. On the train back to Gothenburg, a few things crossed my mind. In contrast to many large scale and perhaps sometime to complex systems (the guys I meet did not vote for such systems), perhaps a minimalistic approach is a better way to go.
But what should such a minimalistic system consist of? Where do you draw the line? What components or functions is the at the core for such systems?
My list of components or functions would be the following:
– A map where objects can be added and that can be shared between users (preferable a google-like map)
– A status field answering the question: What is going on? ( aka. the Twitter and Facebook status bar)
– A contact list with all the people that use the system (adds information or view the information)
– A photo/video blog where rich media can be uploaded and tagged
– A whiteboard for the top-10 actions presenting planned and ongoing actions (oh yes…everyone should be able to comment)
– Access should be granted by invitation or request (aka the social software mechanism)
– Openness provided by RSS-feeds to distribute and include information
– This system should run on a laptop and heavily rely on peer-to-peer technology in order to scale up the system when necessary.
– The system should heavily rely on mobilephones for efficient in-the-pocket/ ready-at-hand capability to access and provide information.
There is no question that there exists alot of people that is capable of bringing these tiny bits and pieces together. However, I am amazed that we do not see this system up and running all over the place. Perhaps there are people in the ISCRAM-community or in Industry that could materialize these ideas. A problem could be how to fund such a project. Should it be an open-source project or is it possible to design a business model where the system is affordable for NGOs, temporary work-groups and rapid response teams.
An interesting combination of organizations for an industry project would be:
– a telecom solution provider
– a civil security solution provider
– a mobilephone application provider
– a rapid response organization
In relation to the need for this type of response system solution on the global market, it should not be too difficult to form a project consortium. But who is willing to take the lead in such a project?