Inspiration from mobile phone use in Vietnam

When you go travelling far away from home, on roads that remotley confirm to western standards, you start to see old things in new ways. The adoption of mobile phones among everyday, and I mean everyday people in Vietnamn is increadible. When I go on a motobike, suddenly my driver flips up his mobile and answer a call. Even in the jungle-like-forest, our guide grab his mobile phone and calls the motorboat guide in order to coordinate the pick up location.

A mobile phone costs 20 USD and everyone, even what seems to be the very poorest have one. It is amazing and an eye-opener for me. This experience, perhaps not a revolutionary one but still, underlines the importance that any designer or solution-provider in the field of emergency and crisis response MUST and I mean MUST base their technology support on mobile consumer oriented technology. If we are able to question some of the taken for granted truths regarding emergency and crisis response plus strive for new innovative solutions that have the capability to reach out to people with clever but not complex diffusion mechanism, only then are we moving the frontier of global crisis response capabilities.

At the ISCRAM 2011 summerschool in Tilburg Netherlands, I hope we will be able to form and materialize some really radical and smart ideas to contribute to that mission. Finding material for inspiration is not best done in meeting rooms but in interactions with real people in real settings. So move out and start exploring. Join the ISCRAM community to further explore the role and use of IS/IT for improved emergency and crisis response on local, regional,
national and global levels.

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