2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Crowdsourcing Diplomacy

#sxsw #MapGive


This panel will illustrate how the State Dept is leveraging its social media network to address humanitarian crises. With 30 million fans and followers and over 1,000 social media practitioners worldwide, the Department is engaging its networks for social good. Through the combined resources of the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) and the Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU) the Department can now crowdsource projects that can have major impact in the daily lives of millions of people. The Humanitarian Information Unit’s initiative entitled “Imagery to the Crowd” takes satellite imagery purchased by the U.S. government and connects that imagery to the volunteer mapping community working on humanitarian emergencies, disaster response, and sustainable development. The partnership uses the department's large social media network to recruit new volunteer mappers, and to map new areas which are at risk of a humanitarian emergency.



Hilary Brandt

Dir, Office of Innovative Engagement

US Department of State

Hilary Brandt is the Director of the Office of Innovative Engagement (OIE) in the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) at the U.S. Department of State. The Office of Innovative Engagement provides expertise in the best use of new and emerging digital tools for public diplomacy. Hilary oversees research and development of new tools and platforms, comprehensive education and support for the department’s 200 plus social media practitioners, and outreach to the technology industry.

Hilary joined the U.S. Department of State twelve years ago, and prior to running OIE, she was the Director of Digital Communications in the department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Hilary was widely recognized for pioneering ECA's social media outreach and managed an extensive project to convert ECA's websites to responsive and adaptive design. Following this project, ECA’s “American English” website was honored at the 2013 Webby Awards.

Prior to working at the State Department, Hilary worked for several years managing international exchange programs at IREX. Hilary has a BA in Slavic languages and literatures from Indiana University and an MA in Political science from The George Washington University. Hilary is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and she is fluent in Russian.


Joshua Campbell

GIS Architect, Humanitarian Information Unit

US Department of State

Mr. Campbell is a Geographer and GIS Architect at the Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU), a division of the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues, U.S. Department of State. He is the architect of the HIU’s geospatial cyberinfrastructure, referred to as the ‘CyberGIS’, and has built humanitarian-focused mapping applications related to the Syrian refugee crisis, the Horn of Africa famine, and the U.S. response to the AIDS epidemic. He also helped pioneer the Imagery to the Crowd (IttC) initiative, a process that utilizes the CyberGIS to publish USG-purchased commercial satellite imagery, in the form of online web map services, to the volunteer OpenStreetMap (OSM) community. Using these image services, volunteers contribute effort into mapping tasks that directly support the prioritized provision of humanitarian assistance. Mr. Campbell is currently completing his PhD in Geography from the University of Kansas, where he also holds a Bachelors in Anthropology and a Masters in Geography.

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