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An Approach Toward Collective Intelligence

Jon Udell (Microsoft), Robert Greenberg (G&H International Services, Inc), Greg Whisenant (GroopVille, Inc.), John Crowley (Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and STAR-TIDES), Robert Davis (San Jose Police Department)
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In connection with the growth and popularity of location based services and social networking, public safety organizations at every level of government are looking at new ways to engage each other and the public. Two examples of this are the Department of Homeland Security’s Virtual USA program for emergency preparedness and response and the Major Cities Chiefs of Police iWatch program. Although each program has its internal priorities, both contemplate a role for the general public in protecting individual communities and the Homeland.

This session will focus on the importance of timely and actionable information, the role of the public, reputation systems and the critical importance of crowd sourcing to enable public safety to better to achieve its objectives.

Jon Udell


Photo of Robert Greenberg

Robert Greenberg

G&H International Services, Inc

Robert Greenberg is founder and CEO of G&H International Services Inc., a Washington D.C. based firm that provides consulting and technology services to enhance the safety and security of communities across the nation. Mr. Greenberg works with Federal, State and Local governments to develop and implement initiatives and programs to assist the emergency services community and the Critical Infrastructure and Key Resource sector (CIKR) to strengthen community preparedness and resilience across the nation.. Mr. Greenberg helped initiate and implement the Department of Homeland Security’s Virtual initiative (a DHS flagship Open Government Initiative) which is applying geospatial and other social media tools to catalyze a technical and cultural shift in the way in which the public safety community collaborates and shares information. G&H is now deeply engaged in the development and implementation of web enabled geospatial based applications and tools to improve situational awareness for the emergency preparedness and response community.

Photo of Greg Whisenant

Greg Whisenant

GroopVille, Inc.

Greg Whisenant is an entrepreneur and general manager.

Photo of John Crowley

John Crowley

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and STAR-TIDES

John coordinates a community of developers who build solutions for big problems in humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations. One of those issues is how to create a bridge between governments, NGOs, and stressed populations using crowdsourcing and other forms of collective intelligence.

Supporting the STAR-TIDES initiative at the National Defense University, he led a tiger team to connect crowdsourcing communities with the U.S. Southern Command’s emergency operations centre during the Haiti response. Between earthquakes, John coordinates the “Camp Roberts” RELIEF experiments through the Naval Postgraduate School—a program that gathers participants from responder communities and challenges them to swarm around shared problems. Through the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, John is expanding an existing program in crisis mapping to include the theory and practice around collective intelligence for response operations.

John holds an MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was the Robert C. Seamans Fellow in Science, Technology, and Public Policy. He also holds masters and bachelors degrees in intellectual history and music from Boston University. He tweets at @jcrowley.

Photo of Robert Davis

Robert Davis

San Jose Police Department

Chief Robert Davis has strong roots in the San Jose community, graduating from south San Jose’s Dartmouth Junior High School and Branham High School. Chief Davis completed volunteer service in Argentina for his church from 1977-1979, where he honed his Spanish speaking skills. He graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. Degree in English with Honors, graduated summa cum laude from Golden Gate University with a Masters of Public Administration Degree, and is a graduate of Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Academy and the FBI’s National Executive Institute Program. As of November 1, 2009, Chief Davis will serve as the President of the Major Cities Chiefs’ Association.

Chief Davis has been a San Jose Police Officer since 1980. He has spent over nine years in the Patrol Division in varying capacities, along with distinguishing himself in the following assignments. As an officer, he served in the Field Training Program and as a Police Academy Training Officer. As a Sergeant, he was assigned to the Fraud/Burglary, Night Detective, and Internal Affairs Units, as well as the Airport Division. While a Lieutenant, he was the Commander of the Gang Investigation Unit for over three years. As a Captain, Chief Davis served in the Bureau of Technical Services, where he was instrumental in implementing the new Automated Information System and the nation’s first Voluntary Racial Profiling Study. As a Deputy Chief, he commanded the Bureau of Investigations and its 256 detectives and support personnel.

Training has been a focus of Chief Davis’ throughout his career. Since 1987, he has been an instructor at the Evergreen Valley College Police Academy, where he has mentored thousands of Police Recruits. Additionally, from 1993 to present Chief Davis has been a certified Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission Master Instructor and has taught a wide variety of courses to law enforcement professionals throughout the state. Over the last few years, Chief Davis has traveled to Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela and most recently to Guatemala and Nicaragua (September 2009) on behalf of the State Department to provide training concerning anti-gang and community policing strategies. Chief Davis currently serves as a Board Member for several non-profit community groups, including the Board of the YWCA of Silicon Valley, the Santa Clara County Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Advisory Committee for Project Cornerstone, as well as the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Chief Davis enjoys competing in triathlons. He rode a bicycle across the United States, traveling 3,605 miles between Santa Cruz, California and Yorktown, Virginia in 36 days. He is happily married and has a beautiful, 11-years-old daughter and a handsome five- years-old son.

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