You were a keynote speaker at the Empodera LIVE conference last month, what was it all about?
Empodera LIVE is an international symposium that brings together creative people who are involved in developing social technology. It aims to generate tools for social innovation and citizen empowerment.
Where was the conference held?
In sunny Málaga in southern Spain. We were privileged to be hosted in one of the best venues in the city: the new Echegaray Theatre. It is located on the ‘Island of the Arts’, close to the Picasso Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Plaza de la Merced.
What were the key messages of your presentation?
I talked about Citizen Science and how citizens are helping to shape the future of science, and argued that science affects all of us, and needs all of us. I presented several PyBossa-powered projects hosted in Crowdcrafting to showcase how citizens can take action to make our world a better place. For example, at Crowdcrafting you can fight the tiger mosquito or light pollution from the comfort of your own sofa.
Did anyone ask any tricky questions?
I was asked about the reliability of our results, which is a great question. I explained how PyBossa and Crowdcrafting require at least 30 different people to analyse each task before it is considered ‘complete’. So our results are statistically very trustworthy.
Did you find other talks inspirational?
Yes, Michael Anti (or “Zhao Jing”) delivered a fascinating talk about free speech. His experiences and stories were great examples of why it matters to have free speech on the Web.
Did you meet any interesting people?
I felt privileged to meet Amel Fahmy (co-founder of HarrasMap and managing director of women’s research centre Tadween) and Zaina Erhaim (project coordinator for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting). Amel is doing amazing work fighting for women’s rights, while Zaina is one of the bravest people I’ve ever met: she is reporting about the Syrian war while living in one of the most dangerous cities of the world. Remarkable people doing remarkable work.
How was the food and drink?
Really good, as you would expect in the south of Spain. Great fish and ham. The local wines were also really tasty.
What key lesson did you take away from the conference?
That there are wonderful people in the world fighting for the rights of others and trying to build a better world for us all.
Will you go back next year?
If I can YES! It was wonderful and I recommend the event to anyone interested in changing the world.
And you’ll bring your teammate who lives in cold, wet England… right?
*Daniel didn’t actually say this… I made it up.