Professor — INSEAD Humanitarian Research Group
The Humanitarian caseload is increasing while funding is substantially decreasing. The nature and impact of crises is also changing. This creates serious tensions and a need to reflect on recent advances in research. What has been relevant and impactful? Are we dealing with the major issues and providing answers to practitioners? At the same time, technology now allows us to analyse situations and do things that were impossible only half a dozen years ago. How can these new technologies be better integrated and used? How can developments from other disciplines allow humanitarian practitioners to do more with less in these resource-scarce times? The field of humanitarian operations is in great flux and organizations need help in facing the rapidly changing world of providing aid to the ones in need.
The presentation will not attempt to cover all developments for the simple reason that I am not competent for that. However, I can share with you my own research work and experience in collaborating with a set of humanitarian organizations. I hope to convince you that this is an exciting field of research with lots of relevant multi-disciplinary problems where we can make a substantial impact.
Professor Van Wassenhove's research focus is on closed-loop supply chains (product take-back and end-of-life issues) and on disaster management (humanitarian logistics). He is the author of many award-winning teaching cases and regularly consults for major international corporations. He recently co-edited special issues on humanitarian operations for the Journal of Operations Management, the Production and Operations Management Journal and the European Journal of Operational Research.
In 2005, Professor Van Wassenhove was elected Fellow of the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS). In 2006, he was the recipient of the EURO Gold Medal for outstanding academic achievement. In 2009 he was elected Distinguished Fellow of the Manufacturing and Services Operations Management Society (MSOM), and received the Lifetime Achievement Faculty Pioneer Award from the European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS) and the Aspen Institute. In 2013 he has been recognized as an Honorary Fellow of the European Operations Management Association (EUROMA).
Professor Van Wassenhove is a past-president of the Production and Operations Management Society. In 2011 he was elected member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Sciences. At INSEAD he holds the Henry Ford Chair of Manufacturing. He also created the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre and acted as academic director until September 2010. He currently leads the INSEAD Humanitarian Research Group.
Assistant Professor —
Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) —
University of Washington
Social media are now an established feature of crisis response. People—including emergency responders, members of the affected community, and remote onlookers—are repeatedly turning to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat to seek and share information about crisis events. However, there remain significant challenges to the utility of social media in this context—including rumors and misinformation. Crisis responders repeatedly cite a fear of misinformation as a reason to be wary of utilizing social media in their work. On the other side of the spectrum, social media evangelists have argued that the “self-correcting crowd” will consistently identify, attack, and neutralize misinformation. Over the last few years, my collaborators and I have conducted extensive research on online rumoring during crisis events, in part focused on how rumors are corrected (or not). Recently, our work has revealed how a specific subsection of the alternative media ecosystem facilitates the spread of disinformation—in the form of conspiracy theories or “alternative narratives” about crisis events—via social media. This disinformation is often employed as part of a political agenda and poses new information security risks. In this talk, I’ll present some of the most significant findings of our research on rumoring, rumor correcting, and the intentional spread of disinformation online during crisis events and discuss some of the implications for emergency and humanitarian responders.
Kate Starbird is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) at the University of Washington (UW). Kate's research is situated within human-computer interaction (HCI) and the emerging field of crisis informatics—the study of the how information-communication technologies (ICTs) are used during crisis events. Specifically, her work seeks to understand and describe how affected people, emergency responders and remote individuals come together online to respond to major crisis events, often forming emergent collaborations to meet unpredicted needs. Recently, she has also focused on how online rumors spread—and how online rumors are corrected—during crisis events. Kate earned her PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Technology, Media and Society and holds a BS in Computer Science from Stanford University.
Master Professor — Villain & Sith Research Center —
University of the Galactic Empire
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