Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

I have to admit that I found this mission daunting when I first read it. Find a hero? You mean, right now? I should just adopt a hero into my heart just like that?

(Where I'm from, it's not popular to have a hero)

And yet, once I started looking, I didn't take long to find one. And it was instant recognition. As soon as I read about her and her work that I knew I had found a mentor and someone to inspire me.

I'm now following Ory Okolloh - a.k.a. The Kenyan Pundit.

From PopTech:

A lawyer, activist and blogger, Ory is the co-founder and executive director of Ushahidi, a free, open source, Web / mobile-based platform capable of crowd-sourcing, sharing and mapping information in near real time. The project was born as a way to track the atrocities and human rights violations that erupted after the 2008 Kenyan presidential election. Ushahidi has since been used to help monitor elections, respond to humanitarian crises, track swine flu outbreaks, enable citizen journalism and monitor crucial pharmaceutical supply levels.

I'm respond to this project for so many reasons -- because it supports human rights work -- because it supports citizen journalism -- because its an open source project -- and because it gives a voice to people in dire need. I'm reading the Ushahidi report on Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and I'm having a hard time putting into words all the emotions that I am feeling as I read so many people ask for water, for tents, for food...

This is technology that humanizes.

Not only have I found a hero, I have also found my Ada.

Views: 32

Comment by Monica Toth on March 4, 2010 at 3:43pm
Hello! I was drawn to your post from the title, and I'm very glad I found you. I'll definitely be reading up on Ory Okolloh -- there's hardly a better compliment than calling someone a "new Ada".

You may have found this already, but last year's Ada Lovelace blogging day inspired a brilliant and hilarious comic about her origins. The sequels veer off into sci-fi and alternate history, but they explain so much about her life and thoughts (from her letters, what her friends have said about her, etc.) that I still consider them educational. It's good to meet you! I look forward to reading more.
Comment by Mita Williams on March 4, 2010 at 3:58pm
"Wait, this is a fan" - BRILLIANT. Much thanks for the comic tip - I'm still grinning!
Comment by Bruce Haynes on March 4, 2010 at 4:05pm
Mita thanks for the time invested in telling this story!
Comment by Caroline Meeks on March 4, 2010 at 8:23pm
Great choice on heros! I was able to help with Ushahidi mapping for Haiti, its an amazing thing to see the world come together and for volunteers around the world to do 911 services in a disaster. Go Open Source! woohoo!
Comment by Ayala Sherbow on March 4, 2010 at 9:11pm
I've done the other 2 parts of the first mission but I am so uncertain in this one. What do you think the over all purpose is of this particular exercize? There are so many people I admire who are making a difference...
Comment by John D. Boyden on March 6, 2010 at 5:12pm
A good read, great links! I even got a story for my Daily News!! Will post an Ada Story/link there.
+1 Knowledge share, though deciding what point was hard. Spark was my second choice. :) I love your reasoning here too .
Comment by Rachel Donahue on March 7, 2010 at 1:13am
Many hearts for OSS, crowdsourcing, and mash-ups!
Comment by Fiacre on March 7, 2010 at 1:23am
Thanks for the comic link. Hilarious!

Waiting patiently to post my blog entry for Ada Lovelace Day.
Comment by Mita Williams on March 7, 2010 at 11:04am
Hello Ayala!

I've been reading a number of Action 1 missions and I've seen agents approach the challenge in different ways. Most use it to champion already close to their hearts but some, like myself, used it as opportunity to learn about an actively engaged social entrepreneur to follow as a mentor.

Was I lucky that I found such wonderful fit for this challenge? Or was it because I keep searching until I found her? I don't know - but I do know that by following her Twitter feed, the challenge lives on and has developed my thinking about her work and her world in ways that I couldn't have predicted.

Keep me posted on your choice if you decide to take up the challenge!
Comment by Andrew Perry on March 9, 2010 at 8:18am
Hi Mita,

I enjoyed hearing your story about finding the perfect fit, 'adopting a hero into your heart'.

I was also really inspired by your reply to Ayala, I like how you made use of the opportunity this mission provided.



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