Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

Day One

8:00 – 8:45 AM

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:45 – 9:00 AM

Suzanne Hall
, Master of Ceremonies; Senior Advisor for Innovation at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State

9:00 – 9:15 AM

Welcoming Remarks

Paul Schiff Berman, Dean, The George Washington University Law School

Janice Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State

9:15 – 10:00 AM

Keynote Address
Craig Fugate
, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency

10:00 – 10:30 AM


10:30 – 11:50 AM

Plenary Panel: Real-Time Awareness in Different Contexts

What Is Our Current Experience? Presentation and discussion of how various organizations are using social media and other internet-enabled data to create real-time awareness.  

Dr. Linton Wells, Director, Center for Technology & National Security Policy, National Defense University

Robert Bectel, Chief Technology Officer, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Department of Energy
Robert Kirkpatrick, Director, UN Global Pulse

Ahmed Al Omran, NPR
Clark Freifeld,

11:50 AM – 12:00 PM


12:00 – 12:30 PM

Ignite Sessions

Clay Johnson – Information Diet

Adam Beaugh - PolitEar

Brian Keller – SAIC

Robert Kirkpatrick – UN Global Pulse

Katie Baucom – National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Will Law – Netvibes

12:30 – 1:30 PM


1:30 – 3:00 PM

Breakout Sessions
Panel Discussion 1: Drinking from the Fire Hose

Real-time information, made available via social media and other internet-enabled tools, is growing exponentially, resulting in huge masses of data in different languages, various formats and no clearly defined structure. This panel will look at the impact of the explosion of data and the strategies and techniques that are being employed to deal with the ever increasing volume of data and what can be done to organize and categorize it in meaningful ways.

Panel Discussion 2: What Does It Tell Us?

Analyzing the vast amount of readily accessible data that flows constantly across the internet uncovers details, information and relationships that were unavailable a few years ago.  This panel will examine methods and practices to glean sentiment from words and text, look at using this data to predict the future and discuss what information social networks can reveal - all accomplished with no limitation on language and on a real-time or near real-time basis.

Panel Discussion 3: Conveying Real-Time Information

Complex analyses of complex systems create complicated results.  But in a real-time context, decision-makers need to respond quickly and decisively.  They need displays that portray refined information clearly and concisely.  This panel will explore the latest advances in portraying complex information in a meaningful and descriptive way, including geospatial techniques to plot the information on maps.

Panel Discussion 4: Citizen Engagement

The tremendous increase of data coming from citizens with direct access to specific information has had a profound on impact on how governments at all levels interact with citizens.  This panel will consider how government response to citizens has changed and will continue to evolve based on readily available on-scene information that flows mostly via social media.

3:00 – 3:30 PM


3:30 – 4:30 PM

Plenary Panel: Looking to the Future

Where is all this headed?  What will social media look like in five to ten years and what will we do with all of the data?  Knowing that the data stream can only increase in size, what can we do now to prepare and prevent being overwhelming by the sheer volume of data?

Rob Zitz, SAIC

Lou Martinage, Microstrategy          

Rand Waltzman, DARPA

Patrick Meier, Ushahidi

4:30 – 5:00 pm

Closing Keynote
David Weinberger
, Author, “Too Big To Know”


Day Two

9:00 AM

Doors Open – Light Breakfast

9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Morning Session Starts

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM


1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Afternoon Sessions

4:00 PM

Unconference Ends

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