Meeting my hero @patrickmeier – A story about hope and creating #digitaljedis #techgirls #STEM

As you may know, one way I’ve been trying to inspire girls into #STEM is through being a digital humanitarian and getting involved in crisis/crowd mapping through using open street maps. The concept was coined by Patrick Meier during the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 – if you haven’t seen his TED talks you are missing out! Watch them here and here. He is truly inspiring and he has changed my view of the world and how I can help. 

The main concept is that you don’t have to get on a plane to go around the world to help in natural and man-made disasters such as the recent devastating earthquakes in Nepal. You can help save lives in real time by simply using your web browser. The work you do from your couch can help the UN and the Red Cross to get timely aid to those that need it. See our previous post here and get involved today!  

I was so crazy happy to not only hear Patrick talk in person recently at the Pivotal Youth Summit in Brisbane hosted by the Qld department of Science and Innovation, but I presented on the same program and when we met, he was excited about Tech Girls Are Superheroes!

What caught my attention most in Patrick’s presentation is that he has mobilised 3000 #digitaljedis (as he calls them (I love it!)) across the world. His most active crowd mapper is a 12-year-old Japanese boy, and 80% of his 3000 digital volunteers are female! That is in stark contrast to the number of women in tech – see the recent Australian Deloitte Digital Pulse report. I’m so super inspired by Patrick’s ongoing work. Let’s work together and change the world!

Here’s the obligatory selfie of the awesome school holiday crowd at the Brisbane Convention Centre.