Exploring the future of humanitarian technology

The year 2030 serves as the resolution to the United Nation’s Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agenda, adopted in 2015 by all UN member states including the United States, mobilizes global efforts to protect the planet, end poverty, foster peace, and safeguard the rights of all people. Nine years out from the target date, the sustainable development goals of the agenda still remain ambitious, and as relevant as ever.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory has been growing its efforts to provide technology solutions in support of such goals. “We need to discuss innovative ways that advanced technology can address some of these most pressing humanitarian, climate, and health challenges,” says Jon Pitts, who leads Lincoln Laboratory’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Systems Group.

To help foster these discussions, Pitts and Mischa Shattuck, who serves as the senior humanitarian advisor at Lincoln Laboratory, recently launched a new lecture series, called the Future of Humanitarian Technology.

In the inaugural session on April 28, Lincoln Laboratory researchers presented three topics inherently linked to each other — those of climate change, disaster response, and global health. The webinar was free and open to the public.

Play video The Future of Humanitarian Technology: MIT Lincoln Laboratory hosted a seminar exploring climate change, disaster response, and global health technology and how these areas might look ten years from now.

Accelerating sustainable technology

Deb Campbell, a senior staff member in the HADR Systems Group, started the session with a discussion of how to accelerate the national and global response to climate change.

“Because the timeline is so short and challenges so complex, it is essential to make good, evidence-based decisions on how to get to where we need to go,” she said. “We call this approach systems analysis and architecture, and by taking this approach we can create a national climate change resilience roadmap.”

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