“My mission is to pioneer
Next Generation Humanitarian Technologies”
Patrick Meier is an internationally recognized expert and thought-leader on humanitarian technology & innovation. His new book, “Digital Humanitarians” has been endorsed by Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, UN, Red Cross, World Bank, USAID and others. Over the past 12 years, Patrick has worked in the Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, India, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Morocco, Western Sahara, Haiti, Vanuatu and Northern Ireland on a wide range of humanitarian projects with multiple international organizations including the United Nations and the World Bank. In 2010, he was publicly praised by Clinton for his pioneering digital humanitarian efforts, which he continues to this day. Patrick’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, BBC News, UK Guardian, The Economist, Forbes & Times Magazines, New Yorker, NPR, Wired, Mashable, TechCrunch, Fast Company, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American and elsewhere. His influential and widely-read blog iRevolutions has received over 1.7 million hits. He tweets at @patrickmeier.
In 2013, the UN formally requested that he join their humanitarian information management team in the Philippines to support response efforts in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The Category 5 Typhoon devastated the country and resulted in an unprecedented use of UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (aerial robots). Shortly after leaving the Philippines, Patrick founded the Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators) which actively promotes the safe, responsible and effective use of UAVs in humanitarian settings. In 2015, he spearheaded the World Bank’s UAV mission in response to Cyclone Pam, a Category 5 Cyclone in the Pacific. He was subsequently invited by the UN to coordinate UAV teams responding to the Nepal Earthquakes. He later conducted a joint disaster recovery UAV Mission in Nepal to support rebuilding and preparedness efforts. Patrick is a certified UAV pilot. He organized and co-taught the first ever professional UAV trainings in Europe, Asia and North America for established humanitarian organizations. He also co-organized the first Humanitarian UAV Experts Meeting held at the UN Secretariat and ran the first International Policy Forum on Humanitarian UAVs, which was hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation. The Forum developed guidelines to inform the safe, responsible and effective use of UAVs in a wide range of humanitarian settings. Patrick also authored the report “Humanitarian UAV Missions: Towards Best Practices” and wrote the chapter on Humanitarian UAVs in “Drones and Aerial Observation,” an important Primer published by the New America Foundation.
Previously, Patrick served as Director of Social Innovation at QCRI where he founded the Institute’s Social Innovation Program to spearhead the development of Next Generation Humanitarian Technologies powered by crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence. During major disasters, he and his team co-deployed these Big Data solutions with international humanitarian organizations to make sense of social media, pictures, videos, aerial imagery and text messages generated during crises. Prior to QCRI, Patrick co-founded and co-directed the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s (HHI) Program on Crisis Mapping and Early Warning at Harvard University and served as Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi, an African NGO ranked by MIT as one of the 50 most innovative and disruptive companies in the world.
Patrick sits on the Innovation Team of the United Nations Secretary-General’s World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and co-founded the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) with the UN, which has been described as one of the most innovative humanitarian initiatives in the past 10 years. Patrick also co-founded the International CrisisMappers Network and the award-winning Standby Task Force (SBTF), both early and notable pioneers of digital humanitarian action. In addition, Patrick is an internationally sought-out speaker, having given well over 200 talks in more than 20 countries across 6 continents. He has spoken at the White House, UN, Google, Twitter, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Skoll World Forum, Club de Madrid, Mobile World Congress, Web Summit, PopTech, National Geographic, Thinking Digital, TTI/Vanguard, SXSW and multiple TEDx’s.
Patrick often serves on judging panels for international competitions, which have included GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards and UAE’s Drones for Good Award. He is a UNICEF Humanitarian Innovations Fellow, Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, PopTech Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Patrick is also a distinguished scholar with a PhD from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from Stanford University, an MA from Columbia University and EAP from UC Berkeley. In addition, Patrick was a Research Fellow at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) and holds certificates in Complexity Science from both the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) and the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI). He has given numerous guest lectures and has taught several professional, graduate and undergraduate courses.
CV available here (PDF).
Patrick’s photography: A President Emerita of New York’s prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) once described Patrick’s aerial photography of Italy as “fascinating,” “wonderful,” and “like a montage by many a contemporary artist.” All images here are copyrighted by Patrick Meier. They may be used freely for non-commercial purposes only and only if they are clearly credited to Patrick Meier and linked to iRevolutions.org.