Meet Juliana Rotich, the "African Geek Girl" - Ushahidi Executive Director and Former Diasporan
Like many Kenyans in diaspora, Juliana Rotich - Ushahidi's Co-Founder and Executive Director found herself drawn into the crisis when violence hit Kenya after the national elections in December 2008. Being pro-active, the "African geek girl" as Juliana refers to herself, she collaborated with the online community and helped in founding Ushahidi. Ushahidi was used to map areas with incidences of violence during that period. Ushahidi has since been used in several countries as a reporting web platform to map out disaster and high crime areas using crowd-sourced data.
Juliana recently relocated back to Kenya after spending several years in the United States. She holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Missouri, Kansas City and had worked in the telecommunications industry of over ten years.
She is a technology, budding African Futurist and TED Senior Fellow. She co- founded Mobisoko, a mobile marketplace for language and location relevant apps in Africa. She also writes the well-respected ‘Afromusing’ blog, typically with a focus on African tech and renewable energy. She often speaks at international conferences about technology, innovation, media, open source, crisis mapping and Africa; Past conferences she has spoken at include Lift, DEMO, TTI Vanguard, TransMediale, WSIS, DLD Women, Guardian Activate World Economic Forum -Davos, and ARS Electronica.
Juliana was named one of the Top 100 women by the Guardian newspaper and top 2 women in Technology 2011.
Ushahidi is a web based reporting system that utilizes crowd-sourced data to formulate visual map information of a crisis on a real-time basis. In the Kenyan scenario it was used to map out incidents of violence and this information has played a crucial role in the continuing justice and reconciliation process in Kenya. Ushahidi then grew to be an open source incident reporting platform that has been successfully deployed in various situations such as Haiti earthquake, the Palestine conflict crisis, heavy snow crisis in Washington or commodity prices in Afghanistan.
DLD Conference 2012