Transparency Reserve for Crises 1.0

After getting out of Transparency Camp 2010, I wanted to post a summary of a talk I gave. While it is not acquisition related, I believe it is important enough to put here. There was a lot of feedback and talk on how to make this idea happen. The 2.0 version will be posted next week once it is further refined.

Core Idea

A Civilian Transparency Reserve, activated by the Department of Defense) crowd-sources analyses on real-time or delay-time satellite imagery to crisis commanders, giving them perspectives professional analysts may miss.

Role in 3 Scenarios

  1. War: Naval and ground force movements can be monitored.
  2. Disaster relief: We’ve already seen Crisis Commons demonstrate this capability by updating maps of Haiti right after the early 2010 earthquake.
  3. Treaty enforcement: Civilians make sure Russians, Chinese, North Koreans and Iranians are living up to what they say they are doing. Promotes nuclear arms verification.

What is a Civilian Transparency Reserve?

  • Comprised of citizens volunteers from NATO and Allied nations
  • In a “crisis situation” (however this is defined), it is activated by the President of the United States or Secretary of Defense

How do we turn this idea into reality?

  • Twitter List: @swhitehead/transparency-reserve (@graycolleen ‘s idea)
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency contacts
  • Prototyping
    • How do crowd-sourced citizen analyses measure up to professional analyses? Use time-delayed satellite imagery to see how crowd-sourced analyses compare to real-time results. If the results are close, the Transparency Reserve idea has potential. If not, then the experiment is dropped.

An improved version addresses big issues like security clearances and incentives is in development for 1 week. You can participate.

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