There is a saying: those who think something is impossible should not interrupt the person doing it. I love that my daily work allows me to do the things often considered to be impossible. It is fun, frustrating, and rewarding.

I bridge the various institutions that make societies more resilient in the face of climate change and natural disasters. Given the chasms that exist between the actors in this space (who are usually funded to build disconnected efforts in risk reduction, preparedness, response, and recovery), I focus on building practical simple solutions to shared problems. I have repeatedly found that open innovation, open source code, open data, and open standards provide mechanisms to connect organizations that may not be able to directly interact and who may hold entirely different beliefs about the nature of a problem.

So I work at the intersection of systems: informal digital communities and formal humanitarian institutions; civilian agencies and militaries; and for-profit and non-profit entities. I create a shred space where scientists, field staff, policy makers, entrepreneurs, and lawyers can solve shared problems. I have just started as the Project Manager for the Data for Climate Action Challenge at UN Global Pulse. I am also a consultant at the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery Labs at The World Bank Group and a researcher at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

I hold an MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where I was the Robert C. Seamans, Jr. Fellow in Science, Technology, and Public Policy. I also hold an MA in the history of ideas from the University Professors Program at Boston University and an MusB in cello and music history ( summa cum laude with distinction), from the Boston University School for the Arts, where I studied with Leslie Parnas and chamber music with [Eugene Lehner] ( I could not do what I do today without their coaching on how to work in a small group—then as a musician, today as a synergist.

My curriculum vitae is available here. curriculum vitae is available hereDownload PDF

John Crowley