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Tufts Crisis Mapping Class » Crisis Mapping, Featured » Why Crisis Mapping?…

Why Crisis Mapping?…

So I’d graduated from college, moved a few miles away into Cambridge, started dabbling with the whole “working-world” thing… and it was a lot of fun! To have free time to explore, to try new things, and generally just to live life for myself was both exciting and exhilarating. I was meeting new people, discovering new coffee shops, going to ICA gallery openings, checking to-dos off the bucket list, and able to listen to NPR every morning. It was incredible to feel how seemingly overnight — now that I could be described by both the titles ‘BA’ and ‘Marketing Manager’ — I had been inducted respectfully into the world of adulthood. With all of the newness I really felt myself grow.

Well, about three months later the newness started to wear off. I had established my new life and settled into it; and although the day-to-day of it all was still a lot of fun I started to get antsy. It was time to throw something new into the mix to push myself to keep growing. I needed something to cultivate my understanding of the world and to hone the skills with which I engage it. In this way I found myself perusing the Tufts course catalog, drafting a list of courses to consider auditing. Contemporary European Politics… Rational Choice… The American Built Environment… Intro to Adobe… When I stumbled upon Crisis Mapping I threw the rest of the list out.

Why Crisis Mapping? What a unique way to learn a little more about how the world works — examining current events; delving into the operations of NGOs, IGOs and national governments; examining their actions from the perspective of practicality. It was the promise of this logistical perspective that was particularly appealing. In my senior year I had interned with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and found that — more than the politics of humanitarian aid (and the occasionally frustratingly over-intellectualized dialogue surrounding it) — I was interested in implementation. I was curious to know more about how national public health programs are actually developed, and how ARV supply chains are actually implemented on the ground. Crisis Mapping seemed to offer a twist on the same theme. Furthermore, it presented the exciting opportunity to play with the cutting edge of GIS technology, and of perhaps to pick up a few techy skills in the process. It would be a chance to learn from — and learn with — people who care about making a difference in the world, and who push the limits of creativity and innovation in order to do so. So far it has been just the “something new” I was looking for.

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Fresh after finishing up four years as an undergraduate pondering the greater questions of classical philosophy, it seemed like as good a time as any to start learning a little about more concrete and contemporary issues. Well, what better place to start than by leaping onto the cutting edge of an inspired and impassioned humanitarian movement! Here I am, enrolled in Crisis Mapping.

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Featured

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