03 Sep 2017
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Panic Button: Lessons for the Tech for Good Sector

  • by Jun Matsushita, 03 Sep 2017
  • Blog
  • panic button

This post is by Tanya O’Carroll, Adviser Tech and Human Rights, Amnesty International; Danna Ingleton, Adviser, Human Rights Defenders; and Jun Matsushita, Founder and CEO, iilab.

Making the decision to cease support for the Panic Button app was not an easy one, but it was also not an empty one. We believe that diving into the challenges we faced, and sharing them with our communities is key to building similar – and better – tools in the future. The challenges we faced are interlinked, and by no means specific merely to us.

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02 Sep 2017

@mckinneyjames Countless innovations in health / education / safety / etc. were first tested / demonstrated in the social sector. I see this as yet another example

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01 Sep 2017
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Panic Button: Why we are retiring the app

  • by Jun Matsushita, 01 Sep 2017
  • Blog
  • panic button

This post is by Tanya O’Carroll, Adviser Tech and Human Rights, Amnesty International; Danna Ingleton, Adviser, Human Rights Defenders; and Jun Matsushita, Founder and CEO, iilab.

In 2012, Amnesty International, with support from our partners at iilab, The Engine Room and Frontline Defenders, began developing a tool that would provide human rights defenders with an alert system in their pocket: the Panic Button app. Now, we’ve made the decision to cease ongoing support for the app. Here, we share the lessons learned and what it means for the future of developing security tools for human rights activists. .

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21 Apr 2017
Engaging communities in infrastructure design
  • Social Media
  • 21 Apr 2017
  • infrastructure engineering, co-design, community, water, food, energy, waste, nexus, prototype

Deep dive into Rainwater Harvesting

In this video, filmed during the third Engineering Comes Home co-design workshop, participants explored in more depth implementation of the chosen idea: rainwater harvesting.

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26 Nov 2016
Engaging communities in infrastructure design

London community using our prototype Nexus Calculator

  • by Jun Matsushita, 26 Nov 2016
  • Blog
  • infrastructure engineering, co-design, community, water, food, energy, waste, nexus, prototype

Today, in an Estate near London Bridge in the UK, a community of inhabitants from an estate used our prototype Nexus Calculator to discuss various design options for food sharing, food growing, collecting rainwater or composting on the estate. This is the second time our team meets this community, as part of the Engineering Comes Home project in partnership with University College London and Open Lab at Newcastle University we blogged about a few months ago.

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06 Jan 2016
Engaging communities in infrastructure design

Engineering Comes Home to test new paradigms in infrastructure engineering

  • 06 Jan 2016
  • Blog
  • infrastructure engineering, co-design, community, water, food, energy, waste, nexus, prototype

Sustainability. Resilience. Scarcity. Climate change. When it comes to resources recently we’re worrying that they are going to run out, and about the impact of waste from their consumption.

At iilab we’ve been working on understanding the systems around water with our mapping of the UK water systems and contributions to the Ofwat Resilience Task and Finish Group last year, and with Open Droplet. These projects look at water from a systems and from an end-user standpoint, aiming to see water resources and wastewater in a holistic manner.

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01 Dec 2015
Water systems map

Ten recommendations to make the water sector more resilient - open data and citizen stewardship

  • 01 Dec 2015
  • Blog
  • water resilience, open data, citizen stewardship

How do we make a difference to water resilience? Today’s report, published by Ofwat and compiled by the independent Water Resilience Task and Finish Group, contains ten UK-focussed recommendations for improving water resilience.

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30 Nov 2015

Countdown 2030 - Citizen Science Challenges and Opportunities

  • 30 Nov 2015
  • Blog
  • citizen science, embodied cognition, social development theory, human-centered design

Citizen science is a pretty wonderful phenomenon that is changing the dynamics of knowledge generation in the same way that open access is changing the dynamics of knowledge ownership. So how can we make it even better?

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14 Aug 2015

Help us make a new tool to guide network mappers

  • 14 Aug 2015
  • Blog
  • influence mapping, network mapping, tools, human centered design

We are surrounded by complex systems and power structures, not least of which are the networks of links between people by which they change and are changed. Understanding these links can sometimes have important consequences - for instance if you see that a policy-maker has strong personal ties to a lobbying organisation, you may see their decisions in a different light.

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28 Jul 2015
Flickr @benurs - https://www.flickr.com/photos/benurs (CC BY-SA 2.0)

How do we make UK water provision more resilient?

  • 28 Jul 2015
  • Blog
  • water resilience, Ofwat, governance, interdisciplinarity, perspectives, community, water, Open Droplet, policy

Open call for consultation from UK water regulator Ofwat as part of Kat’s work with the resilience working group

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18 May 2015

Supporting decisions in a complex world

  • 18 May 2015
  • Blog
  • decision support, global systems science, influence mapping

As Adam Bly identified in 2012 at Ars Electronica: The Big Picture, complexity is the challenge of our time and what we need is an image that captures it. We think it is critical to develop the tools that will help reduce this complexity to its essentials, and make it easier to understand and more accessible. That way, we can face some of our time’s difficult challenges armed with the best information we can get.

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27 Mar 2015

Nix + OSX + HaskellNG = Dependency Paradise ?

  • by Jun Matsushita, 27 Mar 2015
  • Engineering
  • functional programming, static site generator, haskell, hakyll, nix

I’ve recently started to learn Haskell and have been in the books for a few months, so didn’t yet have to experience the practical side of what comes with the workflow of working with Haskell.

I decided to try getting my hands dirty with a simple project, migrating the iilab website to the Haskell static site generator Hakyll. In this post I look at how I setup my development environment, and hope to ease the pain for others that are used to the simple npm install style workflows by looking at the latest in how to deal with Haskell dependency problems also known as “cabal hell”.

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15 Jan 2015
  • Social Media
  • 15 Jan 2015
  • panic button, labtogether, betterplace

Panic Button @ Labtogether

In this video, Jun Matsushita addresses the role of the Open and Human Centered process that pervaded the Panic Button project since its start in 2011.

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06 Nov 2014

Open and Human Centric technology - Presenting Panic Button at Labtogether

  • by Jun Matsushita, 06 Nov 2014
  • Blog
  • panic button, #labtogether, betterplace

Betterplace Lab invited iilab to present our work with Amnesty International on the Panic Button app at the Lab Together 2014.

The main focus of my presentation was the role of the Open and Human Centered process that pervaded the project since it started in 2011.

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02 Nov 2014

How to make a non-evil IoT - Open Droplet at LOTE4

  • 02 Nov 2014
  • Blog
  • droplet, LOTE4

Last week we had the opportunity to take Open Droplet to LOTE4: The Stewardship. Open Droplet was one of the five projects looking at physical assets, and the only one that involved Internet of Things. IoT got a pretty bad vibe going from the get-go because of the associated scary privacy and control problems. (Alberto gave me a steer to Bruce Sterling’s “The Epic Struggle for the Internet of Things” , which goes a good way to explaining the issues).

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18 Oct 2014

Open Droplet features on Serpentine Gallery's extinct.ly platform

  • 18 Oct 2014
  • Blog
  • droplet, extinct.ly, serpentine gallery

“the spectre of extinction looms over the ways in which we understand our being in the world today.”

At London’s Serpentine Gallery this weekend thinkers, scientists and artists are coming together to focus on this ever present spectre at the Extinction Marathon.

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11 Oct 2014
  • Social Media
  • 11 Oct 2014
  • electronic medical record, democratic republic of congo, lake tanganyika floating health clinic

Deploying our Electronic Medical Records solution in DRC

We recently came back from a field deployment in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We installed 6 Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solutions and another 5 radio sites.

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22 Sep 2014

Open Droplet Experiments: Silicon Casing

  • 22 Sep 2014
  • Blog
  • droplet, enclosure, silicon, video

If you put some electronics in your bathroom, you want them to be waterproof.

We ran some tests last week on making Open Droplet shower safe, to stop water from getting in and playing havoc with the carefully constructed insides.

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12 Sep 2014

Partnership and proof of concept

  • 12 Sep 2014
  • Blog
  • droplet, water consumption, water availability, infrastructure

We’re happy to reveal a couple of marvellous videos for you.

iilab is partnering on Open Droplet with Resurgence, an organisation based in London’s Open Data Institute (ODI) and focussing on creating smart, disaster resilient cities. We are hoping to work together to leverage the Internet of Things to make water measurement more open, collaborative and affordable.

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10 Sep 2014
Source: Marisol Grandon/Department for International Development

Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink

  • 10 Sep 2014
  • Blog
  • droplet, water consumption, water availability, infrastructure

Our water demands are growing. We are reaching a point where many major cities will be suffering water stress within years. London, the world’s 15th most water-stressed city, will have a deficit of over 59 million litres next year and a projected 359 million litres by 2035.

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04 Sep 2014

@open_oil: New prototype tool to investigate headline financials of major #BP affiliates: http://data.openoil.net thanks to @opencorporates and @iilab

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28 Aug 2014
Microphone, OpAmp and our new Ersa i'CON PICO soldering station
Open Energy Monitor system architecture
Our Power System prototype: plug and play battery charging, linear regulator, analog SOC binary output, 1S1P 1600mAh LiPo cell

Open Droplet Update

  • 28 Aug 2014
  • Blog
  • droplet, sensors, open energy monitor, charging, battery

Open Droplet is coming along nicely after a short summer break. Alex Shure has joined in working on Open Droplet and the project has taken the direction of joining the Open Energy Monitor ecosystem.

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28 Jun 2014

Neo4j and Structr

  • by Jun Matsushita, 28 Jun 2014
  • Engineering
  • neo4j, structr, open oil

A few weeks ago I went to the neo4j meetup at c-base in Berlin. I met Michael Hunger who was hosting the day and is a charismatic presenter and knowledgeable techie. I recommend taking a look at his blog Better Software Development for some practical examples about neo4j. This was really instrumental in defining our technology stack for the Open Oil data framework project.

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23 Jun 2014

iilab in Wired Uk - App turns power button into panic button for activists at risk

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23 Jun 2014

Panic Button in Tech President

The concern for user safety is evident. Jun Matsushita, Founder and CEO of iilab, writes: The main trade off from a security standpoint is that the ability of the app to alert a user’s trusted contacts rapidly is more relevant/important than the privacy of the user or their contacts.

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10 Jun 2014

We're making the Internet more secure, by taking part in #ResetTheNet

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09 Jun 2014

The lay of the Ocean

  • 09 Jun 2014
  • Blog
  • droplet, sensors, open energy monitor, sprav

Open Droplet is by no means the first gizmo out there to measure water usage, and like anyone who is designing anything, we’ve had a good look at what’s out there. We’d like to share what we’ve found and open up the discussion to interrogate our own design decisions. We have stuck to non-invasive flow metres, as we would rather plumbing wasn’t required for fitting Open Droplet.

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03 Jun 2014

Tribulations in Open Collaboration, Part 1

  • by Jun Matsushita, 03 Jun 2014
  • Blog
  • open collaboration, collaborative writing, open source, tools

This is the first part of a series on tools for open collaboration. This first part will focus on managing content in an open way with collaborative editing platforms. In the next posts we’ll look at file sharing and document management, task management and communication tools.

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28 May 2014

Neo4j with Docker

Updated a Dockerfile from @tpires to install neo4j 2.1 and use LOAD CSV https://www.penflip.com/jun/iilab-systems/blob/master/Docker-Neo4j.txt … @docker @neo4j #graphhackday #berlin

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23 May 2014
Rubbery bike lights fixation could work for us.

Getting started on Droplet - An Open Hardware Water Flow Metre

  • 23 May 2014
  • Blog
  • water, bluetooth low energy, open hardware, open design

Water is one of the world’s most stressed resources. Usage has shot up by more than double the rate of population increase, meaning we are guzzling more water per head than ever before.

The impending crisis - which has already created a “water war” in southern states of the US and been immortalised in award winning musical theatre production Urine Town - has prompted varied reactions, from cries over the privatisation of this most vital resource in reaction to the Water Sustainability Act in North America, to grass roots and stakeholder initiatives to improve water infrastructures, such as Clean Water Action and the UN’s Water Action Hub.

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01 May 2014

New ‘Panic Button’ app provides safety net to human rights activists

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18 Mar 2014

Submitting the Open Integrity Index to the Knight News Challenge

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22 Feb 2014

iilab presenting today at #ccs14 with @katausten about open hardware sensors http://lanyrd.com/ 2014/citizen-cyberscience-summit/

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27 Dec 2013

It's not just that code is law. Code will become culture. Says @Dymaxion at #30c3

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26 Nov 2013

Tactical Tech @Info_Activism, Front Line Defender @FrontLineHRD and @iilab taking security questions at #EDD13 @eudevdays

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03 Jul 2013

Git (and Github) for Data - How to use version control to manage data sets with multiple contributors.

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18 Jun 2013

Hacking in Ben Ali's Basement, an article about @iilab's work with #404lab and @ATI_TN … thanks everyone who came! #FoTunis

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08 Jun 2013

#orgcon @RDBinns talks about next steps and his site MyData Transparency.org

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