Omidyar-sponsored DC conference on drones for good

From the New America foundation, an interesting conference in Washington DC  on Wed, July 22. It's backed by the Omidyar Network, which is run by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.

Clear and secure rights to property—land, natural resources, and other goods and assets—are crucial to human prosperity. Most of the world’s population lacks such rights. That lack is in part a consequence of political and social breakdowns, and in part driven by informational deficits. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, by virtue of their aerial perspective, are able to gather large amounts of information cheaply and efficiently, as can unpowered aerial platforms like kites and balloons.

That information, in the form of images, maps, and other environmental data, can be used by communities to improve the quality and character of their property rights. These same tools are also useful in other, related aspects of global development. Drone surveillance can help conservationists to protect endangered wildlife and aid scientists in understanding the changing climate; drone imagery can be used by advocates and analysts to document and deter human rights violations; UAVs can be used by first responders to search for lost people or to evaluate the extent of damage after natural disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes.

Earlier this year, New America launched a website, drones.newamerica.org, which comprises a database of such uses of drones, as well as the first comprehensive compilation of global drone regulations. In conjunction with this July 22nd Symposium, New America is publishing a primer that discusses the capabilities and limitations of drones in advancing property rights, human rights and development more broadly. The primer contains both nuts-and-bolts advice to drone operators and policy guidance. Though drones have substantial potential—in particular they are capable of making new maps cheaply, in a decentralized fashion—they are also a technology with pitfalls.

Please join Anne-Marie Slaughter, New America’s president and CEO, for a half-day discussion of these important issues. Breakfast and lunch will be served. 

This program is made possible by the support of Omidyar Network and Humanity United.

Follow the discussion online using #NewAmericaDrones and following @NatSecNAF.

Agenda:

8:00 am Registration and Breakfast

9:00 am Welcome Remarks
Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO, New America
Peter Rabley, Director, Investments, Property Rights, Omidyar Network

9:30 am Mapping for Property Rights
Irendra Radjawali, University of Bonn, on Indonesia
Aldo Watanave, Peruvian Ministry of Culture, on Peru
Gregor Maclennan, Digital Democracy, on Guyana
Moderator: Faine Greenwood, New America

10:15 am Political Geography of Aerial Imaging: Ethics, Surveillance and Privacy 
Shannon Dosemagen, Public Lab
Lisa Ellman, Hogan Lovells
John Verdi, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Moderator: Konstantin Kakaes, New America

10:45 am Practicalities of Mapping
Walter Volkmann, Micro Aerial Projects
Mathew Lippincott, Public Lab
Georgi Tushev, Tushev Aerials
Moderator: Rob Thompson, UAV Consultant

11:15 am Drones and Conservation
Serge Wich, Liverpool John Moores University

11:30 am The Regulation of UAVs: Air Safety, Privacy and New Technologies
Leslie Cary, ICAO
Ella Atkins, University of Michigan
Troy Rule, Arizona State University
Moderator: Margot Kaminski, Ohio State University

12:15 pm Drones and Peacekeeping: the DRC and Beyond
Konstantin Kakaes, New America
Walter Dorn, Canadian Forces College

12:45 pm Lunch

1:15 pm Drones and Disaster Response
Patrick Meier, Humanitarian UAV Network
Abi Weaver, American Red Cross
C.J. Guiness, Unity Development Group  
Moderator: Craig Whitlock, Washington Post

2:00 pm The Future of Commercial Drones
Darryl Jenkins, American Aviation Institute
Bradford Foley, Foley Strategies

2:30 pm Concluding Remarks
Peter Bergen, Vice-President, New America

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