Could DARPA recycle the 10 Red Balloon challenge (http://web.mit.edu/press/2009/darpa-challenge-1210.html) to the development of a rapidly-deployable solution for the relief effort in Haiti?
Clearly, “the relief effort” is too large of a single task, but if we focused the intellectual and creative resources of the world, linked via social media, on a specific – and particularly vexing – part of the larger problem, for example the fact that the port in Port au Prince has been decimated and relief supplies are languishing in ships off the coast ( http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/01/15/candiotti.haiti.port.damage.cnn?hpt=C1 ).
Perhaps the sea port isn’t the most important problem, but it seems, from the CNN report linked above, that it is one that allows for at least a number of days in which to find and deploy solutions.
The solutions would have to be more than just palatable to the government officials overseeing the relief, they’d have to be undeniable. They’d have to make use of materials and resources that can be effectively deployed in a short time-frame.
The problem could be parsed into several separate ‘balloons’ for individual recognition, such as removing shipping containers from the ships, transportation means / route from the ships to shore, overland transportation of materials, distribution strategies... Etc...
I have no doubt that the State Department, UN, military branches and others have remarkably qualified people working on these issues, but when it comes to addressing short-fuse questions that have real life-and-death consequences, sometimes it takes creative thinking, and that’s just the sort of thing that 10 balloons might be good for.
If you create pages related to Haiti earthquake resources or topics, add this code:
to the top of your page, and it will automatically add a menu of related topics and categorize the page. Wiki hackers: please help improve this stubby template. :) -- Phoebe 01:44, 17 January 2010 (UTC)