Panel Sessions

PANEL 1: Social Media Data Integration with Common Operating Picture Situational Awareness: Issues in Disaster Management

Developing and communicating disaster situational awareness to the public can be compromised by dis/mis-information generated on social media. This was evident in the East Coast (2019/2020) Bushfires, the COVID-19 (2020) Pandemic as well as the recent Lismore and Sydney (2022) Floods.

Social media dis/mis-information compromises situational awareness timeliness, accuracy, clarity and trust. This panel will discuss approaches to such issues as the need to develop more effective social media regulation, channels as trusted sources, and the amplification of situational awareness though channel influencers.

Panel Chair: Professor Deborah Bunker (Sydney - Communications and Technology for Society Research Group)

Panellists: Professor Stefan Stieglitz (Duisburg Essen - Digital Communication and Transformation Research Group), Professor Tim Majchrzak (Adger - Centre for Integrated Emergency Management), Associate Professor Stan Karanasios (University of Queensland - School of Business), Dr Lucia Castro Herrera (Agder - Centre for Integrated Emergency Management)

Deborah Bunker is a leading international scholar in organizational collaboration and change management in complex organizational and environmental settings. She is Chair of the Communications and Technology for Society Research Group (University of Sydney) and immediate past Chair of the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) Working Group 8.6 (Transfer and Diffusion of IT). She is a Multi-Disciplinary Advisory Board Member of the Marie Bashir Institute (MBI) for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity and a Member of the National Committee for Information and Communication Sciences, Australian Academy of Science. Professor Bunker’s domains of research include: disaster management, whole of government; health; and small and medium enterprises, looking at: systems adoption and diffusion; collaborative systems; geospatial information management; systems security; cloud computing and social media.

Stefan Stieglitz is Professor and head of the research group for Digital Communication and Transformation at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Furthermore, he is director of the Competence Center Connected Organization which aims at intensifying the knowledge transfer between research and the business world. Previously he hold a position as an assistant professor at University of Münster at the department of information systems. His work focuses on the impact of social media on companies and society. He investigates and develops applications and methods of social media analytics in order to realize empirical research in domains such as marketing, internal corporate communication, and crisis communication.

Tim Majchrzak is a professor in Information Systems at the University of Agder (UiA) in Kristiansand, Norway. He also is a member of the Centre for Integrated Emergency Management (CIEM) at UiA. His research comprises technical, sociotechnical, and organizational aspects of Software Engineering, often in the context of Mobile Computing. He also engages in diverse interdisciplinary Information Systems topics, most notably targeting Crisis Prevention and Management. Tim’s research projects typically have an interface to industry and society. He is a senior member of the IEEE and the IEEE Computer Society, a member of the Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V., and a member of the Association for Information Systems (AIS).

Stan Karanasios is an Associate Professor in Information Systems at the UQ Business School, University of Queensland. Prior to joining the University of Queensland he worked at RMIT University in Melbourne and the University of Leeds in the UK. Stan's interests focus on how digital technology impacts of organisations and society. Over the last ten years he has undertaken a program of research on how organisations use, adapt, and navigate new digital technologies. Recently he completed a project for Emergency Management Victoria on how social media platforms change the information landscape in the emergency sector. His research draws and expands on activity theory, an area in where he is recognised as an international expert. He has published in leading information systems journals including MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Journal and the Journal of the Association for Information Systems.

Lucia Castro Herrera is a PhD candidate in Information Systems affiliated to the Centre for Integrated Emergency Management CIEM at the University of Agder in Norway. Apart from academia, Lucia counts with professional experience in digital communications, crisis management, and process improvement in international, private, and public organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the US. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  She holds an MSc. In Engineering Management with a concentration in crisis, emergency and risk management from The George Washington University, and a BA in Government and International Relations from Universidad Externado de Colombia. Her research interests include disaster and risk management, support technologies for agile crisis management, logistics, and process improvement. Her dissertation is exploring organizational practices in using social media as a source of information to support crisis management strategies. She has been an active member of the ISCRAM community as an author, workshop chair, and assistant to the election chair for the ISCRAM board member election in 2021. Currently she serves in the advisory group for the ROADMAP project (European observatory on disaster risk and crisis management best practices).

PANEL 2: Data Informed Emerging Technology Governance for Social Inclusion and Sustainability

Over the last decade, we have seen the increasing involvement of individuals and communities in disaster response and recovery. This has been facilitated by emerging technologies such as AI, drones, mobile communication, immersive technologies (AR/VR/XR), high-performance computing, etc. and data from citizen science, crowdsourcing, satellite, etc.

There is, however, a reluctance to involve non-agency personnel in many aspects of disaster response and recovery for a variety of reasons e.g. lack of training and integration with formal response processes, psycho-social impacts of the disaster and government legal responsibilities.

Communities have shown that they can effectively self-organise for disaster response when the official response is overwhelmed and when they have access to information and systems to generate trusted situational awareness. Connected communities prove to be resilient in many ways that have potential for inclusion in approaches to disaster response. This fact was aptly demonstrated in the recent 2022 Lismore Flood community response.

Moreover, many research has initiated to identify the root causes and finding solutions to be resilience on future disasters. These includes but not limited to climate resilience, incorporating First Nations Peoples traditional knowledge, incorporating volunteer capabilities, adaptation of emerging technologies, incorporating citizen science and many more.

This panel will be composed of academic and industry participants who will discuss the current issues in this critical and emerging field.

Panel Chair: Dr Mahendra Samarawickrama (Director of the Centre for Sustainable AI, Director of the Centre for Climate and Disaster Resilience and Co-author of the IFRC data playbook for AI governance, ethics, and literacy).

Panellists: Professor Jakelin Troy (University of Sydney), Heather Leson (International Federation of Red Cross, Solferino Academy), Dr Mukesh Prasad (UTS, Faculty of Engineering and IT), Dr Raj Prasanna (Massey University - Technologies and Systems for Disaster and Emergency Management), Dr Craig Jin, Associate Professor Nabin Sharma (UTS - Intelligent Drone Lab), Dr George Joukhadar (UNSW - SISTM)

Dr Mahendra Samarawickrama is the ACS ICT Professional of the Year 2022. He is a Director of the Centre for Sustainable AI and a Director of the Centre for Climate and Disaster Resilience. He leads the Australian AI and data-science strategy while building capabilities for social justice and sustainability with diversity, equity and inclusion in AI and data science by mobilising the power of humanity. He is an entrepreneur, author, inventor, mentor and a regular speaker in various tech forums, conferences and events worldwide. He is an Advisory Council Member in Harvard Business Review (HBR), an Expert in AI ethics and governance at Global AI Ethics Institute, an industry Mentor in the UNSW business school, a senior member of IEEE (SMIEEE), an honorary visiting scholar at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), an Advisor for Data Science and Ai Association of Australia (DSAi), and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). He is also a co-author of the IFRC data playbook and contributed to the data science and emerging technology chapter for AI governance, ethics, and literacy. He is an industry collaborator who actively leads technology innovation-and-transformation initiatives and partnerships toward humanity, social justice and sustainability.

Professor Jakelin Troy focussed on documenting, describing and reviving Indigenous languages. She has a new focus on the Indigenous languages of Pakistan, including Saraiki of the Punjab and Torwali of Swat. She has two Australian Research Council Discovery Projects one with Prof John Maynard on the history of Aboriginal missions and reserves in eastern Australia and the history of Aboriginal people who were not institutionalised. The other DP is about the practise of 'corroboree' by Aboriginal people in the 'assimilation period' of the mid C20 in Australia. She is interested in the use of Indigenous research methodologies and community engaged research practises. She is Aboriginal Australian and her community is Ngarigu of the Snowy Mountains in south eastern Australia.

Heather Leson is Digital Innovation Lead in Solferino Academy in the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies. She is the co-editor of the IFRC Data Playbook initiative. Heather Leson is driven by a world where everyone lends a hand. At the intersection of social impact, strategy, technology, and open principles, she delivers innovative products and experiences with global networks.

Heather co-lead of the IFRC Digital Transformation strategy (approved by the IFRC Governing Board (May 2021). Creating and delivering a global data playbook for IFRC engaged over 4000 people for the first-ever IFRC Data and Digital Week (Solferino Academy) and activated 100s of contributors and partners. The IFRC Data Playbook is a unique product (recently upgraded from Beta to V1) to help teams explore, discuss, and learn data skills across the data lifecycle. A leader in the open space: she has represented and worked for many open organizations including serving as the Board Member of both the OpenStreetMap Foundation (2 years) and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (4 years). She co-wrote an e-book on Opening Up Social Impact-Focused Organizations, wrote a chapter on the State of Data in Humanitarian Action in the State of Open Data book, a chapter in Red Hat's The Open Organization Workbook on Open Communities as well as articles on the power of data and digital literacy for the World Economic Forum and Civicus Datashift.

Dr Mukesh Prasad is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Computer Science in the Faculty of Engineering and IT at UTS who has made substantial contributions to the fields of machine learning, artificial intelligence and the internet of things. Mukesh’s research interests include also big data, computer vision, brain computer interface, and evolutionary computation. He is a volunteer data scientists in the Australian Red Cross and developed a data-informed decision-making framework for not-for-profit sector. He is working also in the evolving and increasingly important field of image processing, data analytics and edge computing, which promise to pave the way for the evolution of new applications and services in the areas of healthcare, biomedical, agriculture, smart cities, education, marketing and finance.

Dr Raj Prasanna is a transdisciplinary researcher with experience of working in three continents in the field of Technologies and Systems for Disaster and Emergency Management. His current research focuses on transdisciplinary socio-technical research on 1) the application of Internet of Things (IoT) for Disaster Management, 2) Designing Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) for Emergency Response and Situation Awareness, 3) End-user Acceptance of Systems Supporting Crisis Situations, and 3) Cognitive Requirements Capturing Techniques for Emergencies. Raj maintains an excellent research portfolio supported by strong collaborative research with researchers from both domestic and international organisations and institutes. Raj has established research collaborations across several schools and colleges within Massey University and also made very strong research links with New Zealand’s top-ranking research organisations such as GNS Science and NIWA. Raj also contributes as an expert in emergency management to support both local and international government and non-government organisations. He has more than sixteen years of teaching experience as a fulltime academic in graduate and postgraduate programmes in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and the UK.

Dr Craig Jin is the head of Computing and Audio Research Laboratory at the University of Sydney. He is recognised worldwide as a leader on recording, generation, and perception of spatial audio. In 2005, he was awarded a QEII Fellowship to pursue this research. Dr Jin’s research investigates signal processing related to spatial audio as well as models of the human auditory system related to spatial audio perception and auditory scene analysis. Dr Jin’s most significant contribution to the field of audio engineering is the invention of a spatial hearing aid for which he was recognized nationally. The spatial hearing aid restores the ability of hearing aid users to localise sounds and the ability to follow a conversation amongst a number of competing conversations – skills that are lost with conventional hearing aids.

Dr Nabin Sharma is a co-director of the Intelligent Drone Lab and Associate Professor at University of Technology Sydney. His research area focuses on video and image processing, pattern recognition, and machine learning techniques for object detection and recognition. He has more than 16 years of experience in research & development and academia. He has substantial industry experience in software design and development. He is the winner of the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) industry awards 2020, innovation champion, for the ultra-low latency live streaming from UAVs and the winner of the 2020 Queensland State iAward for BotVision project, in the start-up of the year category, along with Codebots.
Dr George Joukhadar is a lecturer in the School of Information Systems and Technology Management at UNSW. After completing his PhD, George moved to academe after a professional career in the Information Systems field. George teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses: Databases, Big Data, Business Process Management, Agile Projects, and Managing Complex Projects. His interdisciplinary research focuses on a significant Information Systems (IS) strand: Architecture and Governance. He has published in top-ranking journals and leading IS conferences. His current research focuses on Digital Transformation and Digital Sustainability.

PANEL 3: KEYNOTE CLOSING PANEL: So......How Do We Deal with the Unexpected?

This panel will be held with a selection of academic and practitioner experts who will explore the themes which have emerged over the 3 days of​ the conference. Each panellist will be posed a question from our panel chair to provide their insights and suggest future directions for research and practice in the ISCRAM community. For example: Why are we blindsided by the unexpected? What can we do to be ready for the unforeseen? How can we better manage when novel events occur?

Panel Chair: David Parsons (Director, Crisis Management Australia)

Panellists: Bob Jensen (Consultant), Helen Foster (Consultant, Risk Resilience and Advisory Services), Jon Mitchell (Consultant, Emergency Management Leadership), Costa Zakis (Enterprise & Strategic Risk)

David Parsons is a founding partner of Response and Recovery Aotearoa New Zealand which provides emergency management leadership training throughout New Zealand. David is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security Studies at Charles Sturt University. David is an educator with the Australian Centre for Investigation and Incident Management Solutions. David’s company Crisis Management Australia provides a range of emergency management advice to jurisdictions across Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and Europe.

Bob Jensen is is a senior strategy, risk, crisis and disaster management and communications executive with extensive leadership experience at the national and international level. Effective leader and manager who led global teams up to 2,500 strong in multiple disciplines and locations, managed multi-million dollar operational budgets and directed large-scale projects from ideation to completion. From strategic vision to tactical execution, the U.S. Government's go-to crisis communications executive with demonstrated success and results for the toughest assignments in challenging environments. Deployed four times to combat zones, led communication efforts for major disaster responses including Hurricanes Ike and Sandy, 2010 Haiti earthquake and Deepwater Horizon. Internationally recognized leader in crisis and disaster response communications, risk and crisis management. Has consulted with foreign governments and major global corporations, and presented extensively at conferences worldwide.

Helen Foster has vast experience in risk, resilience and assurance activities in a number of public and private sector organisations. These roles have included a Chief Risk and Resilience Officer in Federal Government, a Risk and Resilience Manager and a Manager, Information Technology in State Government.  She has a Master’s in Emergency Management, a Graduate Diploma in Technology (Risk Management), a Graduate Certificate in Quality Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Information Science.

Jon has 20 years of experience in emergency management in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, South East Asia, and North America. He specialises in local, regional, state/provincial, and national-level multi-agency emergency management leadership, planning, intelligence recovery management and capability development. Jon was a CDEM Group planner, manager, and alternate CDEM Group Controller, Canterbury CDEM Group 2002 to 2012 and a Programme Manager for CDEM Controller Development Programme 2013 to 2018. Later, Jon was the Programme Manager for Project AF8, South Island Alpine Fault Earthquake Response Planning Project and was an international emergency management consultant from 2012 to 2018.

Costa Zakis is an experienced company executive and risk management professional who has held domestic and international Executive leadership and company Director positions.  With a background in engineering and an MBA, Costa has both consulted and worked in the field of risk management for over 30 years and is keenly interested in making sure that risk management programs are practical and deliver genuine benefit to organisations.

As the previous regional consulting leader for global risk advisory Marsh, he was responsible for consulting operations that included forensic accounting, actuarial services, risk engineering, claims management, strategic and people risk. Costa has worked with some of Australia’s governments, largest businesses and critical infrastructure providers to understand strategic, operational and project related risk, develop and implement risk programs, assist with mergers and acquisitions, undertake risk and insurance due diligence and improve risk governance. He has been a risk advisor to two Olympic Games and had an ongoing crisis management advisory role with one of Australia’s leading sporting codes for over 10 years. Costa has worked in the following industry sectors in operational, management or advisory capacities: Banking and Finance, Education, Energy and utilities, Government, Health care, Manufacturing, Mining, Professional Services, Sport, Telecommunications, Transport.

Costa is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Emergency Services, Member of the Institution of Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and sits on the Boards of a Not-for-Profit company and Little Athletics NSW.