A lot has happened in our first week. We've:
I had the pleasure of giving a conference talk about STRC in Brighton: https://www.periscope.tv/w/1ynJOQRWmpvKR (my talk starts at 9:27)
On Wednesday October 28th, I sat in on a conference call with Refugees Welcome Sweden and learned about the obstacles they are facing in matching refugees with shared flats.
I learned that there have been 250,000 landlords submit requests to house refugees. The current process at Refugees Welcome Sweden involves a lot of manual labor. In two weeks of operation, they have yet to place a single refugee in a home.
This is not to look down upon our friends over in Sweden, but merely to say that the problems they face are very complex and we have an opportunity to help them.
In speaking with network logistics expert Marty Kearns, I realized that we have a huge potential to leverage the manpower of volunteer team members to help organizations like Refugees Welcome amplify their mission.
I am working to set up a meeting with Fredric Landqvist (Founder of Refugees Welcome Sweden), Jonas Kakoschke (Founder of Refugees Welcome Germany), and the STRC core team for Week 2.
Based upon the information I've gathered from Refugees Welcome, I am working on a proposal to create a unified system architecture that will allow Refugees Welcome to radically increase their ability to place refugees into shared flats across Europe.
Some initial challenges have been identified and I'd like to document them here:
We need to create a standard data model for:
We need to create a central database so that all the Refugees Welcome Landlords and Tenants exist in one place.
We need to create a standard process so that all Refugees Welcome staff and volunteers are intimately familiar with their role, and the process assigned to that role. We need to make sure that the system supports the processes—not inhibit them.
There have been a few questions raised regarding the legality of creating a central EU database for all Refugees Welcome Landlords and Tenants. This is only one concern.
There are other concerns of liability: What happens if a Landlord can only house a Tenant for a small amount of time? Where will the Tenant go after that time?
What happens if a personal harm occurs to either a Landlord or a Tenant as a result of their cohabitation?
Refugees Welcome Sweden expressed great concern regarding the security of their data gathering, storage and management. The sensitive personal information of Tenants and Landlords need to be professionally secured.
If we are going to build a global team of volunteers to amplify the design and development of a standard system to match refugees with shared flats, we are going to need expert logistics and coordination resources.
If the Refugees Welcome project moves forward, STRC needs to fulfill the following roles:
In order to create an effective global community of volunteers, STRC needs to fulfill the following roles:
In speaking with Marty Kearns about volunteer logistics and coordination, we've determined a need to design a better internal structure that includes standard:
Two trello boards are currently active for project management purposes:
We have a Google Drive folder that contains documents and spreadsheets for the project:
It has been an amazing first week. STRC has grown into something that has garnered attention from people around the world. I am working on this full-time (indefinitely); I am looking to raise funds to support the growth and development of this mission:
To create a community of digital workers collaborating to help solve the refugee crisis—one small problem at a time...