Heather Leson

Heather Leson is driven by the mandate: “Imagine this world if we all lent a digital hand.” As a technologist, she is focused on social impact with human-centered design, social entrepreneurship, and innovation methodologies. She builds partnerships, open governance, strategic organizational change, curates digital spaces, fosters volunteer engagement and delivers training while inspiring systems for co-creation with maps, code and data.

At the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent, Heather coordinates global Data Literacy programs and co-leads the Digital Strategy work stream. Together with 100s of contributors from across the globe within IFRC and partners, she curated the Data Playbook (Beta) project to support a data-enabled organization. She is a Board Member of OpenStreetMap Foundation and a past board member (current member) of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. Heather is a frequent public speaker and facilitator on topics of digital communities, open source, governance, open data, social impact, humanitarians in a digital age, and open organizations. Heather co-wrote a chapter on the State of Data in Humanitarian Action, a chapter on Open Communities and articles the power of data and digital literacy for the World Economic Forum and Civicus Datashift.

Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Combined Political Science and History from Carleton University, as well as a Library and Information Technician diploma from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology.

Posts by Heather Leson

Data Is “Going Local,” Thanks to Human-Centered Design

Data advocate Heather Leson explains how local communities will help bring IFRC’s Data Playbook to life.

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