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.
Digital Impact is made from insights into how an independent and informed civil society can engage digital systems safely, equitably, and effectively. How will you make an impact?