Willow Brugh, known as willowbl00, works with digital tools to enable coordination between response agencies and emergent response groups in areas affected by fast and slow crises. She studies citizen engagement and combining distributed and centralized decision making structures at the Center for Civic Media at MIT’s Media Lab. Previously she’s been a Professor of Practice at Brown University, an affiliate at the New England Complex Systems Institute, and a fellow at Harvard Law’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
She cofounded a makerspace in Seattle to bring direct action to the transhumanist discussion groups she was moderating. To bring scale to those spaces, she cofounded the Space Federationto legitimize and link hacker, maker, and coworking spaces across the US. To impact inequality, Willow cofounded Geeks Without Bounds as an organizer and host of social good hackathons. To bring sustainability to those projects Geeks Without Bounds shifted into an accelerator for humanitarian projects. To increase capacity in digital response, so Willow became the Community Leadership Strategist at Aspiration. She is now helps the government serve its people as a project manager at Truss and acts as the Director of Community Engagement at Digitally Responsible Aid for the Do No Digital Harm initiative in her copious spare time.
In brief, Willow looks at connections, systems, empowerment, and powerlessness and strives to both understand and improve whatever she finds. Sometimes that’s with the Occupy Sandy Movement, sometimes it’s with the National Defense University. She has keynoted the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference. Willow has successfully worked with FEMA Field Innovation Team for Hurricane Sandy, and was awarded at a ceremony at the White House for her contribution.