In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I speak with Juliette Murphy, the CEO and Cofounder of FloodMapp, a predictive flood mapping initiative that uses real time data and Smart alerts to deliver timely and location specific flood warnings. Juliette shares with me her background in environmental engineering in the water resource and hydrology, and how the 2011 Queensland floods sparked her interest in the Smart Community space.
Juliette’s experiences of flooding, both personally and professionally, and nationally and internationally, as well as an app building hobby that started in her spare time, have combined in her work at FloodMapp. Juliette and I discuss the gaps in our communications during emergencies, and also the gaps in accessibility and understanding when citizens receive these communications. We cover the dual meanings of ‘connection’ in the Smart Community and why it’s so important, and well as how well Juliette sees Australia embracing Smart concepts. We discuss what flood mapping is, how FloodMapp (with two Ps) came to be and the accellerator program she and cofounder Ryan Prosser have been participating in. We finish our chat talking about the emerging trends in the climate and natural disaster space, and how technology can and should be a part of solving some of those problems. As always, I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.
What we cover in this episode:
- Her background in environmental engineering and how some experiences nationally and internationally led to her interest in flooding
- How she began building apps as a hobby
- How the 2011 Qld floods sparked her interest in the Smart Community space
- The gaps in our emergency communications and in citizen understanding/accessibility of information in of those communications that Juliette wants to fill
- The dual meanings of connection in the Smart Community, and why it’s so important
- How she sees Australia embracing the Smart Community concept
- What flood mapping is and how Juliette is bringing it into real time
- The accelorator program Juliette and cofounder Ryan participated in and what they learned from it
- The emerging trends climate and natural disaster, and how technology can and should be a part of solving some of those problems
”It started getting me thinking, why did this happen? And I know the obvious is ‘cause it flooded and we can’t stop the weather, we can’t stop the climate’ but surely there was enough time for some better planning and understanding to have gone into this.”
“If something is communicated to you but it’s in the wrong language and then it might as well not communicated to you at all.”
“Going through this accelerator program was like a really big learning class, in terms of what people actually wanted. I think we realized now, in our spare time and as a passion project, I may miss some of those steps and I was solving the problem how I wanted it solved or I thought it should be solved for me, but I haven’t really talked to the broader community, bring them along the journey and ask what did they actually see as a solution and what would make the most sense to them.”
“Two of the main struggles we have here in Australia are drought and flood. And these are going to affect different communities in different ways. Anyone who knows Australia knows that we’re not just one in the same, we’re so diverse. There’s places surrounded by tropical rainforest, there’s places that are more dry and desolate, arid climates, and I think climate change is affecting everyone in different ways. It’s really talking about starting a conversation more within communities and within leadership, about how we’re going to adapt as a community and become more resilient to that.”
“…we can have more connectedness within the community. Is there someone facing a disaster who needs help? Can people donate clothes? Can people donate furniture? Technology really serves a purpose in connecting the community to become more resilient together and tackle it as a community problem rather than as individuals.”
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The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.