Episode 69

Humanitarian Open Source with Michael Nolan


February 26th, 2021

32 mins 36 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode


Michael Nolan


Pia Mancini | Richard Littauer

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source. On today’s episode, our special guest is Michael Nolan, Director at the Federation of Humanitarian Technologists and the Assistant Director at Open@RIT. We learn all about what the Federation of Human Technologists is and what they do, and find out what Mike is doing at Open@RIT. He also tells us about his current project on GitHub called Coalesce, that he’s working on in London. Also, did you know Mike has a podcast? Download this episode now to find out much more!

[00:00:50] Mike tells us about the Federation of Humanitarian Technologists.

[00:03:35] There’s a lot of non-governmental organization (NGOs) in the aid sector that need help, and Mike fills us in on what else is out there to do this sort of open source work to help them out.

[00:08:12] Pia wonders how Mike is getting funding and if he’s planning on building a membership organization fee.

[00:10:51] Pia poses a great question to Mike about why there isn’t a company that is doing this in a way that is profitable. Mike talks about the Digital Impact Alliance as a great example.

[00:12:34] Mike is part of the Ethical Source Working Group at Sustain and he tells us about how this plays into what he’s doing.

[00:14:43] Mike explains his GitHub project called Coalesce, a Volunteering Platform, and he also tells us why he is spending his time building it and the reasons they chose this project. He talks about South East Rivers Trust as one of the organizations they work with.

[00:23:38] Find out where you can get involved in the Federation of Humanitarian Technologists.

[00:24:45] Mike tells us about his new position at Open@RIT, what it is, and what he’s doing there.

[00:31:25] Richard mentions Mike has a podcast called the Ethics in Open Source Podcast that you should check out.


  • [00:28:00] Pia’s spotlight is a productivity app called WorkFlowy.
  • [00:28:44] Richard’s spotlight is a paper that came out called, “Crisis MT: Developing A Cookbook for MT in Crisis Situations.”
  • [00:29:43] Mike’s spotlights are the Ethical Source Working Group and the Open Mind Project.



Support Sustain