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I'm a community builder, idea hacker.

  • Board Member, OSMF (2017 - 2019 )
  • Member, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Board Member (2013-2017)
  • Contact heatherleson at gmail DOT com, @heatherleson,

Full biography:

Heather is Digital Innovation Lead at International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Solferino Academy. She is driven by a world where everyone lends a hand. As a technologist, she is focused on social impact by using human-centered design approaches, social entrepreneurship, and innovation methodologies. She builds partnerships, open governance and drives organizational change. Heather also curates digital spaces, fosters volunteer engagement, and delivers training through people-focused systems, products and programs.

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. In 2021, we will take the Data Playbook to Version 1. As an Open Ambassador (Red Hat), Heather advocates for open organizational values to support governance shifts and strategic global community engagement. A leader in the open space: she has represented and worked for many open organizations (open source, open data, and open maps) including serving as a Board Member at OpenStreetMap Foundation (2 years) and Board Member at the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (4 years).  She co-wrote 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.