Hi! My name is Brian Mc Donald. I’m from Ireland, currently living on the outskirts of Geneva. For the past 9 years I’ve worked in the Humanitarian Response field, primarily on Information Management. My work focuses mainly on data collection, analysis (including geospatial) and data visualization/storytelling. I have a deep interest in how people engage with data and the systems which influence its creation and use. My concerns include the expanding asymmetries of power of our digital age.

I’m an experienced whitewater kayaker, having paddled in Chile, Peru, Uganda, South Sudan, Georgia, northern India, Nepal, Norway and across Europe. I still try to go kayaking in the alps on the occasional weekend, so kayaking partners are always welcome.

The side illustration is from an OCHA/Information Management Working Group document on staffing profiles. The main header photo is one of my own, of Jokhang Temple in Lhasa.

The views expressed in this site are my own and do not reflect the views or opinions of any of my employers, past, present or future.

About this website

I started this website as a way to improve my writing skills and to work on synthesizing some of what I’ve been learning into articulate thoughts that can be of help to future me or others. I lament the loss of much of the independent expression of content on the internet these days, with our communications and expressions mediated by the platforms of multi-billion dollar companies and incentives driven by advertising and increased consumption. This blog is a chance for me to craft something that is both independent from these “mediators” and specific to my needs and specifications.

Why does this website website load fast and doesn’t have those annoying cookie popups?

As per the GDPR, those cookie consent boxes are only required if a website tracks your sessions. Nothing on this site tracks its users, allowing the site to focus on being a fast and somewhat less user hostile experience.

The technical details of this site - it’s built using Python and the static site generator Pelican. It is hosted on Github

Contact me

If you would like to write to me to point out any typos, criticisms, suggestions, comments on my writing, or any other constructive forms of human interaction, you can contact me at brian@brianmcdonald.me.

If you wish to communicate with me securely, my gpg key is: 9387 9F64 2C28 E640 4E00 D551 5CFF ED2F 870F 0268