Joanna van der Merwe

"The data we gather can inform and inspire those in a position to make a difference"- Mike Schmoker

I am a South African/Polish student studying a Bachelor of International Studies at Leiden University. I specialize in the Middle East and North Africa, and minor in Global Affairs and European Union Studies. I am currently writing a Trend Report for the Land Warfare Centre at the Ministry of Defense. The task involves exploring the opportunities and challenges of Big Data in urban contexts, for the Dutch Armed Forces. I joined the Centre for Innovation as it offers a safe environment in which I could develop myself personally and professionally. I am interested in working with organisations and government agencies, to develop strategies for using new technologies, such as Big Data, to improve the lives of people living and working in conflict areas. I would like to go into the field to carry out research or gain on the ground experience in conflict affected areas.