The objective of this workshop is to discuss the importance and trends of ontologies use and their role on precise conceptual modeling, providing a clear and unambiguous interpretation of the heterogeneous information associated to crisis and emergency management and response. As is the case for all socio-technical systems, the contribution of ontologies and conceptual modeling to the understanding, modeling and designing of information systems in this area is crucial. Proper and effective crisis response and management requires widespread information, understanding of situations and effective means for communication and policy enforcement, shared by both human and artificial agents (including managers, designers and participants of the system). 

We are planning a full-day workshop to serve as a meeting-point for researchers from all disciplines interested on ontologies, conceptual modeling and terminological artifacts applied to crisis and emergency information systems (CEIS).

Today, ad-hoc, self-organised citizens can easily exchange information and coordinate large scale actions using smartphones and social networking technology. Their energy and level of organisation can be both an opportunity and a liability. Management of informal and ad-hoc volunteers is therefore a must, even in the regions where volunteers have played a marginal role in crisis management so far.

In this workshop, we will discuss the risks and opportunities of ad-hoc and informal volunteers in crisis management, as well as the experiences with different management methodologies for managing such volunteers. In line with the workshop topic, the workshop will be organised as a ½ day World Café. Nevertheless, the participants are encouraged to contribute short papers prior to the workshop as well as to participate in writing of the joint position paper after the workshop.

For further information on workshop organisation and instructions for preparing the contributions, please join the “informal volunteers” Google plus group.