Rudo Kemper

Rudo is a geographer and technologist working in solidarity with Indigenous and other local communities to co-create and use digital tools for self-determination and self-representation. He got his start working with communities in the Amazon rainforest in the early 2010s, where he accompanied communities like the Matawai Maroons of Suriname in mapping and monitoring their ancestral lands, and documenting their traditional knowledge and oral histories. These experiences are also what led him on the path of applied technology and tool building, since off-the-shelf tools were ill-equipped for the remote, offline jungle context, or simply not built with Indigenous users in mind.

Rudo currently works with Digital Democracy, where he is accompanying communities across the globe in building and using mapping tools to defend their lands, and stewarding the development of the Earth Defenders Toolkit, a collaborative digital platform for earth defender communities and their allies. He currently serves on the executive boards of Native Land Digital and the International Society for Participatory Mapping, and the circle of advisors of the Sacred Fire Foundation. He is the founder and one of the core stewards of the open-source application Terrastories, used by Indigenous communities across the world to map their place-based oral histories.

Originally from Curaçao, Rudo has worked with communities across the world, including in Suriname, Kenya, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, and the United States. He is currently based in Tauxenent aka Springfield, Virginia (United States) with his partner Liz and their dog Tobi.