Can Data Science Actually Save the World?
Western Digital and the United Nations Global Pulse believe the answer is yes. That’s why we’ve joined forces to launch the Data for Climate Action Challenge, an open innovation challenge for big ideas by harnessing data science and big data from major companies to fight climate change.
Designed to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #13 (climate action), Data for Climate Action aims to catalyze research and development in the areas of climate mitigation and adaptation. The challenge seeks to generate novel solutions — ranging from original research papers to new applications, tools and innovations — that could inform more responsive local policies and programs around the world. Ultimately, the Challenge aims to demonstrate how data-driven innovation can transform efforts to combat global climate change.
As an innovation initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, UN Global Pulse’s mission is to accelerate the discovery, development and adoption of data science for sustainable development and humanitarian action. As the world’s largest storage company enabling an era of data abundance and data foresight, Western Digital believes in the power of data and that #DataMakesPossible. This Challenge brings to life the best of both ideals and will demonstrate the power of data to create true change in our world.
The global challenge will offer select researchers unprecedented access to data from companies including Waze, Earth Networks, Orange telecomm and Schneider Electric. The datasets — anonymized and aggregated to protect privacy — as well as robust tools will be available to competitors for generating insights relevant to climate action over a five-month solution development phase.
At the conclusion of the four-month research period, a mixed panel of experts in climate change and data science from the public, private and non-profit sectors will evaluate final research products, according to the rigor of their methodology, their relevance and their potential impact. Western Digital has sponsored a number of prizes to facilitate further research and increase solution reach and impact on our world.
In the near future, hopefully the notion of private data being regularly used to further global humanitarian and environmental goals will no longer be a foreign concept. The data science community is a critical bridge to that reality. They can see the hidden potential in the numbers. They can drive the story towards progress.
Now through April 17th, data scientists, researchers, developers, data specialists and innovators from around the world are invited to apply by submitting proposals at DataForClimateAction.org. Only with the boldest minds and brightest ideas can this challenge succeed.