SXSW Eco 2014
A Fitbit to Save the Elephants
How many steps did you take? Where did you check in this week? What is the best pizza place near you right now? With a smartphone in every pocket and a wearable on every wrist, we’re all making data-driven decisions about our health, habits and our pizza. But tracking doesn’t just make us smarter, it also has the potential to help us understand wild animals – where they go, what they eat and how they are affected by habitat loss, human encroachment and poaching. And in this day and age, as the world’s species are vanishing before our eyes, we need insight into exactly where these issues are occurring and to what extent. After all, what we do not measure, we cannot manage. A Fitbit for an elephant has the potential to provide new data streams and opportunities for big data analysis that will fundamentally change our approach to conservation and catalyze our effort to save our planet from extinction.
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Additional Supporting Materials
- Articulate the value of data and how it can change the game for wildlife conservation.
- Examine existing conservation initiatives through a new lens and measure them against scientific criteria.
- Describe how data-driven insights into climate change, habitat loss and poverty can help predict the future and identify potential hot spots of risk for vulnerable species.
- Know how to recognize science-based conservation initiatives and make informed decisions about which projects to support.
- Dr. Dune Ives, Senior Director, Philanthropic Initiatives, Vulcan Inc.
- Dr. Peter Leimgruber, Head of Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park
- Ted Schmitt, Conservation Technology Advisor, Vulcan Inc.
- Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Founder and CEO, Save the Elephants
- Lucas Joppa, Scientist, Computational Ecology Group at Microsoft Research, Microsoft Research
Dune Ives, Senior Director, Philanthropic Initiatives, Vulcan Inc.