Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, Director, National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law, University of Mississippi School of Law and Research Professor of Law, will discuss the Charter on Cooperation to Achieve the Coordinated Use of Space Facilities in the Event of Natural or Technological Disasters (Disasters Charter), which provides for the voluntary sharing of satellite imagery in the event of major disasters. Prof. Gabrynowicz will address the contents, structure, and status of the Charter, and highlight its strengths and weakness with a focus on how it could develop in the future. She also will discuss data access and sharing ideas.
The United States is facing a year or more without crucial satellites that provide invaluable data for predicting storm tracks, a result of years of mismanagement, lack of financing and delays in launching replacements, according to several recent official reviews. The looming gap in satellite coverage, which some experts view as almost certain within the next few years, could result in shaky forecasts about storms like Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to hit the East Coast early next week.
For full text of the article, visit Dying Satellites Could Lead to Shaky Weather Forecasts – NYTimes.com.
- Flying Blind: America’s Aging Weather Satellites (science.time.com)
Getting by With a Little Help from Our Friends: Crowdsourcing and USAID Development Credit Loans
USAID’s Development Credit Authority utilizes risk-sharing tools to encourage private financial institutions to increase financing for creditworthy but underserved borrowers. Geo-visualization of these loans will allow donors, host governments, and the public to see where USAID has helped enhance the capacity of the private sector to make loans to new businesses and could act as a gauge for trends or signal areas for synergy.Until recently, these data could not be mapped due to problematic and non-standard location data for each loan. Under the policy umbrella of the First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, USAID leveraged federal partners, volunteer technical communities, and the power of crowdsourcing to perform intensive data mining and “geo-coding” to understand the geographic distribution of loans and make these data open to the public. Without any additional cost to USAID, data.gov, an online platform for hosting released data, was used for crowdsourcing for the first time.This case study details technical and policy implementation challenges and solutions to help other government entities explore how to leverage the power of “the crowd.” This form of engagement is opening government and development to the public in an entirely new way. Interested individuals – from transparency advocates to development students to geography fanatics – virtually sit next to USAID staff as true partners working to solve a complex problem.
- Shadrock Roberts, Senior GIS Analyst, GeoCenter, Office of Science and Technology, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- Stephanie Grosser, Communications Specialist and Presidential Management Fellow, USAID
- D. Ben Swartley, Agriculture and Environment Officer and GIS Analyst, GeoCenter, Office of Science and Technology, USAID
When:Thursday, June 28, 2012, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Where: 6th Floor Conference Room
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20004
To RSVP for this event visit: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/getting-little-help-our-friends-crowdsourcing-and-usaid-development-credit-loans This meeting is free and open to the public. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.
TechChange will be providing online engagement for this event.
- To watch the live webcast on June 28th and contribute comments and questions for the panelists, visit: http://techchange.org/live-events/
- To follow and discuss the event on Twitter, use hashtag: #USAIDcrowd
To check out the archived video of the event and event summary, to be posted the following week, visit:
For more information, email CommonsLab@wilsoncenter.org.
For directions to the Wilson Center visit http://www.wilsoncenter.org/directions
The White House Website, May 2012
The Presidential Innovation Fellows will pair top innovators from the private sector, non-profits, or academia with top innovators in government to collaborate on game-changing solutions that aim to deliver significant results in six months. Each team of innovators will work together in-person in Washington, DC on focused sprints while being supported by a broader community of interested citizens throughout the country. What makes this initiative unique is its focus on unleashing the ingenuity and know-how of Americans from all sectors. The five projects that will launch in summer 2012 have straightforward goals: to improve the lives of the American people, saving taxpayer money, and fueling job creation. This is innovation aimed at making a difference for all Americans.
For more information about this program, visit Presidential Innovation Fellows | The White House.
by James Allworth and Maxwell Wessel, Harvard Business Review, January 18, 2012
… the purpose of this article isn’t to explain what SOPA [Stop Online Piracy Act] and PIPA [Protect IP Act] will do. Instead, it’s about explaining what’s brought them about: SOPA and PIPA are prime examples of big companies trying to do everything they can to stop new competitors from innovating. …
So if “content” vs “technology” doesn’t capture what’s going on in this fight, what does? Well, SOPA makes much more sense if you look at the debate as big companies unwilling to accept change versus the innovative companies and startups that embrace change. And if we accept that startups are created to find new ways to create value for consumers, the debate is actually between the financial interests of “big content” shareholders versus consumer interests at large. …
Check out the full text of this interesting article at The Real SOPA Battle: Innovators vs. Goliath – James Allworth and Maxwell Wessel – Harvard Business Review.
NOTE: If you want to learn more about the history of copyright law and the tug-a-war between big content shareholders and new innovators, check out Jessica Littman’s book Digital Copyright or her many articles on the politics of copyright and copyright reform.