Tag Archive | Washington

Nov 30: Brown Bag: International Charter on Space and Natural Disasters

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.

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Aging Satellites Could Impact Hurricane Forecast Accuracy

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.

 

Webcast Event on Crowdsourcing and USAID Development Credit Loans

Usaid logo

Usaid logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Speakers:

  • 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:
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/getting-little-help-our-friends-crowdsourcing-and-usaid-development-credit-loans
http://wilsoncommonslab.org/2012/06/12/event-crowdsourcing-and-usaid-development-credit-loans

For more information, email CommonsLab@wilsoncenter.org.

For directions to the Wilson Center visit http://www.wilsoncenter.org/directions

Presidential Innovation Fellows | The White House

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.

A code of conduct for apps

by Tony Romm, Politico.com, May 20, 2012

As smartphone-crazed consumers fiddle with Angry Birds and challenge each other on Words With Friends, policymakers are playing a different game: bringing order to mobile apps. To Washington, the daily deals tools, social networks and other programs that consumers download onto their smartphones present new challenges to consumer privacy and security. Lawmakers are keenly aware of the horror stories of apps surreptitiously accessing user address books or broadcasting location data sans permission. …

For full text of the article, visit A code of conduct for apps – Tony Romm – POLITICO.com.

Global Social Media Research Symposium

The Global Social Media Research Symposium on March 23, 2012, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at American University, Washington, DC, will explore current research on the worldwide use of social media for societal reform and cultural-political transformation. The symposium will feature representatives from major technology companies, policy experts, journalists, researchers, and research groups. Panel sessions will be devoted to social media technologies and innovation along with their application across national borders, the role of government in promoting access to these technologies, and recent research findings on social media reform movements worldwide.

The Global Social Media Research Symposium will take place in the new School of International Service building Abramson Family Founders Room on the main campus of American University. Refreshments during session breaks and reception at the conclusion of the Symposium at 5 p.m. are provided. For information, contact Prof. Shalini Venturelli, School of International Service: sventur@american.edu and Jason Smith, Symposium Director: js1232a@american.edu.

For more information, visit Global Social Media Research Symposium | International Communication Program | School of International Service | American University, Washington, D.C..

The Real SOPA Battle: Innovators vs. Goliath

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.

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