Jake Porway, Founder of DataKind, said it best at Bloomberg’s first annual Data for Good Exchange: Just because it isn’t “sexy,” don’t overlook the significant wins that happen when data scientists team up with non-profits. This is the essence of data for social good, and the purpose behind the Data for Good Exchange (#D4GX).
Over 400 data scientists, government and nongovernmental officials, academics, business leaders and technologists gathered this week at our global headquarters in NYC to improve the way data science can solve societal issues.
Global leaders were present at #D4GX including representatives from Microsoft, Johns Hopkins, Facebook, Google, UNICEF, Planet Lab, MIT Climate CoLab, Cornell Tech, DataKind, the City of New Orleans and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
An example of what is possible came from the Global Citizen Program at Waze -a real-time trafficking application. The company shares traffic pattern data with 40 government partners to help plan major infrastructure projects and assist during disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy and the Chilean earthquake. In return, the governments share road closure and event information to help Waze improve the accuracy of the information it is sharing with those using its application.
The tech startup community was also well represented including Heat Seek NYC, a civic hacking project (via Kickstarter) empowering tenants, landlords, community organizations and the justice system to educate the community, inform housing policy, but most importantly, get people’s heat turned on.
The key purpose of the event is to create dialogue, learn from others, and foster collaboration. Given the highlights captured in the video below, we believe the day can be considered a success: