People, Cities and Planet – The Power of Data for Sustainability

People, Cities and Planet – The Power of Data for Sustainability

Ulrika Mann

Ulrika Mann,

Data and AI for the benefit of humanity? According to Quantified Planet, it’s through open, real-time data that innovations and solutions for a sustainable planed can be catalyzed. 

Which problems are we trying to solve? That’s the key question to Maja Brisvall, CEO and Founder at the non-profit organization Quantified Planet. As a serial entrepreneur, spending a few years in Silicon Valley, she learnt about AI’s potential early on, and decided to apply it to contribute to a sustainable, resilient planet for the benefit of humanity.  

During the event Snapshot Breakfast: AI for Good she encouraged us all to become data philanthropists. Because without data, there won’t be any intelligent solutions. The idea is that information from a variety of data streams can contribute to knowledge about the bigger picture, of how we are living, using and managing resources on our planet. 

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The data is uploaded onto a secure platform and aggregated to ensure personal integrity. The backend system makes that data available in APIs, accessible to data scientists, R&D departments, visionaries and decision makers to explore in an open ecosystem. To present that data in an engaging way, visualization tools are also an important part. 

So far, Quantified Planet has initiated several interesting projects:

  • Data can actively be collected in places and sources that we haven’t thought about before with the help of emerging technology such as IoT, autonomous cars, sensors and robotics. In collaboration with Husqvarna, Quantified Planet has deployed lawnmowers equipped with wirelessly-connected sensors that collect data about the environment, the quality of air, water and levels of light and sound. 
  • An open-access agricultural data platform, where Bayer donates proprietary, crowd-sourced plant data from more than 70 countries about specific plant types, locations, occurrence and distribution. Quantified Planet make this data available for scientific research into biodiversity and thus for better understanding of climate change and its implications for sustainable agriculture. 
  • Mobile applications, co-developed by BASF, Bayer and Quantified Planet, to engage civil society, for example people in cities, to address global challenges such as conserving biodiversity, something that plays an important role in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets that form the 2030 Agenda adopted by the United Nations. One example is the Planet 15 initiative that encourages engagement, exploration and dialogue about protecting biodiversity on different levels.

Everyone – people, cities and companies – can participate via Quantified Planet’s open platform to feed in data about air, temperature, light, noise and rainwater. One specific project where help is needed, is The Heat Project where mobiles, houses and satellites feed in hyper local temperature data to the system, so called fast-moving data sets. The aim is to gain a better understanding of our environment through live, open-streaming data with intelligence on top.