Tackling any challenge - be it in our professional or personal lives - can always be enhanced by incorporating data into our decision making.This is especially true when dealing with the worldwide climate crisis. The topic can feel so overwhelming, yet when we use data to analyze the needs and gaps, together we can find the immediate and long-term needs and execute a smarter and more effective strategies.
This was the theme of a recent Qlik-sponsored Churchill Club event, “Data-Driven Insights for Meaningful Climate Solutions,” which took place at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. I had the honor and privilege of moderating an esteemed panel, which included: Fahmida Ahmed Bangert – Director of Sustainability and SEM Business Services at Stanford University, Matthew Gardner – Managing Partner at SustainServ and Lecturer at Harvard University, and Michael Ibach – Chief of Analytics at Office of Information and Communications Technology at United Nations.
In front of an incredibly impressive mix of San Francisco and Silicon Valley leaders, our panelists discussed everything from the state of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, how Fortune 5000 companies are making progress in making sustainability a core business KPI, how the academic community at Stanford is making a conscious and consistent effort to become sustainable campus-wide, and the role and value of making data a keystone of formulating your individual and company-wide sustainability initiatives.
The lively discussion and in-depth Q&A we had over 75 minutes left me wanting more – more time for the conversation that touched on so many aspects of the challenge; more input from the bright minds in the room on potential issues and solutions; and more examples of the great real-world efforts underway now that we can all support.
What I was left most with was a sense of optimism and hope – some of the brightest minds in one of our most innovative regions are fully engaged and passionate about needing to address climate change head on. Yes, there are areas for improvement. We can always do more to help citizen data scientists contribute solutions, either through open forums or hackathons. We can do more to share and promote through our various channels – including social and video – best practices underway at leading corporations. And we can have our leaders commit more time and resources to make sustainability a priority KPI on the same level as financial KPIs.
However, I’m not discouraged despite the challenge ahead. More than ever I’m we have everything we need – engagement, ideas and urgency – to come together to solve this crisis.
Special thanks to the Churchill Club for providing us the forum for this important conversation, and thanks to my fellow panelists and the audience for the sincere engagement and commitment.
For more on our discussion on Finding Climate Change Solutions Through Data, watch the video below. You can also visit Qlik.org to to learn how we are creating a sustainable world with data.