Series Rationale: The race to protect the earth gets more critical every year. The world is set to see its warmest five years on record – in a trend which is likely to continue – and is not on track to meet agreed targets to keep global temperature increase well below 2 °C or at 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations showed no signs of peaking and have continued to increase to new records. The Emissions Gap Report 2019 showed that the cuts in global emissions required per year from 2020 to 2030 are close to 3% for a 2 °C target and more than 7% per year on average for the 1.5 °C goal of the Paris Agreement. Organizations and governments are waking up, taking action, but the pace is just not matching up. We need to piggyback on exponential technologies if we are to ride out this wave successfully.
Series Objectives: Through this series of three MKAI Technical Forums, we will learn more about the massive opportunities on the horizon to shape markets, protect habitats and influence consumer behaviours using environmental data and artificial intelligence.
February Forum Objectives: With the concentration of people and assets in urban areas, city leaders must develop climate resilience to safeguard development gains and accelerate poverty reduction. On our global journey to environmental sustainability and increasing access to opportunity, at the MKAI technical forum in February, we seek to discover how data and AI can help to protect the most vulnerable people, assets and businesses in developing cities.
Speaker 1: Dr. Zhuangfang (NaNa) Yi, GeoAI Team Lead & Machine Learning Engineer at Development Seed
Technical Keynote: Machine Learning for Social Good at Large Scale
NaNa earned a Ph.D. in Ecological Economics in 2012 and has applied geospatial analysis and satellite imagery processing in her various academic works since 2010. Before she worked as a data science and data engineering consultant, NaNa was a research scientist in quantitative ecology and has 21 publications to date. NaNa specialized in applying machine learning and neural nets to image classification, segmentation and object detection.
Speaker 2: LeaAnne Ross, Director at Evergreen Canada + Shravan Kumar A, Client Success at Gramener
Technical Keynote: New data solutions for the resilient city
LeaAnne is a communications professional who focuses on bringing creativity to the forefront of a strong strategy. She has worked at Evergreen for 12+ years most recently as Director of Communications, leading brand strategy, Public Relations, Audience Engagement, Promotion, digital and content marketing and media partnerships.
Shravan is the Director of Client Success at Gramener, an award-winning data science and analytics company that helps organizations identify data insights and convert them into compelling stories. He oversees their strategic relations with their North American & European clientele, advises them on data-driven strategies, roadmaps & supports them through best-in-class solutioning, advisory and tools for effective evidence-based decision making across the board.
Speaker 3: Dr. Monika Kuffer, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC, University of Twente)
Technical Keynote: Global Urban Data Gaps
Monika is working as Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC, University of Twente). Her main research interests are urban remote sensing, SDG monitoring, mapping deprived areas (e.g., slums), and analyzing urban form and dynamics with remote sensing and spatial statistics/metrics. She is co-chairing an international network on deprivation area mapping IDEAMAPS (https://ideamapsnetwork.org), and is presently working on two research projects related to deprivation area mapping SLUMAP (http://slumap.ulb.be) and ACCOUNT (https://slummap.net). She received her PhD from the University of Twente (NL) and one MSc in Human Geographer (TU Munich) and a second MSc in Geographic Information Science (University of London).