Citizen Networks 2027
This story is fictional. However each concept, business and organization mentioned actually exists or is currently under research and development. Click the underlined text to learn more. #datarevoluation @EoEAlliance
Thanks to your support I won the title of “Official Blogger for the 2015 Eye on Earth Summit in the United Arab Emirates.” This blog post was written for their blogging competition.
“A better world through knowledge and information” scrolls across the kitchen window-screen while a cute little brown-skinned girl stares at her device among a green field full of dandelions. A public service announcement for uploading your aerosol readings for the day to the Global Air Quality Index, drums on in the background as Loreto grabs her grocery bags.
“Do we need anything else from the store?” Loreto yells across her two room pod.
“Maybe fish?” Mica replied.
Loreto steps outside onto the sidewalk, past the connected community vertical garden bursting with tomatoes, and into the blaring sun. Placing her sunglasses over her eyes she calls one of the electric autonomous fleet cars to drive her to the grocery store. The car pulls up to the curbside and in the back seat she tells the computer where to go while her favorite oldies song “Howlin’ for you” by the Black Keys faintly plays in the background.
At the grocery store she wanders down the fish aisle and contemplating a tuna steak tonight she extrudes a silver probe from her device and touches it gently to the fish lying on a bed of ice in front of her. Her device flashes as the genetic bar-code is read and a picture of Bluefin tuna appears.
She swipes to the left; a new tab displays a picture of the fisherman, Sor’ie and a map of Dalupiri Island in the Philippines. As she continues to swipe she learns: the fishing method, current Bluefin tuna stock estimates and a tracked supply chain from its catch in the Philippines to its arrival at the Whole Market in Oakland, California, USA.
Loreto suddenly gets a call echoing in her ear from her device that alerts her to a proposed Senate Bill, already passed in the House and to be voted on tomorrow, on whether to increase the catch size limit of the Bluefin tuna — managed by the International Fisheries Commission. As one of the National Marine Crowdmembers, her immediate opinion is mandatory because she has completed an MS in the biological sciences. Citizensource, established in 2020, is a crowdsourcing platform that all recent graduate level degree holders must participate in. The platform alerts the crowdmembers (citizens) when a proposed bill hits the Congress floor which is within their domain of expertise, their opinion is processed, aggregated and then visualized on the House floor for Senators and Representatives to consider.
After a brief analysis of the real-time fishery data streams she validates her status using fingerprint recognition and submits her opinion via citizensource, encouraging economic growth by increasing the catch size limit. On the window in the front of the store, a shadow of the checkout clerk is projected onto the live CSPAN feed of Congress. As she approaches the store clerk with Bluefin tuna in hand she sees the citizensource platform displaying all aggregated answers to the Senators on the floor.
In the cool, clear blue waters of Dalupiri Island, Jochelle, a Marine Biologist, is recording small fish with her Oculars when she gets a similar call echoing in her ear on the decision being made. She uses her device to scan the past six months of population data on sardines and other small fish, the Bluefin tunas main food source. She combines this data together with her collaborator, Zen, on the neighboring Fuga Island. Then she down-links the drone fleet data, stitches it together with the eye on earth open data stream, to get a two year trace on the fishing vessels and their relative catch size reporting in the Babuyanes Islands. Lastly, she pulls in the economic data from the community development organizations on Dalupiri displaying livelihood/economic data on the Bluefin Tuna market.
She analyzes her data streams: population data all seem to demonstrate a gradual increase in Bluefin juveniles (23% per year) and a stabilization of their food source. As a practicing Marine Biologist, Jochelle’s analysis and data stream is sent directly to 18F, which is the official digital data aggregation and visualization service for the US government. The aggregated analysis is transmitted to the Hill and then archived on data.gov for the world to use.
Simultaneously, all other governments that signed onto the catch size limits back in 2015 receive similar analysis conclusions based on data streams from their citizens.
That night at dinner, Loreto and Mica eat a meal of Bluefin tuna steak, with tomatoes and capers from the connected community vertical garden. Gridaware alerts them that peak load is occurring on the few remaining houses in their neighborhood connected to the antiquated coal energy plant. Loreto gets up gently from the kitchen table and saunters to the front door to turn on her wall battery — which offloads stored energy from solar power — to the rest of the grid.
After dinner, Loreto and Mica retire to the back porch. Loreto taps the mesh screen and the evening news scrawls across: “Breaking news: Congress decides to incrementally increase Bluefin tuna catch size limits based on empirical sciencesource data from 18F and citizensource. 109 of the 111 countries who signed the treaty back in 2015 voted for the increase as well. Thanks to the #datarevolution we can compare historical data from 2015, at the height of the crisis, which allows us to confidently say that the stocks are restored and stable. For interesting tuna recipes see…” Mica flicks the screen off.
Lightning bugs flash intermittently as the glow of the screen dims and they relax into the warmth of the evening.
This blog post is part of the Eye on Earth Summit Blogging Competition under the theme,“A better world through knowledge and information.” If you like this post, please share! #datarevolution @EoAlliance.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Tyson played with computers as a child, and then discovered the great outdoors. The outdoors won, but her love of technology never dissipated. She has an MS in Natural Resource Conservation from Colorado State University and El Colegio de la Frontera Sur in Chiapas, Mexico where she tested a mobile data collection system with a coffee farming community as a way to monitor their natural resources. As a Program Associate at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., she studies and supports the ever growing field of public participation in scientific research or citizen science, where non-professionals contribute to the scientific process. Her passion is mobilizing citizens to collect environmental data that inform regulation and help identify, learn about and respond to indicators of climate change. She conducts research, writes and does outreach on behalf of the power of citizen science in the age of the Anthropocene.
When she’s not in an office she enjoys rock-climbing, backpacking, data visualization, travel, design, swimming in alpine lakes and most of all — maps.