Data Science for Social Impact Events Roundup

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Part of Global Pulse’s mission is to foster connections and support the cross-pollination of data science and policy communities. Events and international conferences, data science workshops, challenges and competitions provide opportunities for innovators and development practitioners to share expertise and lay foundations for new collaborations.

Over the past couple of years, the number of events and conferences geared towards bringing together data scientists, policy makers or development practitioners has grown significantly. International organizations, the private and public sectors are recognizing the importance of sharing expertise and collaborating to further advance the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.

Below is a list of recent and upcoming events of interest: 

Data Science In Africa

When: 27-29 June 2016

Where: Kampala, Uganda

Description: UN Global Pulse, Makerere University and partners from academia and private sector, hosted the second edition of the Data Science for Africa conference with the theme 'The role of data science in the global goals for sustainable development.' The event, included a three-day Summer School (27-29 June) hosted in the College of Computing and Information Science at Makerere University and a two-day workshop (30 June-1 July) hosted at Pulse Lab Kampala.

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Big Data for Peace Summer School at Leiden University

When: 15-19 August, 2016

Where: The Hague, Netherlands

Description: In the peace and justice sector, the data revolution has already sparked a range of experiments that make use of new data streams, such as social media, open web data, mobile phone data or satellite imagery. This 5-day course provides an in-depth overview of how big data is increasingly being used in the peace and justice sector. The curriculum covers 1) state of the art insights on data-driven innovation 2) examples and methodologies on how organisations can implement innovation trajectories, and 3) best practices in finding the right balance between doing good and potential harms.

The programme includes various pioneers and experts working on data-driven innovation, with contributions from Leiden University, UN Global Pulse, the UN World Food Programme, New York University (GovLab), the Data-pop Alliance and Stanford University.

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Data Revolution: How AI and Machine Learning Are Remaking Our World

When: 25 August 2016

Where: San Francisco, California, USA

Description: The advent of deep learning, the power and possibilities of big data, and the plummeting cost of computing power and storage, have made machine-learning technologies as ubiquitous as they are transformative. Bloomberg Government, in partnership with Western Digital, will convene a half-day event to explore the vast promises of the big data revolution and weigh them against concerns over privacy, safety and control.

UN Global Pulse Director will participate on a panel discussion on "Data for Social Good."

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Facebook's Building Impact Series: Mapping

When: 26 August, 2016

Where: Menlo Park, California, USA

Description: This one-day workshop brings together Facebook data scientists and experts working at the intersection of data science and public policy to discuss how data can be used to produce high quality maps, and advanced analytical techniques for analysis and interpretation to support development, humanitarian action, and government planning. The workshop will explore the opportunities and challenges.

Global Pulse's data privacy specialist will make remarks on some of the challenges.  

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Big Data for Official Statistics Global Working Group Meeting & International Conference

When: 30 August – 1 September, 2016

Where: Dublin, Ireland

Description: The Third Global Conference on Big Data for Official Statistics is intended to (1) provide guidance for access to proprietary data and for successful partnerships with data owners, by (2) provide training on topics such as methodology, IT tools and project management related to big data, and by (3) support projects which demonstrate the use of big data for official statistics, and especially for the compilation of SDG indicators. 

UN Global Pulse is pleased to be part of the Global Working Group, and present during the “Data Analytics and Visualization Solutions“ session of the Conference Day 2.

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Data for Policy 2016 Conference

When: 15-16 September, 2016

Where: Cambridge, United Kingdom

Description: Data for Policy is an independent initiative to promote interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral discussion between all stakeholders with interest in potentials of Data Science research to enhance government operations and policy-making. This year's program includes presentations covering angles from a range of disciplines including Statistics, Computer Science, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Philosophy, and Law.

UN Global Pulse will give an in-depth presentation of Haze Gazer, a crisis analysis and visualization tool to enhance disaster management efforts by providing real-time insights on the location of fire and haze hotspots.

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Symposium on Big Data and Human Development

When: 15-16 September 2016

Where: Oxford, United Kingdom

Description: This workshop aims to move forward the debate about the ways in which big data is used, can be used, and should be used in development.The symposium will also serve as a bridge between methodological knowledge about big data, critical academic research on the topic, and the desires of stakeholders and practitioners to achieve key developmental outcomes and goals.

UN Global Pulse will give presentations on its data innovation projects and tools developed in the Jakarta Lab including the Haze Gazer and the El Nino and Social Listener dashboard.

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Indonesia Update Conference 2016

When: 16-17 September 2016

Where: Canberra, Australia

Description: In Indonesia, digitalisation has impacted the media industry, banks, polling institutes, terrorism networks, disaster relief and city planners, as well as education, employment, political activism, artistic production and much more. The 2016 Indonesia Update will address questions surrounding ‘digital Indonesia’. It will include experts from Australia, Indonesia and around the world, from a range of disciplines, who are researching the impacts of digital technologies.

UN Global Pulse will give presentations on its data innovation projects and tools developed in the Jakarta Lab including the Haze Gazer and the El Nino and Social Listener dashboard.

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Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange

When: 25 September 2016

Where:  New York, United States of America

Description: The Data for Good Exchange is part of a long Bloomberg tradition of advocacy for using data science and human capital to solve problems at the core of society. The overall theme for this year’s edition will be “better governance” or how data science can be applied to solve public interest problems.

UN Global Pulse is pleased to participate in a panel discussion on "Decoding the SDGs," and release the results of a project conducted with BBVA on "Measuring the Economic Resilience to Natural Disasters with Financial Transaction Data."

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News, thoughts and ideas about big data and AI, data privacy and ethics from across the Pulse Lab Network. Read more on the blog.

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