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UN World Data Forum

The Crowd & the Cloud: Empowering Citizens to Support their Own Development through Data

THE CROWD & THE CLOUD is a 4-part mini-series on “Citizen Science in the Digital Age.” Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), it is hosted by former NASA Chief Scientist, Waleed Abdalati, and written and produced by Geoff Haines-Stiles, who was a Senior Producer and series director on Carl Sagan’s classic COSMOS series, now viewed by more than 800 million people worldwide.

The series looks at the rapidly growing field of “citizen science” and crowdsourcing with case studies of citizen science projects in the United States and internationally. The common feature linking all stories is how regular citizens (as opposed to career researchers) are now able to gather and share valuable data relating to environmental conditions such as air and water quality, public health, climate change and economic development. For the UN World Data Forum, Geoff Haines-Stiles Productions, Inc. and the World Bank Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) provided a video-enhanced Keynote/panel discussion in which dynamic, short clips from THE CROWD & THE CLOUD series set the context for lively in-person presentations showing how citizen science can address key Conference themes.