We’re excited to share news about a new project, “Earth Challenge 2020,” our global citizen science initiative with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the U.S. Department of State’s Eco-Capitals Forum.
2020 will mark Earth Day’s 50th anniversary and we will mark the occasion by engaging millions of global citizens in collecting one billion data points to measure air and water quality, pollution and human health. Citizen science volunteers around the world, working with professional scientists, will collect and share earth science data of their local communities on an unprecedented scale, providing us with new insight on the state of our environment.
How will we get this all done? We’ll be working in collaboration with Connect4Climate, Conservation X Labs, Hult Prize, National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), Reset, SciStarter, UN Environment — and others to be announced.
And we’ll engage and empower the public every step of the way. Our initiative will include a broad and cross-cutting social media effort, encouraging participants to share stories, videos, photos, and other media to build a global movement and community.
To get us ready for Earth Challenge 2020, we plan to host hackathons around the world in 2019 to help create new hardware and software for gathering and sharing data, including an official Earth Challenge 2020 mobile app. These events will connect Earth Challenge 2020 with existing and emerging citizen science projects, highlighting successes and crowdsourcing solutions to challenges. The initial data collection campaign will launch on April 1, 2020, with the objective of collecting one billion data points by Earth Day on April 22. Then we will have a platform of open source data that will live, grow and connect with other global efforts, including those of governments, multilateral and scientific institutions and non-governmental organizations.
No doubt about it — we believe this has the potential to be the largest coordinated citizen science project ever attempted. Stay tuned for more information and sign up for our email for the latest.