4 Data Enthusiasts changing the world as we know it

Monday, March 27, 2017

4 Data Enthusiasts changing the world as we know it

It is becoming increasingly apparent that NGOs and governments are creating more roles in the Data Science discipline. Using Big Data for social good is all about coming up with new data-driven ways to solve the most pressing problems in our society. Today, we decided to take a look at some of the trailblazers in this space, focusing on four Data Scientists and Enthusiasts who really are changing the world with their work.



1. Miguel Luengo-Oroz


Miguel Luengo-Oroz
Figure 1: Miguel Luengo-Oroz has a very impressive career background.

Chief Scientist at UN Global Pulse, an innovation initiative at the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, harnessing Big Data for global development. He leads the data science team across the network of Global Pulse Labs in New York, Jakarta and Kampala which provide "innovation as a service" - developing Big Data projects together with UN system partners. Miguel is the founding director of MalariaSpot.org- videogames and crowdsourcing for diagnosis of malaria and other global health diseases, based at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. As an antidisciplinary scientist, over the last 10 years, he has been working on innovative projects at the crossroads of international development, social innovation, global health and systems biology with data science.


2. Bruno Sanchez Andrade Nuño


Bruno Sanchez Andrade Nuño
Figure 2: Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño has focused on using Big Data for social good.

Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño, Ph.D. is a strategic scientific advisor, and VP for Social Impact at Satellite operator Satellogic. Bruno is committed to bringing the value of Science and Technology in society at large, especially shifting the value of science away from mostly a body of facts and knowledge, and into very transferable skill-sets and tools to understand complexity, and make better decisions (Impact Science project). Previously at the World Bank Innovations Lab (and the President’s Office), their team led the technical work of Big Data across operations globally. Before the World Bank Bruno was Chief Scientist for the mapping company Mapbox during 10-fold early growth; where he worked building and leading the scientific technical support across the company, and in particular on the Satellite team.


3. Jake Porway


Jake Porway
Figure 3: Jake presenting at the National Geographic series.

Jake used his passion for technology and data to see the good values in data and harnessing this information. He remains an active data scientist even after setting up DataKind which aims to give every social organization access to data capacity to better serve societies across the world. He graduated from Columbia University and shortly after started working as a Data Scientist at The New York Times. He has been a TV host for the National Geographic as they promoted a game show using data to create interactive gameplay. DataKind's global presence allows it to target a range of global issues and have a more effective response from their various offices. He wants to promote the use of data not only just inform trivial decisions but also how to actually improve the world we live in.


4. Christopher Fabian

Christopher Fabian
Figure 4: Passionate from the beginning about the potential of data

Christopher Fabian has been an integral part of the UNICEF Innovation Unit in New York since 2007. Working on this global project he has used the research and development priorities to focus on short-term problems in parts of the world that have the most difficult operating environments. Christopher states that "technology is not the end-product of innovation, but a principal driver of new ways of thinking about development problems". We at LUCA are now actively participating in the Innovation Unit with Magic Box project we have just launched in collaboration. This shows that Christopher Fabian is clearly aware of the importance of data and the potential data has when it is optimised and harnessed. We hope that this collaboration combined with Christopher's stellar experience will lead to more results. He previously stated that local talent is critical in creating successful local solutions and it's hard for us not agree.

How important do you think it is for NGOs to hire Data Scientists? Let us know in the comments section below.

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