2020 Technology & Conservation Webinar Series


Technology’s Role in Conserving and Protecting Our Natural World

In this 4-part webinar series, GEC will explore how technology can protect our world.

Biodiversity conservation is of critical importance for a world that faces an alarming decline in plant and animal species. A recent United Nations’ report projects that up to 1 million of the world’s estimated 8 million plant and animal species could be lost over the coming decades. While food crop production has increased 300% since 1970, 23% of land areas have reduced productivity because of land degradation, 11% of the world’s population is undernourished, and seed diversity for the crops we rely on has decreased significantly. As the world struggles to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change, loss of animal and plant diversity threatens our ability to feed ourselves, discover new medicines and counteract the greenhouse gasses that are causing climate change. But all is not gloom and doom. Technology can play an important role in supporting biodiversity conservation and this webinar series will highlight new and important ways that Technology is conserving and Protecting our Natural World.


Webinar 1: Sustainability Impact of “Working Remote” at a Global Scale

Wednesday, September 30 at 10:00am Pacific / 1:00pm Eastern

The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly transformed the way organizations operate across the globe. Technology is playing a critical role as many employees move to 100% telework, business travel and conferences morph into web-based events and school shutdowns give rise to at home learning. A recent analysis of popular web-based meeting platforms found that downloads of these applications more than doubled during the month of March and the preferred device for connecting to some applications is shifting from mobile phones back to computers. How will the new reliance on technology transform the future of offices, meetings and conferences? Will we increase our dependence on the Internet, and might the devices we use to work, socialize and learn change? How could these changes result in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions overall, mitigate climate change and benefit biodiversity? This webinar will explore how a global telework movement is impacting sustainability, and how lessons learned can support a healthier planet and people.


– Kate Lister, President, Global Workplace Analytics
– Christopher R. Knittel, George P. Shultz Professor of Applied Economics, MIT
– Doug Specht, Director of Teaching and Learning, Senior Lecturer, Westminster School of Media and Communication, University of Westminster

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/07/technology/coronavirus-internet-use.html


Webinar 2: How Eavesdropping on Nature Can Keep the Planet Healthy

The date will be announced at a later time.

Technology is changing the way scientists study nature.  Their observations no longer need to stop once they leave the field, as new tools allow scientists to continue seeing, hearing, and collecting data far from their subjects of interest.  Technology is helping scientists better understand how humans are impacting the health of natural systems and vice versa.  Attendees of this webinar will get a firsthand account of how a variety of technological tools, such as sensors and apps, are being used to listen to, monitor, and increase the biodiversity and health of forests, animals, insects, and oceans.

Webinar 3: Using Technology to Address Food Availability

The date will be announced at a later time.

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (UN) estimated that more than 820 million people did not have enough to eat in 2019.  This figure makes meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goal’s target of ending hunger everywhere by 2030 a daunting task.  What role can information technology play in achieving this critical objective?  This webinar will discuss how technology can be used to increase food productivity in a sustainable way, ensure water availability, and improve access to food in regions facing moderate to severe food insecurity.

Webinar 4: Can Drones Help to Conserve the Planets’ Natural Resources?

The date will be announced at a later time.

Drones aren’t just for hobbyists.  They are also used by scientists to monitor natural resources.  The unique birds-eye-view drones provide can help in the development of strategies that keep our precious natural resources healthy.  This webinar will describe how drones are being used to monitor and protect coral reefs, agricultural productivity, and endangered species.