How many climate change events occur every year? Many. What fraction of the people who might be interested in specific events can actually attend? Very small. How many events offer means by which people can identify and help disseminate key learning points? Very few.
Many event organizers set up a website and perhaps compile a collection of presentation slides or videos from the event. However, rarely does one see significant effort made to extract, link, and disseminate key knowledge after an event has occurred. From a knowledge management perspective, events are largely a wasted opportunity. Most conferences quickly fade into the past, no matter how much they might help inform future a range of climate change decision-makers.
WHAT IF key event knowledge could be saved and disseminated so that interested individuals and organizations could actually find the information? That’s one of the goals of the Climate Web.
The Renewable Natural Resources Foundation’s 2013 Congress on Coastal Resilience and Risk is an example of an event that we have integrated into the Climate Web. As shown in the Spotlight, 11 event presentations have been downloaded and reviewed. Slides or other materials that we perceived to be of broader interest have been flagged, extracted, and linked. As a result:
- Anyone looking for sea level rise events in the Climate Web can find the Congress.
- Individual presentations can be found through the Congress itself, through Source headings to which presentations are linked, or through the authors.
- Individual graphics or other materials extracted from the presentations can be found through the presentations or through Knowledgebase headings to which they are linked. For example, click on “2013 Blackburn,” and then on “Hurricane Ike.” You’ll see that this thought is linked to the Extreme Event Impacts heading in the Climate Web Knowledgebase (as indicated by the heading’s color and “K –” designation).
- Click on that Knowledgebase heading and you’ll see numerous other extracted materials that you may find to be useful based on your interest in Hurricane Ike. You’ll also see other Knowledgebase headings that you may want to explore. In every case, you should be able to trace any given graphic or other information back to its source.
Our goal is to make it possible for people to find specific pieces of information and actionable knowledge that they might otherwise entirely overlook, even if it exists somewhere on the Internet. Imagine if hundreds of the best events and conferences were made accessible in this way. How much easier would it be for individuals to find actionable knowledge they need? How much could we accelerate the broader dissemination of critical climate change learning?
In addition to integrating events into the Climate Web, Spotlights like the one shown here can be embedded into any website, e.g. the event’s own website. We can size Spotlights differently in terms of size of the Frame within with the Spotlight sits. (Sample frame sizes can be seen here). Hyperlinks can be used on the webpage to guide users to materials within the Spotlight, even to materials not specifically shown in the Spotlight but present somewhere else in the Climate Web.
We have dozens of events integrated into the Climate Web to one degree or another, but would like to do much more. If how we’re organizing event-related materials could benefit your own event, consider commissioning the Climatographers to specifically target your event. If how we’re organizing these materials benefits you in other ways, consider contributing to our work.