When we think of Big Data, we might think of the huge amounts of information collected from particle colliders. Or maybe we consider the data churned out when mapping a strand of DNA.
We probably don’t think of trees.
But as it so happens, the Department of Agriculture operates a massive depository of information on our forests, featuring terabytes of data that go as far back as 1928. The Forestry Inventory and Analysis (FIA) partnership features surveys of forests across the country, including those on private lands. Just last year, FIA answered more than 103,000 online requests for data, and operates with a budget of about $87 million.
Call it Big Data with some bark.
It’s clear that the program is a great example of how innovation from Big Data is happening in places we don’t even think about.
At first glance, data on forests may not seem like the most scintillating kind out there. For the average person, the population of fir trees in Minnesota, for example, isn’t need-to-know information.
But FIA data can have a major impact on everything from conservation efforts to public safety to where businesses decide to locate. It’s really useful stuff.
When Wikipedia began in 2001, it capitalized on the Internet Age’s collaborative potential. Wikipedia’s open-source approach to sharing and spreading data (encyclopedic content) has proven so successful, the prefix “wiki” has become a prevalent term in all things online. This is valuable not just for sharing information; it can be a catalyst for innovation.
Innovation consultant Rod Collins, of Optimity Advisors, has articulated a key facet of a new type of approach to fostering innovation and collaboration, what he calls “Wiki Management” (which is also the title of his 2013 book). Within Wiki Management is a new philosophy and practice that can drive incredible connectivity and collaborative work across multiple disciplines. Collins has defined how this can help organizations affect and harvest collaboration and data.
"Today, you’re here for yourselves, and the mission is your future. That’s what this summit is about. It’s about a transformational shift across the military in how we think about your careers."
First Lady Michelle Obama offered this remark to more than one thousand service members and military spouses gathered in the renowned Welcome Home Hangar of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) for the 2014 Fort Campbell Veterans Jobs Summit. To mark the third anniversary of the White House's Joining Forces Initiative, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden joined senior representatives from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors at a free conference for service members preparing to transition out of the military as well as military spouses seeking career opportunities.
The military families in attendance at Fort Campbell received encouragement and advice from civic leaders and senior Army leadership before meeting with more than 100 employers at a Hiring Our Heroes job fair. Numerous service members also received career resources and resume counseling at customized employment workshops while their spouses attended a workshop tailored to their own unique needs. More than a hundred employers and community organizers also took part in interactive forums and panel discussions highlighting best practices in military hiring.
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will join Hiring Our Heroes and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in hosting an all-day summit and job fair for veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses at Fort Campbell, Kentucky on Wednesday.
More than 100 employers have signed up for the Fort Campbell Veterans Jobs Summit and Career Forum, which will also include remarks from Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer, and more than a dozen military leaders and veterans advocates.
Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden are scheduled to open the Hiring Our Heroes job fair Wednesday afternoon in front of more than 1,000 service members and their families. The First and Second Ladies are the co-founders of the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative, which seeks to priovide employment and education resources and other support for service members and their families.
In addition to the job fair, Wednesday’s event will include three panel discussions with military and business leaders. An opening session will feature a broad overview of the effort to support transitioning service members, and there will be panels centering on community support and best practice for hiring veterans.
The summit is supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Army, and the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employer Partnership.