Youth Collaboratory & 5th Int’l Symposium on Digital Earth

digital-earth.gifFor the next two days I’ll be working with many of our NextNow collaboratory pals at Digital Earth, which is being held in the U.S. for the first time in its history.

Previously hosted by Canada, China, the Czech Republic and Japan, this time it’s in my S.F. Bay area backyard, so I wouldn’t miss it for the world. (traffic willing; I’ll be the blonde blur dashing in haste after early morning school drop off to zip across the Bay Bridge in time to man the doors for opening ceremonies at UC Berkeley)

What is Digital Earth? Essentially, a belief of widespread education for the people of the planet; where all people, linked through the internet, could freely access a virtual world of information and knowledge resources. (sound familiar? Gore popularized the concept back in his speech in ’98) Personally, I’m intrigued with the intergenerational dialogue about the planet and our shared future, since youth leaders from all over the world will be idea-swapping there. (The New Zealand “kids” are interviewing and webcasting live to four Universities ‘down under!’)

I’m volunteering on behalf of the team where I serve on their advisory board. They arrive from Colorado for the second half of the event, and by then, I’m sure my synapses will be fried, overwhelmed with youth insights, new media and techno-jargon of what’s to come as we all grapple with biodiversity, sustainability, and geomapping it all…

At its core, the Digital Earth program is described as “a global partnership, nurtured by the Beijing Declaration, composed of NGOs, educators, business, and government leaders collaborating for a better future…A rich convergence of technological advances, active visionaries, and recognition of the paramount need for humans to better understand the Earth and its systems…’Down to Earth’ solutions toward a sustainable future.”

My view of what’s being concocted in this living lab of human energy? BLEND: The inventors of Google Earth and the computer mouse (yes, THAT Doug Engelbart, one of our NextNow crew) ADD: The sixth man to walk on the moon. STIR IN: Global climate experts, the United Nations environmental ambassador, a Yukon Indian Chief and a dash of idealism. SHAKE UP: New ways of thinking, hope and promise for us all. SERVE: Humanity.

There. That oughta do it for now. Here’s a preview of the 5-day program, sponsors, and blog blurb on some of the speakers…Stay tuned!


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