Social Entrepreneur Podcast: Conscious Companies | Benefit Corporations | Impact Investing
About This Show
The podcast Social Entrepreneur is for aspiring and early-stage social entrepreneurs; and for those who want to make an impact on the world. Every Monday you hear interviews with social entrepreneurs, founders, investors and thought leaders. Listen to the stories that led them to becoming change makers. The guests give advice for early stage and aspiring social entrepreneurs. We always end each episode with a call to action. If you're ready to change the world, join us.
Most Recent Episode
159, Christa Hasenkopf, OpenAQ | Fighting Air Inequality through Open Data, Open Source Tools and Collaboration
3 days ago
OpenAQ aggregates and shares air quality data from around the world to provide open access to air quality data so the public can fight air inequality. How big of an issue is air pollution? The World Health Organization estimates that one out of every eight deaths on the planet is due to air pollution. That’s more than HIV/AIDS and Malaria combined. Christa Hasenkopf is an atmospheric scientist. In grad school, she focused on the atmosphere of a moon of Saturn called Titan. One day she was talking to a professor from a neighboring university. The professor was telling Christa about Mongolia while showing her pictures on his phone. One particular picture caught her attention. It was a picture of Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. The heavy pollution of the city reminded her of the gritty atmosphere of Titan. When Christa searched for studies on the impact of air quality in Mongolia, she found only four studies and one of them was on the impact of air pollution on lichen, not humans. With the help of friends, Christa was able to put together a Fulbright Grant and research project in Mongolia. She stayed for two years, studying air quality and the impact that it had on the region. While there, she put together a side project with Mongolian colleagues that provided real-time air quality data through social media. She says, “We were in one of the most polluted places in the world. In the wintertime, you can taste the air. And there wasn’t super-easy access to air quality data.” The project had an out-sized impact. They received quite a bit of media coverage. Christa’s Mongolian colleague was called in by the Mongolian parliament to talk about air quality issues. Seeing the impact of open data changed the trajectory of Christa’s career. Over the next few years, she realized that there were millions of points of data already available, but it was not available in a user-friendly format. Initially she and her cofounder Joe Flasher tried to convince other organizations who were already aggregating the data to open the data for others to use. But eventually, she and Joe realized that no one else was going to do what she thought needed to be done That is when she decided to launch OpenAQ. OpenAQ aggregates air quality data from millions of sources. They make the data available to anyone through open data sharing. Even their platform is open. Their code is available to anyone on GitHub. The key to OpenAQ is
Rated 5 out of
Exactly what I need
As a budding entrepreneur, I'm always looking for resources. Really glad I found this podcast. It feels mission driven. It's relatable. The guests are great.
Date published: 2016-08-12