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Data Geeks Are Saving Humanity: Gregory Taff – World Resources Institute

Over many generations, humans have done extraordinary unintentional damage to the planet and to each other, simply by not understanding the impact of their behavior. We can forgive our ancestors, but we now have no excuse for being clueless. Powerful tools like computing, data collection and analysis, satellite imaging and modern research techniques help us understand the complexity of the world and help guide our choices. And this capacity is growing. These tools are improving the work done by government officials, citizens, journalists and organizations of many types.

At the forefront of deploying these tools is the World Resources Institute. WRI is a global research organization that works with governments, businesses, multilateral institutions and civil society groups to develop practical solutions that improve people’s lives and protect nature. They organize their work around seven global challenges: Food, Forests, Water, Energy, Climate, the Ocean and Cities. They analyze these issues through the lenses of their four Centers of Excellence: Business, Economics, Finance and Equity.

Gregory Taff is WRI’s Director of Research and Data Integrity. He and his team make sure all WRI research follows best practices, and help grow the organization’s research capacities.


World Resources Institute:

Below are links to some of the WRI projects we discussed…

Global Forest Watch:

A dynamic platform featuring hundreds of data sets all in one place on the state of the planet’s resources and citizens. Includes mapping tools, data dashboards and interesting blog posts.

Water, Peace and Security Partnership:

Innovative tools and services that help identify water-related security risks, and allow stakeholders to take action at an early stage.

Helping companies manage their environmental impact:

Creating a Sustainable Food Future:

Our crowded world has a collision of land use demands. Nature is being crowded out, while agriculture is the biggest human use of land. This effort strategizes how to get everyone fed adequately, while protecting nature, climate and water resources.

Eat less meat, please:

Modeling climate change futures and assessing progress on climate actions:

Strengthening equity across all sectors:


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