Digital Earth ISDE: Our Defining Project for Making the Invisible Visible


Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut and 6th man to walk on the Moon, ISDE5 keynote speaker
Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut, 6th man to walk on the Moon, Founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and ISDE5 keynote speaker

NextNow Collaboratory focuses on contributing to social benefit projects that emphasize innovative collaboration and information visualization technologies.

Our defining project was the 5th International Digital Earth Symposium, held in the U.S. for the first time in ISDE’s history at the University of California Berkeley campus.  Tim Foresman of the International Society for Digital Earth came to NextNowCollab as a partner in building program content, architecture and processes to help make the latest iteration of ISDE a powerful and immersive learning experience.  Joining organizations like NASA, Google Earth, Bioneers, Planetwork, Stanford and UC Berkeleyamong many others, NNC had the privilege of  working side-by-side with individuals and organizations on the creative edge of Digital Earth technologies and strategies.  A big part of our emphasis was collaborating on innovation- and virtual-space facilitation to enable idea-, relationship-, commitment-, and action generation during the symposium that would take on lives of their own.

picture-6For us, ISDE5 was a dynamic collaboratory in itself, and this deep exposure to the potential of Digital Earth technologies to transform the awareness of societies–resulting in an expanded collective capacity for taking informed, committed action–solidified our commitment to advancing a Digital Earth.

One of the most exciting opportunities presented by ISDE5 was to create a new initiative that allowed us to leverage collaboratory projects and, more importantly, to bring an entirely new dimension to the work of the Society: digital mind.  From the website:

Digital Earth/Digital Mind

Session Leaders: Claudia Welss + Tim Foresman

The scientific community is just beginning to appreciate how the energetic fields generated by living systems interact with each other and with the planet as a whole. Digital Earth/Digital Mind is ISDE5’s effort to bring cutting-edge projects like the Global Consciousness Project and the Global Coherence Initiative into the awareness of the growing Digital Earth community. These projects examine subtle data correlations between the earth’s fields and human (and/or animal and plant) activity as a way of understanding the relationships between them, potentially unlocking powerful solutions to our global challenges.

ISDE5 Team at NextNow Collab (L-R) Tim Foresman (ISDE), Joe Skopek, Rebecca Sherranian, Claudia Welss (NextNow Collab), Jim Fournier (Planetwork), Glen Lauder, Brian Hamlin, Carl Chenery
ISDE5 Team Members at Collab: Tim Foresman (ISDE), Joe Skopek, Rebecca Sherranian, Claudia Welss and Jim Fournier (NNC), Glen Lauder, Brian Hamlin, Carl Chenery. Photo: Bill Daul

Imaging Notes and The International Journal of Digital Earth, the official journal of the International Society for Digital Earth, are two of the best ways to keep abreast of digital earth community and technology developments.  From the Journal’s website:

Digital Earth is a virtual representation of the planet, encompassing all its systems and forms, including human societies, manifested as a multi-dimensional, multi-scale, multi-temporal, and multi-layer information facility. The Digital Earth vision encompasses the vast array of technologies, information frameworks, organizational standards, along with applications across a spectrum of disciplines, and many educational and grassroots operational needs.

Digital Earth is a global initiative aimed at harnessing the world’s data and information resources to develop a virtual 3-D model of the Earth in order to monitor, measure, and forecast natural and human activity on the planet. The International Journal of Digital Earth is a response to this initiative. This international, peer-reviewed research journal will focus on knowledge-based solutions to build and advance applications to improve human conditions, protect ecological services and support future sustainable development for environmental, social, and economic conditions.”


As part of ISDE5, in March 2007 we were fortunate enough to also collaborate with a Kaitiakitanga Youth Voice team (New Zealand) in the U.S. on a Sustainability Learning Journey that included work on the International Youth Program for Digital Earth, a Center for Ecoliteracy programheld on the Institute of Noetic Sciences campus, and a Business Innovation program with the Society for Organizational Learning.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s