The best thing about my job is the interesting people I get to meet and this weekend was no exception, because I went to an EcoCamp in Coventry and met an arctic explorer and some amazing industrial designers amongst others. You might wonder what that has got to do with my work? Well strictly nothing, but even though I work for Microsoft I am an inhabitant of earth and actually Microsoft really does care for the environment and is also at COP15 (the Copenhagen Climate change conference).

In my opinion one of the biggest problems with the environment is that most people simply don’t understand the urgency of the situation or the severity of these outcomes for each of us.  So I went to this EcoCamp, not so much to speak but to listen, and one of the biggest debates was on exactly this issue.

Microsoft is trying to raise environmental awareness in a number of ways, and perhaps the most interesting evidence of this is around spatial data:

  • Environmental Atlas of Europe. Showing some of the issues and projects around Europe
  • Eye on Earth showing air and water quality across Europe for the European Environmental Agency EAA.
  • My good friends Mark Bloodworth & Dave Gristwood showing you Birmingham’s Intelligent City Project..

The background to these is the commitment to academic research that is needed to fully understand the inevitable rise in global temperatures, on the planet and human society, such as this research by Microsoft Research Cambridge on Computational Ecology and Environmental Science.

I realise this can all sound like gloom and doom, but the individuals and organisations and even countries that adapt now will be the ones that are best equipped to survive these changes.

Finally thanks to the EcoCamp organisers for a very informative event