WILDLABS Virtual Meetup Invitation: Creative Approaches to Data-Driven Storytelling

The final event in Season 2 of the WILDLABS Virtual Meetup Series will explore Creative Approaches to Data-Driven Storytelling. Joining us as speakers are Jason Pearson, Founder of TRUTHstudio, Camellia Williams, Lead Writer at Vizzuality, and  Gautam Shah, Founder of Internet of Elephants.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 19th from 3:00pm-4:30pm BST / 10:00am-11:30am EDT (check your timezone here).

To join, register here.

Date published: 2019/05/29


The WILDLABS Virtual Meetup Series is a program of webinars for community members and wider partners to discuss emerging topics in conservation technology and leverage existing community groups for virtual exchange. The aim of the series is to bring leading engineers in the tech sector together with conservation practitioners to share information, identify obstacles, and discuss how to best move forward.

Season 1 of the series took place in late 2018, covering new data collection techniques through Networked Sensors for Security and Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) Prevention and Next-Generation Wildlife Tracking, and effective utilization of that information through Big Data in Conservation.

Season 2 is running from April - June of 2019, exploring different models for collaboration, the low-cost tools these approaches are producing, and what we can do with the data they’re generating. The three topics being covered are Low-Cost, Open-Source Solutions, Tools and Spaces for Collaboration, and Creative Approaches to Data-Driven Storytelling.

There is a lively discussion about possible topics members would like to have space to discuss, so if you have ideas for future meetups please join the thread and share your thoughts. 

Meetup 3: Creative Approaches to Data-Driven Storytelling

Date & Time

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

3:00-4:30pm BST / 10:00-11:30am EDT

Background & Need

New tech developments are enabling conservation data collection on an unprecedented scale, but is getting the data enough? In our December meetup on Big Data in Conservation, we discussed how machine learning tools can help us put these massive stores of information to use. However, a major takeaway from this discussion was that actually utilizing big data often requires taking a step beyond data processing and into the realm of storytelling, which plays a critical role in closing the gap between data and decision makers. 

With so much of the focus on exciting new data collection and processing technologies, the importance of data-driven storytelling may be underestimated - our Big Data speakers and attendees agreed that this is an area in which the conservation tech community has significant room for development. There are, however, some exciting efforts leading the way. A few of these include Internet of Elephants' tools for consumer engagement with wildlife, from interactive data visualizations to social media filters and even video games; National Geographic Society's work on Vital Signs of the Planet and Earth Pulse in their Geographic Visualization Lab; and Vizzuality's beautiful data design work that enables platforms like Global Forest Watch, Global Fishing Watch, and Half-Earth. 


The aims of this discussion are as follows: to introduce data-driven storytelling in the context of conservation tech; to describe how it is being used, including its value and place in the wider ecosystem, and how we can better take advantage of existing approaches; to identify the obstacles in advancing the capacity of these tools/approaches (e.g. lack of funding compared to more big-name tech); and to discuss its role in the future of conservation tech.


  • Welcome and introductions (5 min)

  • Jason Pearson, Founder of TRUTHstudio; Founding President & CEO of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (10 min)

  • Camellia Williams, Lead Writer at Vizzuality (10 min)

  • Gautam Shah, Founder of Internet of Elephants; National Geographic Explorer (10 min)

  • Q&A discussion with speakers (20 min)

  • Optional ongoing discussion and community exchange (30 min)

  • Takeaways and wrap up (5 min)

Registration (required)

To attend, register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meetup.