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What Will it Take to Get Plastics out of the Ocean?

Ensia

Text / Over 3000 Words

The amount of plastic debris in our oceans and water sources - especially nanoplastics that are increasingly prevalent in our food chain - is so enormous it's often beyond comprehension, and immensely difficult to address. As countries continue to industrialize and single-use products become more...

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Could adorable tiny tech backpacks save the honeybees?

The Christian Science Monitor

Text / 800-1500 Words

Concerned with colony collapse syndrome in honey bees worldwide, scientists, farmers and tech companies teamed up in Australia to create a micro-sensor that collects data on the bee's environment.

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How cities are searching for solutions among massive mounds of data

The Globe and Mail

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New York City suffered from fires that erupted in overcrowded, run-down apartments. Then the city sleuthed through residential records and found that landlords who foreclosed let their properties fall apart and ignored safety-code violations. Greater Toronto wants to expand upon New York City’s m...

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How Milwaukee Went Soft on Crime

Politico Magazine

Text / Over 3000 Words

Milwaukee once had volatile police inner-city neighborhood tensions with prevalent violent crime. In addition to fostering relationships between residents and the police, the police force has experienced reforms. They include using Big Data to identify crime hot spots, bringing cops back into th...

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How to Grow More Food with Less Water

Ensia

Text / 1500-3000 Words

Water shortages caused by drought have increased across the globe, and farmers are faced with economic burdens. The U.S. government has developed different sensors for irrigation devices that gauge water demand and help conserve use.

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In Aleppo, cell phones are helping some desperate Syrians find clean water

Public Radio International (PRI)

Radio / Under 5 Minutes

In war zones, people have a difficult time finding clean water and safe areas to inhabit. Social media, smart phones, and technology applications are aiding in people’s survival. In Aleppo, Syria, the International Committee of the Red Cross posted a map on Facebook to show alternative sources o...

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How Online Mapmakers Are Helping the Red Cross Save Lives in the Philippines

The Atlantic

Text / 800-1500 Words

After typhoon Haiyan, the devastation to the Philippines was hard to locate and track. The Red Cross staffed volunteers to sort through crowd-sourced data to create maps. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap software application has helped the Red Cross better organize search and rescue operations.

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Teaching citizens how to shoot better video when they witness brutality

PBS NewsHour

Multi-Media / 5-15 Minutes

With human injustices affecting people on the streets around the world, camera phones have become important tools to document crimes. However, the video may not adequately capture the crime to be persuasive in court. The global organization WITNESS has formed as Video As Evidence Program to instr...

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Cities in motion: how slime mould can redraw our rail and road maps

The Guardian

Text / 800-1500 Words

The twenty-first century city is a complex organism, and simulating it to anticipate traffic and transportation congestions can be problematic for urban planning. Researchers around the world from Japan to England have used slime models to simulate traffic and transportation patterns, observing r...

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The Internet Mapmakers Helping Nepal

The Atlantic

Text / 800-1500 Words

Whenever there’s a natural catastrophe, a team of “crisis mappers” activate around the world. These volunteers use crowdsourcing tools to turn satellite data into digital maps, which are then used to make decisions on the ground, enabling rescuers to deliver food, shelter, and supplies to areas t...

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Collections are versatile, powerful and simple to create. From a customized course reader to an action-guide for an upcoming service-learning trip, collections illuminate themes, guide inquiry, and provide context for how people around the world are responding to social challenges.

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Our issue area taxonomy was adapted from the PCS Taxonomy with definitions by the Foundation Center, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International License.

Photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license / Desaturated from original, and are credited to the following photographers:

Fondriest Environmental, David De Wit / Community Eye Health, Linda Steil / Herald Post, John Amis / UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS, Andy B, Peter Garnhum, Thomas Hawk, 7ty9, Isriya Paireepairit, David Berger, UnLtd The Foundation For Social Entrepreneurs, Michael Dunne, Burak Kebapci, and Forrest Berkshire / U.S. Army Cadet Command public affairs

Photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license, and are credited to the following photographers:

Ra'ed Qutena, 段 文慶, Fabio Campo, City Clock Magazine, Justin Norman, scarlatti2004, Gary Simmons, Kathryn McCallum, and Nearsoft Inc

Photos are licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication Creative Commons license / Desaturated from original, and are credited to the following photographers:

Burak Kebapci and SCY.

Photos are licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) and are credited to the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Conference attendee listening to speaker, Jenifer Daniels / Colorstock getcolorstock.com.

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

Photo Credit: Sonia Narang