How could big environmental data shape the futures of forest landscapes?

Time: 15:30 - 17:00

Venue: Virtual

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The proliferation of ‘big data’ opens up exciting opportunities from a Global Development perspective, but also poses new methodological and ethical challenges. Building on this year’s World Bank World Development report ‘Data for Better Lives’, we aim to explore some of these potentials and risks.

Our first session focuses on ‘big’ environmental data, such as that derived through satellite remote sensing. We ask how these data could help to understand and govern forested landscapes – and also what these data could mean for the livelihoods and wellbeing of the people living in these landscapes.

This event will bring together expertise from across the University of Manchester's Digital Futures network to debate this question across a range of different arenas.

Event Schedule:

15:30-15:40: Welcome and introductions
15:40-16:20: Panel Presentations:
                            Johan Oldekop (Global Development Institute, University of Manchester)
                            Keiko Nomura (Space Intelligence Ltd)
                            Laura Sauls (Department of Geography, University of Sheffield)
                            Polyanna Bispo (Department of Geography, University of Manchester)
16:20-17:00: Questions and discussion: how could big environmental data shape forest landscape futures?

This is the first in a set of three webinars on ‘Big Data and Global Development’ organised by researchers in the Centre for Digital Development and the Agrarian Change and Political Ecology Research Group, both part of the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. If you have questions or suggestions for further events on this theme, please do get in touch at For information on future GDI events, please follow on Twitter @GlobalDevInst.

Digital Futures:

Digital Futures is a highly interdisciplinary network which operates across the whole range of the University’s digital research.

This is a cross-theme Digital Futures event between Cities and Environments and Data Science & Artificial Intelligence themes.