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Bridging the Technology Gap: Uniting Conservation and Innovation with Stephanie O'Donnell from Wild Labs

Ocean conservation challenges are as challenging as radio astronomy, but the resources, investment in time and collaborative infrastructures to support, accelerate the development and scale are not balanced.

Stephanie O’Donnell, executive manager with WILDLABS asks how can that change for conservationists? Stephanie, who joined Host Kate Wing on this installment of Better Worlds’ Ocean series, engages an organization of expert networks in the co-creation and integration of technology for conservation. These networks develop capacity and harness local and global capabilities to rapidly scale technology solutions and data exchange.

WILDLABS has created a State of the Conservation Tech field report which is a survey of a variety of conservationists using different tools and technologies. O’Donnell said it’s WILDLABS’ purpose to listen to the community as it informs everything it does. Since the first year of business, WILDLABS took an annual survey about how the tech is working and thoughts on where it would be in five years.

Stephanie discusses the research, the results of some of those surveys and she acknowledges that conservation technology is more about data than it is hardware. The tech to retrieve information has evolved over five years, making access to cheaper tools and better remote sense data a reality. Conservationists now ask how do they make sense of the tech evolution to leverage AI and different analytical techniques that will give them new insights for more immediate response.

Through the State of Conservation Tech Survey, WILDLABS is building programs to help the community articulate challenges that can be conveyed clearly to others through documented agreement on a list of priorities or areas where innovation resources are needed and providing a roadmap for anyone to get engaged.

Tune into for this insightful conversation with Stephanie to learn more about  her journey, Wild Labs' Women in Conservation Tech program, the surprising use of peanut butter on manta rays, and the possibility of a marine-focused event in the near future

Stephanie directs strategic programme development, fundraising and collaborations, delivers the annual business plan, grows and manages a team across the WILDLABS partner organizations.

Stephanie has a Masters of Philosophy in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge.

--------- EPISODE KEYWORDS ---------

Conservation Technology, Wild Labs, Community Building, Climate Change, Ocean Issues, Natural World Challenges, Neutral Actor, Collaboration, Relationships, Conservation Tech Field, Movement Ecology, AI, Analytical Techniques, Women in Conservation Tech, Marine Community

Kate Wing

Kate Wing is the founder of Intertidal Agency, a design and strategy consulting firm for the ocean including policy, philanthropy, and conservation technology enterprises and accelerators.



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