December 13, 2017 18:27 CET

How is IoT a Magnificent Enabler for Sustainability?

I have been asked a number of times, “Why do you get so excited about IoT, AI, Blockchain, Nanotechnology, and all the peripheral technology complementary to IoT?”

Well, my answer is; For many compelling reasons, such as for cool projects, learning new things, helping companies and people achieve their objectives, challenges, discovery, curiosity… But I get especially excited when a significant difference can be made in transforming people’s lives, industry, and society. Here we talk about things from bacteria detecting nanosensors for water quality to smart meters, smart grid, smart pipes, smart homes, smart cities, nanomedicine, nano IoT, Blockchain for reducing dodgy fishing practices, smart vineyards, electric cars and mopeds, healthcare, child and elderly care and such.

However, sometimes the simplest projects can make a significant impact. For example, you can easily build a simple local weather power station working with one sim card and one IO device. Using its sensors the weather station can collect information about humidity, temperature, rainfall, barometric pressure, etc., This is how using simple and cheap tools makes it possible to accurately predict the weather at a much more granular scale. Why is this important?

Here in Europe, we have the capabilities to analyze weather with fine granularity down to areas of 4 Sq Km. In sub-Saharan countries it is a different ball game – here we are talking about areas of 25-50 Sq Km, sometimes even larger. For local farmers, the possibility to build these easy local weather stations is a game changer.

No matter how hard we work on denying effects of global warming they will always be there. For these farmers, it is a reality they live with every single day. The weather has become more unstable and difficult to predict. Some can lose crops to drought one season and the next they lose it to large amounts of rain. The farmers know what to do, they just can´t foresee how the weather will be like. For some of these farmers, the difference can be from barely having food on the table to having enough money from sold crops to pay for their children’s education.

The local condition data is collected and coupled with satellite data, some number crunching by weather experts here in Europe, and the farmers can get SMS alerts of upcoming nasty weather ahead, giving them time to take precautions to protect crops and also plan ahead.

Cooperating with national weather services in Europe leverages the capabilities and technology available here to benefit farmers thousands of kilometers away. This with the help of simple, low-cost gear donated to make a significant difference for the small village inhabitants and their families.

The example above and many other projects in sustainability are made possible with cooperation and partnerships. I call on all of you working for many great companies and institutions to use your competence and capabilities to think and explore how you can get involved. “When you think you become” so let’s become a better, more sustainable world with joint ideas and projects that can make a difference.

Earth Overshoot Day occurred this year on August 2nd, and it occurs earlier and earlier for each year that passes. This means that we are consuming more from nature than our planet can renew in the during a whole year, faster and faster for each year.

It is time for pragmatic thinking, followed by actions and a movement to make a difference – step by step, one smart project at a time. So let´s develop together! What do you say, are you in? Contact me and let us put our heads together. We can´t do this alone, just like no one can do a whole IoT project alone. The value of a partner ecosystem working in harmony can do wonders for our planet.