My Latest MIT Technology Review Report: Mapping the Way to Climate Resilience

A building that's inundated by rising waters might be down the block from another that is practically untouched, though they're on the same floodplain
Natural phenomena like floods don’t conform to
human expectations.
My latest report for MIT Technology Review explores how GIS (geographical information systems) are being used to help companies like AT&T prepare be more resilient when climate change crises hit.

Many companies don’t yet know how climate change will change their business, but more are taking the inquiry seriously, signaling a new reality–one that calls for guarding against systemic risk while protecting customer relationships and corporate reputations. Recognizing that reducing carbon emissions is essential to combat climate change, AT&T has made a commitment to become carbonneutral by 2035.

“We just know it’s the right thing to do for our customers and–I say this from years of doing risk management–it’s good, basic risk management,” says Shannon Carroll, director of global environmental sustainability at AT&T. “If all indications are that something is going to happen in the future, it’s our responsibility to be prepared for that.” Globally, leaders from government, business, and academia see the urgency.

The World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2021 names extreme weather due to climate change and human-driven environmental damage among the most pressing risks of the next decade. When citing risks with the highest impact, those surveyed listed climate action failure and other environmental risks second only to infectious diseases…

Please click HERE to read the full report.

How the World Food Programme Is Changing Lives

World Food Programme - picture of Villagers in Afghanistan gather food rations. (Photo credit: WFP/ Teresa Ha)
Villagers in Afghanistan gather food rations. (Photo credit: WFP/ Teresa Ha)
The United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) is the largest humanitarian organization in the world, known for rushing into danger to feed the hungry. I had the honor of interviewing Lara Prades, the head of the WFP’s geospatial unit, and learning how they manage to be seemingly everywhere at once. It would be an almost impossible management task if it weren’t for the GIS (geographical information system) that Prades runs.
“Saving lives is not enough. We also need to change lives.” ~ Lara Prades, head of WFP’s Geospatial Unit
Please click here to read the article that I wrote for MIT Technology Review.

Robotic surgery gives doctors new savvy

Robot Assisted Surgery, article by Sally Wiener Grotta, image from MIT Technology Review
Image from MIT Technology Review
A few months ago, I had the privilege of interviewing innovators, forward thinkers and doctors on the cutting edge (pun intended) of robotic-assisted surgery (RAS). The result was my overview article that covered the current state of the art of RAS in hospitals, plus a look at the future when RAS will become far more common.
“Eventually, there will be a hierarchy of surgical care. Robots will be used for simple, repetitive surgeries. RAS medics will handle the common operations, in which inherent variability requires human judgment. And remote surgeon specialists will be called in for the more difficult, creative procedures.”
Please Click Here to read my article, published in MIT Technology Review.