Addressing Climate Risk With Knowledge Management


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An introduction to how Climate Watson, a climate risk knowledge management tool based on TheBrain software, organizes information to make it accessible to decision-makers grappling with a wide variety of climate change and climate risk topics.

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Addressing Climate Risk With Knowledge Management

  1. 1. Snapshots of Climate Watson in Action The Ultimate Knowledge Management System for Climate Risk © 2014 The Climatographers
  2. 2. Why ClimateWatson? Even though there is an infinite amount of information on climate change and climate risk available today, actionable risk management information for individual companies is still scarce. If knowledge management tools can help us get past Carla Odell’s “if only we knew what we know” admonition, and generate actionable information in the process, would more companies engage in substantive risk and opportunity management around climate change? Our hypothesis is that they would, and that’s why we are using TheBrain™ software to build ClimateWatson. - The Climatographers © 2014 The Climatographers
  3. 3. Adapted from story courtesy of Patrick McKercher. ClimateWatson uses cutting-edge TheBrain™ software to make information actionable by effectively linking it. Such linking can create business value as shown here. © 2014 The Climatographers
  4. 4. Climate Watson™ as a Decision-Support Tool The scientific community has long warned that climate change jeopardizes critical ecological and societal systems, but the gap between science-based risk assessments and public policy continues to grow. One reason is that while decision-makers have an almost unfathomable amount of risk-relevant information available to them, relatively little finds its way into public or corporate decision-making. Most decision-makers don’t see the “big climate picture,” and may radically under-estimate the relevance of climate change to their future risks, opportunities, and goals. Climate Watson™ can help because it’s a knowledge delivery system that addresses the following four key characteristics of climate-risk. #1. Increasingly Dire Risk Assessments. Many scientists characterize 350 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere as a climate risk threshold, including ocean acidification. We’re already above 400 ppm, however, and 650 ppm is on the horizon of people alive today. #2. Numerous Barriers to Action. Economic, political, and psychological barriers to acting on climate change include: • “It’s a far-off problem, and costs too much.” • “Acting today won’t prevent climate change – focus instead on adapting.” • “We can’t succeed - our risk management brains are still focused on looking for lions in the Serengeti.” • “Too many uncertainties remain – let’s wait and see.” #3. The Growing “Climate Action Gap.” Too few decision-makers are able to answer “yes” to two critical action questions: • Is addressing climate change “worth it” to me, given my self-interests and decision-making environment? • Is there something I can do that reflects my perceived interests and decision-making environment? #4. Different Decision-Making Needs. Climate risk decision-makers fall into three very different categories: • Decision-makers answering “yes” to one or both questions listed above, who now need risk management strategies. • Decision-makers who haven’t arrived at answers, and who need help assessing risks and understanding their options. • Decision-makers answering “no” to one or both questions, but who may not understand how quickly their risk profiles can change. Climate Watson™ overcomes these challenges by generating “actionable knowledge” from the infinity of climate change information.
  5. 5. Climate Risk Has Many Angles. Climate Watson Helps You See Them All. All images ©
  6. 6. One of the key challenges in climate risk (or opportunity) communication is the number of different audiences. Each audience needs different information to answer the critical “is it worth it, can I do it” questions that underlie all decision-making. Climate Watson™ organizes climate risk information for specific audiences. © 2014 The Climatographers
  7. 7. TheBrain™ software allows an infinite amount of information to be organized to generate actionable insights, and get “the right information to the right person at the right time.” With almost 50,000 thoughts it may look like chaos – but it’s anything but. © 2014 The Climatographers
  8. 8. Climate Watson™ links tens of thousands of ideas, graphics, tables and other materials drawn from thousands of published reports, news stories, blogs, and other sources. Each source, however, is also individually identifiable, as in the case of the NRC’s 2013 report on Abrupt Climate Change shown above. As an example, you can access a public mini-Brain exploring the Abrupt Climate Change report here. © 2014 The Climatographers
  9. 9. Most people are interested in a particular slice of climate risk, e.g. how it’s relevant to their industry and to them. This screenshot illustrates how hundreds of publications, news stories, and other materials are organized into a topical snapshot of the electric utility sector (one of many profiled sectors) through a climate risk lens. © 2014 The Climatographers
  10. 10. Other people are looking to understand a particular climate topic (whether mitigation or adaptation focused). This screenshot shows how information on geoengineering (one of many profiled topics) is organized, making it easy to quickly gain the insights of numerous sources. But if desired you can also access the individual sources. © 2014 The Climatographers
  11. 11. Climate Watson™ includes extensive information not only on climate risks themselves, but on the psychology and communication of climate risk. This screenshot illustrates a small slice of Peter Sandman’s excellent work on risk communication, and how it relates to climate change. © 2014 The Climatographers
  12. 12. One of the most intriguing aspects of TheBrain™ software is the ability to link ideas in ways you might not have thought of before, but which are instructive. This screenshot illustrates how a story-based exploration of the governance challenges of genetic engineering (The Windup Girl) can help explore governance challenges around geoengineering. © 2014 The Climatographers
  13. 13. No individual can attend more than a small fraction of relevant conferences, or retain more than a small fraction of what they hear at a conference. But with Climate Watson™ the best ideas from hundreds of conference presentations are pulled together and cross-referenced to make it possible to learn from the accumulated knowledge. © 2014 The Climatographers
  14. 14. Climate Watson’s™ “Topical Networks” section links thousands of organizational websites, topical experts, and other web-based topical resources into dozens of topical networks. A few are shown here, with a focus on climate adaptation. With these networks you can quickly find out who is active in what area. In a similar way Climate Watson™ organizes hundreds of cartoons, YouTube videos, infographics, and other sources. © 2014 The Climatographers
  15. 15. “Having ClimateWatson available is like having 100 leading experts in climate science, climate risk, risk management, and corporate strategy collaborating with you at the decision-making table.” - Fortune 100 Climatographers client How Can Climate Watson Help You? Access to one-off questions and answers? Topical presentations and seminars? Risk and risk management workshops? Executive briefings and updates? Climate risk scenario development? Mitigation and adaptation strategy development? Understanding who’s doing what around climate change? Building custom Brains for corporate knowledge management? Please call us for more information and to explore these and other ways that Climate Watson can support your decision-making needs and other objectives. © 2014 The Climatographers
  16. 16. • Relevant Links – TheBrain software – Videos Explaining Climate Watson • What Is Climate Watson? • How Is Climate Watson Built? • Why Climate Watson? – Topical Videos Using Climate Watson • Brainstorming CliFi (Climate Fiction) • Brainstorming Heffernan’s 2011Willful Blindness – Our Abrupt Climate Change Brain – Our Social Cost of Carbon Brain – Our Website Please contact us: 503-913-0025 © 2014 The Climatographers