Global Initiative Turns Students into Data Detectives to Shine a Light on the Power of Big Data to Shape Our Lives and Change

Global Initiative Turns Students into Data Detectives to Shine a Light on the
          Power of Big Data to Shape Our Lives and Change the World

Human Face of Big Data Gathers Insights from Students Worldwide to Share at
Second Annual TEDYouth Event

PR Newswire

SAUSALITO, Calif., Nov. 14, 2012

SAUSALITO, Calif., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Beginning November 14 through
the end of the year, students ages 13-18 around the globe are invited to
participate in "Data Detectives," an engaging web experience to learn about
how Big Data will impact their lives and the world they will be inheriting.
Data Detectives is the student component of the Human Face of Big Data, a
global crowdsourced project conceived by "Day in Life" series creator Rick
Smolan. It aims to help people better visualize the ways Big Data is shaping
the future of the planet, and includes a smartphone app, worldwide events, a
large format illustrated book with an interactive iPad app, and a documentary.

The Data Detectives initiative invites students to answer questions, explore
fascinating examples of how Big Data is changing their world, interact with
real-time data and see how other students around the globe are impacted in
similar and different ways. Students can explore the Data Detectives web
experience at

Insights from the project will be unveiled at the second annual TEDYouth event
on Saturday, November 17^th in New York, where 400 local high school students
will gather for speaker sessions featuring 20 scientists, designers,
technologists, explorers, artists, and performers who will share short lessons
on what they do best. More than 100 parallel independently organized TEDxYouth
Day events will take place in 42 countries around the world with the intent to
inspire and engage today's youth.

As newly deputized "Data Detectives," students will be able to explore,
discuss and pull eye-opening insights from dozens of stories about Big Data.
These are just a few examples of how Big Data is coming to life in the real

  oIngestible Sensors:Tiny vitamin sized pills the size of a grain of sand
    containing integrated circuits and a battery that transmits heart rate,
    respiration, body posture, even sleeping patterns as they travel through
    your body.
  oFinding the next Lady Gaga:A company called Next Big Sound analyzes
    social media to predict which emerging musicians are likely to write the
    next big hits.
  oFood Fight:When nine-year-old Martha Payne of Scotland photographed and
    ranked her school lunches according to quality, quantity, nutritional
    value and pieces of hair found on her "food-o-meter," the local government
    council tried to ban her website. Martha's millions of supporters took to
    Twitter and Facebook forcing the council to reverse its decision. Martha
    used her newfound fame to raise $185,000 from her followers to provide
    meals to children in 16 countries.
  oSensing Earthquakes:In Taiwan, students at the Lanyang Girls High School
    are among the thousands of people in 67 countries participating in the
    crowdsourced Quake-Catcher Network, which uses the accelerometers in every
    day laptops to detect and provide advance warnings of earthquakes.

A supplementary activity kit for educators will be available to teachers on This kit incorporates activities that employ
statistics, geography, social sciences and other relevant coursework to help
teachers use "Data Detectives" as a teaching tool.

"The goal of Data Detectives is to spark the imagination of students around
the globe by making them think about new technologies that will impact
humanity in ways similar to language and art," said Rick Smolan, CEO, of
Against All Odds Productions. "We want to expose the personal side of a
complex topic to demonstrate just how different the lives of today's youth
will be in comparison to their parents."

The Human Face of Big Data project is based on the premise that the real-time
visualization of data collected by satellites, and by billions of sensors,
RFID tags, and GPS-enabled cameras and smartphones around the world, is
enabling humanity to sense, measure, understand and affect aspects of our
existence in ways our ancestors could never have imagined.

"The Human Face of Big Data and the associated "Data Detectives" initiatives
illustrate EMC's belief that an interconnected world that provides the
collection, analysis and visualization of data is empowering the human race
across geographic, economic and cultural barriers," said EMC Executive Vice
President, Product Operations and Marketing Jeremy Burton. "The Data
Detectives initiative builds on EMC's long-standing commitment to improving
science, technology, engineering and math education in our children's

The Human Face of Big Data is a global crowdsourced project that also

  oA Large-Format Illustrated Book

On December 4, 2012, "The Human Face of Big Data" book will be unveiled and
delivered via FedEx, the Official Shipping Sponsor to 10,000 of the world's
most influential people, including world leaders, Fortune 500 CEOs, and Nobel
laureates across 30 countries. The book will feature a fascinating array of
more than 200 photographs, compelling essays from noted writers and dramatic
infographics from renowned designer Nigel Holmes. An interactive iPad app will
be released at the same time.

  oA Smartphone App

Launched in September, The Human Face of Big Data app engages people in a
series of activities using the sensors in their phones, as well as enabling
them to compare their responses to thought-provoking questions with others
around the globe to derive answers to questions about our most personal
beliefs about life. As of November 8^th more than three million questions have
been answered by participants in over 49 countries. A full data analysis will
be released in late November 2012. Download the app for iOS orAndroid.

About the Sponsors

The "Data Detectives" component of "The Human Face of Big Data" project is
editorially independent and is made possible through the generous support of
EMC Corporation, which serves as the primary sponsor. Supporting sponsorship
comes from Cisco Systems, FedEx, VMWare, Tableau and Originate.

Visualizations for the Data Detectives website were developed by R/GA.

EMC's primary interest and expertise lies in advancing Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Math (STEM) education to build a highly trained and
innovative workforce for the future. EMC's efforts are focused on
strengthening educational systems and raising standards locally and globally.

Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people
connect, communicate and collaborate. As data grows bigger, our planet
continues to shrink, connecting people and things in new and innovative ways.
It's an exciting time of possibilities and change for the entire world. These
changes are happening day by day, minute by minute, as the amount of internet
traffic traversing the network continues to grow, providing infinite paths to
improve our world. From solving global health issues to predicting natural
disasters to improving education, the human potential is both daunting and
amazing. At Cisco we understand the potential of data and we have a passion
for creating intelligent solutions to collect, manage, and evaluate data at
the speed of human communications. Cisco is proud to be a sponsor of The Human
Face of Big Data.
More at

The Cisco Networking Academy, with 10,000 academies in 165 countries, trains
over a million students each year with the skills needed to build, design,
manage, and secure computer networks. The academy helps students prepare for
industry-recognized certifications and entry-level information and
communication technology (ICT) careers in virtually every type of industry. To
learn more visit

"In addition to learning about information technology, Cisco Networking
Academy students develop career skills in problem solving, collaboration, and
critical thinking. Cisco demonstrates the real-life use of data management to
automate classroom administration, improve student enrollment, and support
instructor training to enhance the learning experience for students."Michael
Yutrzenka, SeniorDirector, Corporate Affairs, Cisco.

FedEx is proud to be the Official Shipping Sponsor of The Human Face of Big
Data. In 1978, FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith said, "The information about
the package is just as important as the package itself." Today, FedEx provides
customers with access to near real-time information that has enabled new
supply chain models and efficiencies. This unprecedented access to information
is connecting customers around the world to economic markets and communities.
FedEx, the company that revolutionized global business practices by providing
next-business-day delivery service, leveraged the reach, strength, and
reliability of its network to ship 10,000 individual copies of The Human Face
of Big Data photo book around the globe. From the earliest commercial
handhelds in 1980, to equipping vehicles with radio computers in 1984, to
making package tracking available on the world's first transactional website
in 1994, FedEx has always sought the edge of innovation.

For More Information

To learn more about The Human Face of Big Data and its Student Data Detectives
initiative, teachers, students and parents should visit the program Web site
at To receive more information regarding the
EMC Learning Solutions commitment, interested school administrators should go

About The Human Face of Big Data

"The Human Face of Big Data" is a globally crowdsourced media project focusing
on the new ability to collect, analyze, triangulate and visualize vast amounts
of data in real time. The project includes a free mobile app, Mission Control
briefing events, a student Data Detectives initiative, a large-format book
with more than 200 photographs along with essays and infographics, an iPad app
and a documentary.

"The Human Face of Big Data" is produced by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt,
co-founders of Against All Odds Productions, which specializes in the design
and execution of large-scale, crowdsourced global projects that combine
compelling storytelling with state-of-the-art technology. To produce these
projects, Smolan and Erwitt invite teams of leading journalists and
photographers (plus members of the general public) to come together to focus
on emerging topics such as the global water crisis, the effect of the Internet
on civilization or how the human race is learning to heal itself. Their
projects result in bestselling illustrated books, TV specials, apps, exhibits
and hundreds of millions of media impressions. Fortune magazine described
Against All Odds Productions as "one of the coolest companies in America

To learn more, go to and follow the project on
Twitter and Facebook.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a
four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those
world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference
invites the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their
talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included
Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson,
Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and
former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place
each spring in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in
Palm Springs; the annual TEDGlobal conference is held each summer in
Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED's media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily,
the recently launched TED-Ed platform for students and educators, the Open
Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as
well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide,
and TEDBooks, short e-books by speakers that elaborate on a single idea
originally presented on TED's stage. TED has established the annual TED Prize,
where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the
opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or
groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the
TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe
to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of
their remarkable projects and activities. Follow TED on Twitter or on

EMC is a registered trademark of EMC Corporation. All other trademarks are the
property of their respective owners.

SOURCE Against All Odds Productions

Contact: Mike Schroeder, +1-212-564-3665,, For The Human
Face of Big Data; Michael Gallant, +1-508-293-6357,,
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