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This video was filmed on Wednesday, June 13th at the 2012 National Geographic Explorers Symposium at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Jake Porway is a matchmaker. He sees social change organizations working hard to make the world a better place, collecting mountains of data, but lacking skills and resources to understand and use that wealth of information to advance their mission. He sees data scientists with amazing skills and cutting-edge tools eager to use their talent to accomplish something meaningful yet cut off from channels that would allow them to do so. He sees governments ready to make unprecedented amounts of data open and available but disconnected from people who need it. For Porway, it's a match waiting to happen and exactly why he founded DataKind (formerly Data Without Borders.)


  • From paper road atlases to the digital world: a data revolution (start-02:35 min.)
  • The potential: solving real problems instead of making first-world lives more comfortable (02:35-03:27 min.)
  • Meet the data scientists and the apps they design (03:28-04:46 min.)
  • Government: making data available (04:47-06:01 min.)
  • Social sector: has the data, but no resources to use it (06:02-06:50 min.)
  • DataKind: connecting data scientists with government social organizations (06:51-08:17 min.)
  • Real-world example: does the NYPD use racial discrimination? (08:18-09:23 min.)
  • Real-world example: where are neediest children in Washington, D.C.? (09:24-10:12 min.)
  • Real-world example: how happy are you in your country? (10:13-11:09 min.)
  • Transforming the way data is used and shared (11:10-13:13 min.)
  • Part of a data-driven world: breaking down boundaries and changing the way we do science (13:14-16:14 min.)

Strategies for Using Video in a Variety of Learning Environments

  • Have students preview several of the videos and choose the one they find most inspiring. Have students describe in writing a conversation they might have with the speaker(s).
  • Freeze the video on a relevant image. Have students observe details in the still image and jot down predictions of what the full video might address. Discuss students’ ideas before and after watching the video.
  • Pose an open-ended question before students watch the video, and have them discuss their ideas before and after in small groups.
  • Have students determine what they think the key message of this video is. Was the speaker effective in getting his or her message across?
  • Show a short clip to engage students during class, and then have students watch the full video at home and write a paragraph responding to the content or a question you give them.
  • Have students note statements that represent facts or opinions, including where it’s difficult to tell the difference. What further research might help distinguish facts and opinions? How might the speaker’s viewpoint compare with others’ viewpoints about a topic?
Census Bureau

government organization responsible for demographic information about the U.S. population, as well as the analyzing of that data.

Plural Noun

(singular: datum) information collected during a scientific study.

data set

collection of data, usually presented in list form.

mobile technology

tools that are not dependent on a fixed location or set of machinery.


the science of using tools and complex machines to make human life easier or more profitable.