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All three sectors embraced the Internet, but e-government initiatives in the s 22 gave the NWS added impetus to adopt Internet- and computer-based technologies in its daily operations and in their interactions with the public. Users can also access certain NWS models e. Information analysis and search tools allow Internet users to obtain more specialized weather data—anywhere, anytime. For example, both NWS and private sector web sites allow users to obtain weather forecasts by zip code. Prior to , most NWS data were in analog form. Users will be able to download only the information they need, and they will be able to combine different data and manipulate them on their own site.

For example, suppose a user wants to calculate an hourly wind chill index in a. Backbone speeds increased from 56 kbps in to kpbs over multiplexed T1 links in to kpbs over nummultiplexed T1 links in to 45 Mbps over T3 links in In the regional networks became independent of NSF and the commercial Internet service provider structure evolved over the next few years.

See J. Meteorological services in other countries. The NWS has traditionally stored weather data in multiple large data sets. This approach limits the usefulness of NWS data to end users. Programs to use the data must be written by experts who understand the format of each data set. These programs can be executed only on the entire data set; they cannot be executed on a subset of the data or against multiple, merged data sets without planning either in the original programs or additional programming. A database management system offers a more flexible approach to managing and using data.

The database architecture separates the structure of the data from the applications that manipulate them. Hence, end users can develop programs that meet their specific needs, such as new and different functions on the data, or subsetting or merging data in databases. This may be necessary as the amount and kinds of data collected increase or change. Significant investment in database technology will improve the ability of users to analyze the vast amount of weather information that is being collected.

Current database representations of weather data can contain inconsistencies that lead to erroneous analyses.

Integrating databases from multiple sources can improve weather forecasts but remains a significant challenge because of the varied formats, semantics, and precision of each data source. Such data will be available from the digital database. Of course, the deterministic nature of NDFD products may give users an unwarranted sense of the precision of the data, so care is warranted when using the database.

Verret, G. Babin, D. Vigneux, J. Marcoux, J. Boulais, R. Parent, S. Payer, and F. By providing access to digital data not currently available in standard products, the database will improve the ability of all the sectors to produce high-quality weather services, particularly as temporal and spatial resolution increases. The initial spatial resolution is 5 km and the temporal resolution is 3 hours for days and 6 hours for days.

In 5 to 10 years, the NDFD will include observations; analyses; weather, water, and climate forecasts from the forecast offices and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction; as well as watches, warnings, and advisory information. These improvements in the NDFD will greatly increase the number of opportunities for the private sector to provide value-added products and create new services.

On the other hand, the public at large may well demand more detail in weather forecasts, and not all of this added detail can be expected to come from the private sector. Improvements in the science and technology of weather forecasting and enhanced opportunities for rapid and targeted dissemination will all continue to challenge the partnership. Making use of the full range of modern database technology can have a much larger impact on the weather enterprise than even the NDFD will have, because the NDFD will initially provide database access only to NWS forecast products.

As described in Box 5. Such flexibility could have a significant economic impact on the whole community by allowing users to extract more value from the data. Internet dissemination can be passive i. The WeatherBug is one of a number of such products Box 5. This new method of dissemination could reach a vast number of people who spend their day in front of workstations, away from televisions or radios.

There appears to be widespread agreement in the weather community that structuring information to be disseminated has significant benefit.


Previously, NWS forecast products were only available as text or maps. By agreeing on an exchange structure e. The WeatherBug and similar products allow users to connect to the site closest to a specified zip code in order to receive weather information, such as temperature, humidity, and heat index, in real time. The product can be downloaded free with sponsor ads or for a small monthly fee without ads. Of course, data quality may be an issue since details about instrument sites, data collection, and quality control procedures are not available.

The NWS is moving toward distributing structured data, either through the web or through other avenues. Advances in wireless and semiconductor technologies have created new opportunities for the private sector to deliver weather information to clients via portable wireless devices, such as cell phones, personal digital assistants, and pagers. Pushing warnings via cell phone offers two advantages over NOAA Weather Radio: 1 weather warnings can be provided to a specific cell, rather than to an entire county, which reduces the number of irrelevant warnings that users hear, and 2 cell phones can store warnings.

However, a number of technical issues must still be resolved before cell phone capabilities can be fully exploited. These include developing priority override, ringer suppression, and better user interfaces to distinguish, for example, between an advertisement and an emergency alert and dealing with the diversity of cell phone standards prevalent in the U. Some wireless devices take advantage of geographic information and computer graphics to provide more sophisticated weather services.

GPS capabilities enable weather services to be tailored for and delivered to. Presentation to the committee by Charles Bostian, professor of electrical and computer engineering, Virginia Tech, May 15, Improvements in computer graphics enable real-time visualization and display of weather information.

To take advantage of wireless services to the public, the NWS need not invest in a new communications infrastructure. Indeed, the NWS has no plans for disseminating weather information via wireless devices. The NWS has provided similar services for industries developing other media e. Of course, there is no guarantee that companies that are currently passing along NWS weather warnings to wireless device users will continue to provide this service in the future. However, weather information is of such interest to the public that regulatory mechanisms may not be required to encourage expansion of this new avenue of dissemination.

Given the rapid technological advances in both wired and wireless communications, all sectors must constantly evaluate the costs and utility of the various dissemination approaches for meeting customer needs. Cooperation between the NWS and the private sector will greatly facilitate the efficient use of dissemination technologies that serve both the specialized user and the general public.

Maintaining a long-term archive poses significant challenges for the U. The deployment of a new generation of satellites in the coming decade National Aeronautics and Space. Digital Cyclone combines its proprietary weather forecasting system with NWS data to create localized weather forecasts. Regulatory mechanisms have had limited success in enforcing public policy mandates. For example, in the Federal Communications Commission FCC mandated that cell phone carriers transmit the address and phone number of callers to the public safety answering point.

However, many carriers have not implemented the E mandate, citing the high cost of compliance.


Reed, K. Krizman, B. Woerner, and T. Data volumes are projected to increase to 40 petabytes or more by The problems range from understanding the physics of making rotating devices move faster reliably to increasing bandwidth for communicating with the devices. One can predict that significant increases in capabilities and decreases in cost will continue, but the imbalances will remain.

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Advances in database technology now permit companies to manage very large databases and archives. NCDC currently holds 1. These data will be made available on the same terms as current satellite data i. Lautenbacher, Jr. House of Representatives, July 24, Long-term archive issues are not currently a priority for weather companies, but as forecasting skill improves to permit seasonal and longer-term weather predictions, the quality and accessibility of archived weather and climate data will become increasingly important to the private sector, creating a new source of stress on the partnership.

Advances in science and technology over the last 10 years have drastically changed the capabilities of the three sectors as well as the expectations of their respective users. Barriers to entry have been lowered, eroding previously exclusive roles. For example, data collection and modeling are no longer exclusively the role of the federal government, and visualization techniques are no longer used exclusively by the private and academic sectors.

Modeling and forecasts have improved, and new methods of communicating weather and climate information have emerged, creating opportunities for providing new products and serving new user communities. Major shifts include the use of wireless technologies and long-range climate forecasts by the private sector, and the implementation of Internet search tools and the National Digital Forecast Database by the NWS.

Prudent public policy must be based on the assumption that rapid advances in scientific understanding and technology will continue. These changes make it inadvisable to define sharp boundaries for what each sector can and cannot do. Indeed such prescriptions would be obsolete and ineffectual before they could be promulgated. Instead, the public, private, and academic sectors must work diligently to improve the processes and mechanisms by which they will deal with the problems and differences that are certain to arise.

Recommendations for these improved processes are discussed in Chapter 6. TerraServer is a test bed for developing advanced database technology. It is operated as a partnership between Microsoft Corporation, the U. Decades of evolving U. This three-sector system has produced a scope and diversity of weather services in the United States second to none. However, rapid scientific and technological change is changing the capabilities of the sectors and creating occasional friction. Fair Weather: Effective Partnerships in Weather and Climate Services examines the roles of the three sectors in providing weather and climate services, the barriers to interaction among the sectors, and the impact of scientific and technological advances on the weather enterprise.

Readers from all three sectors will be interested in the analysis and recommendations provided in Fair Weather. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website. Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book. Switch between the Original Pages , where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

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Page 83 Share Cite. Page 84 Share Cite. Page 85 Share Cite. In health care, investments in sustaining innovations enable organizations to treat their challenging patients with the most advanced technologies and therapies. An investment in catalytic innovation, meanwhile, yields simpler products and services that are affordable to a broader population. Several years ago, a major teaching hospital in Boston received a large donation to further its mission to provide the highest-quality health care, serve regional patients, and pioneer practices for global dissemination.

Stakeholders submitted diverse proposals for the use of the funds, and two of those ideas made it through the vetting process to reach the board for final consideration. The other proposal recommended funding a nursing fellowship and broadening treatment responsibilities for the best nurses. The nursing fellowship would also promote service innovation, but in a different way.

It would train nurses to begin offering care that doctors formerly had provided, but at a lower cost. As disruptive-innovation theory would predict, the hospital board decided not to disturb the status quo. It chose sustaining over disruptive innovation. By contrast, Minneapolis-based MinuteClinic is a catalytic innovator. MinuteClinic employs nurse practitioners armed with software-based protocols and applies strict rules that help ensure consistent service. MinuteClinics also provide services that many incumbent health providers resist offering because the services generate limited profits and result in little professional satisfaction.

With the growing scale of its coverage and the detail of its analysis, Freelancers Union has gained bargaining power with its insurance carrier, allowing the nonprofit to continue to lower its insurance premiums.

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The catalytic-innovation model, in which the organization acts as a marketer and broker while partnering with an established insurance carrier, is replicable, and Freelancers Union is now expanding to other states. Just as catalytic innovations in health care expand the reach of good-enough care, catalytic innovations in secondary schools can make a broader range of good, affordable courses available to people who otherwise would have limited or no access to certain types of course content or degree opportunities.

Online learning is an example of one such innovation. Because of tight budgets, many public high schools have ceased to offer classes that cater to small groups of students—classes in certain languages, for instance, and advanced placement courses that count for college credit. Other small or poorer schools have never had the budgets to offer these types of courses.

For-profit Apex Learning and nonprofits Virtual High School and Florida Virtual School, among others, have provided these specialized classes to thousands of students through their online learning curricula. They allow school systems to offer good-enough AP and other courses at a fraction of what a live course would cost the school to provide and give students options that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

According to the U. Department of Education, as of , there were 40, to 50, secondary school students in 37 states participating in online courses, through approximately 2, online charter schools and state and district virtual schools. Student attrition is higher in online courses than in live ones, both because participation can be technically challenging and because sticking with an online course requires strong self-motivation. However, in the absence of alternatives, online courses remain an adequate option for an underserved population.

Though it may at first seem counterintuitive, the community college model is a catalytic innovation—one that is dramatically changing the shape of higher education in the United States by expanding access to and redefining the goals for advanced study.

The community college model is a catalytic innovation that is dramatically changing the shape of higher education. Community colleges offer a lower-cost alternative to four-year universities and measure quality not by the selectiveness of admissions or the earning power of graduates but rather by factors such as job placement rates and the convenience of access to classes. They provide a good-enough alternative for prospective undergraduates who regard the traditional four-year incumbents as overpriced for their initial needs, and they provide a viable option for the unserved: aspiring undergraduates for whom traditional colleges, for a variety of reasons, are out of reach.

Some state colleges and universities have helped create this shift by explicitly pointing prospective students toward community colleges for their first two years.

  1. What We Offer?!
  2. From Coach to Awakener.
  3. Linguistic Meaning.
  4. The Pritzker Architecture Prize 2004: Presented to Zaha Hadid.
  5. Catalytic innovation in Action.
  6. Disruptive Innovation for Social Change.

Having freshmen and sophomores attend community colleges eases housing shortages at four-year schools and allows their faculties to teach fewer introductory courses, freeing instructors up to teach more intellectually challenging upper-level courses and seminars. True to the model of disruption, many community colleges are offering upper-division courses as well but without the significant cost burdens of research-oriented faculty.

Community colleges serve as feeder schools for the four-year institutions, which in turn have made transfer arrangements more straightforward. Historically, organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have promoted economic advancement by applying resources at a scale and scope unmatchable by developing economies.

However, during the past several decades, microfinance organizations have taken a different approach, making small loans available to latent entrepreneurs who otherwise would have little or no access to capital.

Microfinance organizations have stepped in by offering these clients small loans at relatively low interest rates and requiring little or no collateral. In many countries, microlenders combined have had a far greater impact than the World Bank, IMF, and conventional banks in raising significant segments of the population from poverty. One of the best-known microfinance organizations is Grameen Bank. At the end of , it had 5. Profits from the bank are used to increase the loan fund. According to the Microcredit Summit Campaign, which collects outreach information from nearly 3, microfinance organizations, about 80 million people worldwide are receiving credit through this approach.

While microfinance itself is a catalytic innovation, it is uniquely powerful in its ability to enable other catalytic innovations to flourish as well. The Kenyan health care system is hierarchical and has a complex administrative structure and an urban bias. A study indicated that more than half the population did not visit government-run health facilities because those institutions lacked the needed drugs, were too far away, or were too expensive.

With the help of microloans, the HealthStore Foundation has begun to address these problems by training local residents to provide basic health care and helping them buy and operate their own clinics. These residents turned clinic owners often have experience as nurses or other types of health practitioners, but they lack the formal education and licensing of physicians. The clinics offer essential drugs, health products, and basic health care and health education at affordable prices, and they provide the owners with enough income to ensure the sustainability of the model.

Strict standards and regular inspections by the HealthStore Foundation guarantee that the clinics offer uniform quality and prices. With their higher capital and personnel costs, government hospitals would have trouble competing on price. KickStart is another business that creates catalytic innovations in Africa.

The nonprofit develops and sells low-cost capital equipment to poor entrepreneurs in Kenya, Tanzania, and Mali; develops related supply chains; creates initial markets for the equipment; and adapts the equipment according to market feedback. One of its innovations is the MoneyMaker foot-operated irrigation pump, which dramatically increases the productivity of farmland. But motorized pumps are more expensive and require electricity or fuel, and labor is a plentiful asset for Kenyan farmers.

KickStart provides a good-enough solution that has transformed the lives of thousands of farmers.


Beyond Innovation: Technology, Institution and Change as Categories for Social Analysis

Since , KickStart has helped generate 41, profitable new businesses. The success of the HealthStore Foundation, KickStart, and other such organizations depends on the availability of microlenders. In turn, microlending helps sustain borrowers who are paying back loans and creates an economic environment that attracts other lenders looking to start new businesses.

Many mainstream organizations could use additional resources to grow, refine, and revitalize their current valuable offerings, and investing in sustaining innovations can certainly advance social goals. However, when the objective is to get a system unstuck and to create new change models, it is time to go in search of catalytic innovations. While there are many guides to smart investing and philanthropy that focus on identifying traditional sustaining innovations to support, investors seeking catalytic innovations have few sources to rely on.

Here are some guidelines they can use. Many mainstream organizations could use additional resources to revitalize their current offerings. But when the objective is to get a system unstuck, it is time to go in search of catalytic innovations. Once an investor or organization has chosen a particular social challenge to address, the first step is to look for preexisting catalytic innovators.

Because of their nontraditional models and technologies, these organizations may not show up in mainstream news articles, watch lists, or trade magazines. Instead, it is often easiest to detect their presence by noting the patterns of catalytic innovation activity that arise in the sector overall. Dynamics to watch for include the following:. Paul area, the social and economic forces that gave rise to it were not location specific. The environmental factors that produced it in Minneapolis—St.

Paul created sectorwide opportunities for inexpensive, good-enough care. Not all sectors are ripe for the rapid growth of catalytic innovations. In the federal government, the judicial system, child welfare services, and other arenas that are heavily regulated or are controlled by politics and other forces outside the market, the innovation process may be slowed down. Still, we have yet to find a social sector that is impervious to disruption by catalytic innovation.

When sector dynamics indicate that some sort of innovation is starting to come about, donors or social investors should evaluate it against the five qualities is the innovation designed to create systemic social change, does it meet an overserved or unserved need, and so on to determine whether the development is in fact a catalytic innovation.

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At the identification stage, note that the innovations, not the organizations, are being considered. In the case of MinuteClinic, for example, the innovation is low-cost, walk-in clinics in high-traffic areas such as drug stores and shopping malls and not the MinuteClinic brand itself. It is easy to confuse the two, but a search for catalytic innovations needs to focus on the solution first and then look at how it is, or could be, implemented. Organizations that have aligned their resources, processes, and values according to the five catalytic-innovation criteria to support their innovations are most likely to succeed.

That means investors or donors should look for organizations whose work in one location is transferable to other locations and that have produced the same results elsewhere, for example. It also means investors should seek candidates that turn down funders that would require them to alter their models in ways that are incompatible with catalytic-innovation principles. Keep in mind that tax classification—for profit versus nonprofit—is not a useful criterion for identifying catalytic innovators. While the business models for the two types may differ, neither has an automatic advantage in addressing social challenges.

EBay founder Pierre Omidyar recognized this fact when he and his wife, Pam, restructured their grant-making organization, the Omidyar Foundation, as the Omidyar Network so that it could make gifts in support of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations that focus on social change. The screening approach described here can help investors identify groups that have a good chance of creating scalable, sustainable innovations in social change.