Our commitment to a greener ecosystem

Our Outlook

Through our network and projects we assess how business, society and public affairs contribute to climate change. But more importantly, we identify practices that lead to more carbon emissions and work within the productivity space to help businesses accomplish more while being more eco-friendly. Currently, this is done through sustainable and resilient planning of supply chains and how forecasting technologies using space data (Earth Observation) can inform ground-based staff on supply and demand. We envision this to lower the number of vehicles on the road to meet supply targets, avoid wastage of products that would need to be disposed (loss in products means the input of carbon does not match the benefit to the public), develop better business continuity planning during emergencies, and manage better planned shipments. We hope that through these technologies, we go further in advising businesses on more environmentally friendly transit routes, while also highlighting affected routes that would lead the aforementioned loss in products or supply disruptions.

In the whole climate change space, we specialise in minimising the effects of climate variability on society, health and food security. Working with our project collaborators, Kapsule and HR Wallingford, we aim to showcase how climate is becoming more unpredictable, but there are ways to use space data to better understand weather patterns and unlock ways to move forward through a changing world. A private initiative called NotSight Research will create the stage on how we have to act now to change how our businesses work and navigate through societal, political, and environmental challenges.

Our targets as the Seanasol Consortium

1. Governments to allocate financial incentives for the reduction of carbon emissions and/or tax major carbon producers. Use of levies on poor environmental and carbon industries to provide funding for investment in research, innovation and capital kick-starters to cleaner and greener alternatives.

2. Promote technological innovation to develop better responses as part of the efforts to tackle climate change using the ‘provider gets’ principle, instead of the ‘polluter pays’, the latter which encourages paying off pollution without proper management of it. 

3. We want it recognised that climate change doesn’t limit what we can achieve as global economy. What limits us is believing that we, as individuals, cannot make a difference. And what businesses need to recognise and better plan for is variability in consumer habits and climates. 

5. Create an equitable system to monitor the international full life cycle of the ethical and carbon footprint on products and services so that consumers can more easily make ethically informed choices. 

In summary, we envision wider public access to data, enable citizen scientists and innovators to research and develop new and better ways to work with nature in order to increase our resilience and restore our ecosystems. 

We are over the moon to have been named Challenge Champions of the Roche Australia Challenge this year. We will be working with our challenge provider to fully scope and pilot our solution over the coming months.

The Academy is Changing

It’s been a long year of developing the Seanasol Academy, and despite delaying our official launch, we have been making changes in the background to bring a personalised learning experience to individuals at all levels.

Now, we are changing how the Seanasol Academy will look like by 2022. Here is a quick look at what’s in store.

A new free, entry level tier for individuals at all levels. This will allow us to reach a broader audience who may not have access to other learning platforms and empower individuals to become more confident in themselves and their work.

A low-cost, personalised option for returning individuals who are on a strict budget, offering access to a private tutor for the duration of their learning plan as well as access to all the benefits of the DISCOVER Season AcademyPass, without paying the upfront cost or being fixed to a subscription. This tier will suit individuals who are used to the more traditional 1-1 private classes. Learning plans and goals are arranged with a tutor.

Registering to AcademyPass online sessions is changing. We want to ensure users get the best experience when registering to their sessions, but also ensure that these transactions remain secure. We continue to encourage the use of the Resource Hub when submitting requests (adding supplementary information or securely sharing files), but this option may not be ideal for all users. In the future, we plan to merge this into one platform.

Rebranding of the Season AcademyPASS. We feel that a change in this area will help to simplify the concept of the season passes. This is a subscription model, but will allow us to offer better personalised experiences, discounted classes, and promotional codes to freely access even more content.

Additionally, we are expanding on the use of new collaboration platforms that serve as essential tools in our online sessions. We want to offer individuals an opportunity to take control of their ideas and inspirations to imagine, create and innovate. These tools will be made available to individuals who have registered and attended at least one paid session and will be available for the duration of their learning plan.

Finally, we are building platforms with a privacy- and security-focused mindset. We have already implemented security protocols to ensure a secure learning environment. From 2021, we have asked all individuals to self-assign a Personal Reference ID. This allows us to securely communicate with named individuals and anonymise our records. This ID also serves as a unique code to honour the participation of returning clients and offer personalised learning plans and promotional discounts. We will continue to work on our platforms to ensure the best way to safely collect payments, and store, share, and access information.

Understanding Barriers in Rural Communities; A Healthcare Case

Introduction

If we consider the foundation to how communities are built and connected, we must explore the limitations that exist. These limitations can be anything from geographic characteristics such as mountains that split two groups to language barriers that may prevent communication between two individuals. The magnitude of each barrier can be measured by the impact that it creates, such as opportunities that are lost, or more importantly, how the majority within a population has greater access to some resources, while others in the minority do not.

This essentially creates a disconnect within groups of the larger population. The effects are then passed to the level of the individual where they may feel unable to contribute to their community and equally unable to receive support from their community. One of the sectors where this is most felt is in healthcare, although it spans to all aspects of rural and remote life. And these barriers will not only affect individual lives, which may lead to undiagnosed conditions to delayed treatments, but may also add onto a snowballing effect on hospitals having to deal with a larger influx of patients seeking immediate treatment.

To mitigate negative outcomes from happening it is important to identify barriers before they start contributing to the effects, such as those identified above. If for instance patients had access to timely treatment and their conditions were not to progress, then they may not seek emergency hospital treatment. Hospitals then would not be overwhelmed by these cases that could have been treatable in non-emergency clinics. In the same regard, if there was good communication available to patients, then they may be encouraged to attend GP clinics in the first instance. However, the management of these barriers and how we identify them still pose risks to how well we can address them.

Identifying barriers before they exist

One possible solution is to identify barriers before they even become barriers. In the example below, we have detailed a hypothetical scenario in how we can work with our community to address an issue once it has existed. However, the important aspect is that identifying an issue and identifying why it became an issue are two separate questions, and we address them both.

Let’s suppose that a community in a rural part of England has had high hospitalisations with patients with severe allergic reactions, poisonings, and pulmonary diseases. The hospital in that region does not typically handle that many patients in that short amount of time and does not have specialised resources to accommodate the illnesses that are happening. Then, there may be delays to accessing medical equipment, personnel, and medicines. A few months after the disease outbreak, the rural town is back to a perceived normal.

Step 1: Talking with the Community

Seanasol Research deploys an Investigation Team to meet with the community leaders of that town and openly discuss with them the events in the past months. And we ask them very specific questions. Some of these might be:

  • Was there anything odd that started happening before your community suddenly became ill?
  • What were members of your community saying in those months; were there any concerns reported?
  • Was there any changes in habits, such as were people buying more of one item or less of another?

Then, we open up the conversation with those who were directly affected by diseases and ask them similar questions. We ideally would like to get an overview of the event from the community. The reason is that there may have been events that were leading to the onset of the diseases.

Step 2: Understanding the Problem

The Investigation Team returns to the Central Operations Team with the answers of the community. They reported:

  • The weather was warmer in those months compared to the previous year
  • The was little rainfall or stormy weather
  • In the days leading to the outbreak of the diseases, there was a heavy presence of cars and lorries in the main road, which typically doesn’t get a lot of traffic.
  • People were generally spending more time outside because of the nicer weather, but they would be spending their times in parks away from the congested areas.

The Central Team may then follow with community leaders to get more details or work with the data provided. Then we ask the essential question: which one of these is the hidden indicator?

A “hidden indicator” is what we consider to be an a series of strange happenings (seemingly random coincidences) that play to the direct effects of a barrier that is created, which in turn leads to a serious event or incident happening.

In this case, the barrier (the unknown factors) caused several people to experience potentially life-changing conditions. The hidden indicator here, which could perhaps only be viewed in retrospect, is the increase in congestion in the main road of the town. Let’s not disregard other indicators though, like the increase in temperate, or the increase in footfall and movement in the town in those months. This information is vital because we can look deeper into the computational aspect of event prediction.

Step 3: The Research-Focused Approach

Once we have a hypothesis (or several), the Research Team then approaches the problem using two methods. The complementarity of these approaches is essential, as it allows us to continue to gather evidence and start working on a framework that will help deploy a solution.

The Two Approaches

1) Computational Approach

The computational approach, as the name suggests, is using computer science to build predictive models using data that is collected through time. This is what is referred to as historical data. Historical data can be a couple of weeks to several years, with the caveat that the fewer days that are recorded, the less robust that models can be. This equally applies to data that is collected by other means, with emphasis that access to that information is vital to make predictions.

These predictions are built using indicators that have been established in situations when they have caused an event. Similarly, some indicators that may seem important may not contribute to any outcomes. The combination of these two, plus additional parameters that are added by understanding the dynamics of an event (details from other data sources), are used to build a model, which in simplicity it is a rule.

Now this rule applies only with regards to the data that was collected, and is not a rule to rule them all. It is an algorithm, which is a mathematical description to our understanding of the information that was available and passed through a series of conditions (parameters) that we use from previously published datasets, for instance. In this example, models in the predictive tools would indicate the likelihood of an indicator resulting in a barrier. Then, the barrier needs to be considered, and assessed whether it was significant enough to drive the effects seen in the event and used as a probabilistic measure of whether an event may or may not occur. Testing this model is then essential, and can be done using historical data of a similar occurrence or using an on-going example. And it takes time to build robust models before they are deployed and used to mitigate events.

2) Community Approach

In parallel to the methods above, the community-led approach is working at the ground-level, that is studying the field as a member of the community. It is performing interviews and getting clues as to what led to the barrier being created.

This part is as essential as the computing aspect, because this helps to deliver the strange happenings (hidden indicators) that may not be part of public datasets and are rather information that is given directly by the population. So for instance, it could be information about individual consumer habits, which then can be approached using computer science and ask questions of what the entire community habits were in that time. This can also be cross-checked with local businesses that are supplying those regions.

Step 4: Connecting with the Community

If we consider the information collected from earlier interviews, the increased footfall and automobile congestion has brought two likely hidden indicators. We deploy a dedicated Community Team to follow up with the community and do regular visits and follow up interviews.

Visiting the community over a couple of months, the Community Team reports that some days cars still cause congestion. The Community Team works with officers, local business services, transportation operators, and the general community and over weeks they identify that a few miles down the road there is a traffic diversion sign, which leads cars towards the town centre, but there are no road repairs in the area. Upon contacting the Council, they confirm a traffic repair was carried out in the months leading to the disease outbreak. However, due to an oversight, the sign was never removed, which caused more traffic to be diverted than the Council had expected.

The Community Team works with the Council and community leaders to further understand why this has happened. They declare that discussion around the use of the sign was done and agreed by all members, however, for unknown reasons the sign was not taken down when it should have been. Information collected from transportation operators and local businesses suggest that those who knew the area were more likely to recognise when a traffic diversion is old, but people and services that do not typically serve that area, were not able to recognise this. This matched with the views of the community.

Step 5: Reaching a Verdict

The Community Team reports their findings to the Central Operations and Research Team. They work together to either perform further studies on the effect of increased pollution on general health or cross-check with previous related studies. Then the Research Team collects consumer data. They report that there was an increase in the purchase of antihistamines and cough medicines, which depleted stocks in the months leading to the disease outbreak. The Community Team then works with individuals and identifies that those who did not have access to over-the-counter treatment experienced allergies and respiratory problems.

Those with asthma or other underlying chronic conditions were also more likely to receive urgent treatment and in some cases became seriously ill. However, there were also a few individuals who were desperate to self-treat that they tried alternative medication, which were not be suitable for the symptoms that they are having. In this case, it is the purchase of cough medicines. Ingestion of these in the large amounts that they were taking led to having adverse effects, requiring urgent treatment. So, while these individuals may be trying to cure themselves because of a lack of resources available, they were placing themselves at risk.

Step 6: Informing the Community

The Community Team would collate all these findings into information that is suitable for that community. They would return to the community and deliver the findings. These might help to lead campaigns or create discussion groups where everyone in the community can talk freely or send their opinions to. It may not change what happened, but it may prevent it from happening again. It may also create protocols for members of the transportation network or local businesses to report odd events or road traffic maintenance signs that may not be indicating any traffic issues.

The value that is returned is an example on how to grow and learn together as the community. It also opens up the conversation to future tools that may be needed to address on-going hidden indicators. Instead of having us there to help them, it is about educating the community on the importance of odd events and how these may play out to more serious events.

The Community Team continues to monitor that community for a set period to check the protocols are working and with the larger team may start piloting innovative strategies. Models created will be continually built, trialled, and improved. Impact is then measured by the Research Team in the number of satisfied members of the community, for instance, or dive deeper in reporting a direct effect on hospitalisations when indicators were identified early.

Conclusion

The importance that we want to draw here is that a barrier, such as a traffic diversion, may not cause all these events from happening, but if there are indicators, such as increased cars when they are not expected, higher temperatures, and higher footfall, then it can lead the town authorities to start asking questions about likely barriers affecting their community.

And the measurable impact here is that once those indicators and barriers have been identified, then the response in the future when these indicators are flaring up again will be different than the first time around. The computational science behind it would simply automate this response into an alert-style tool that notifies community leaders and the local council of the indicators, and provide the likelihood of it leading to something that has happened before. Or simply indicate that there are odd events happening that may need attention.

In this hypothetical example, a road traffic diversion may not be a physically barrier as it allows traffic movement when an actual physical barrier exists elsewhere. This was chosen specifically to showcase that barriers can be things we don’t consider barriers in the first place. That is why we need both a computational and community-led approach to understanding the dynamics in a town and a research-focused mindset to retrieving information. As scientists we are committed to making this information open-source, such that anyone from android app developers to large businesses can use it build more robust models and tools to deliver predictive alerts to communities.

However, it depends on working with the community and leading education campaigns about the measurable impact that these alert-style tools offer. We need to remember that these tools only assess the likelihood of an event happening on the condition that were are indicators occurring, it is not a prediction that something definitely will or will not happen. If anything, it is a message of attention to the community and encouragement for individuals to talk and report their opinions in an open space where people are listening and taking notes. And we believe that if these conversations are started at the correct time before events happen, then we can start to think about leading change.

The Seanasol Consortium

After much discussion with our network, we successfully pitched a solution to the GRAVITY Challenge 03 and are working together with Roche, Spire and AWS to bring this solution closer to the market.

We formed a project consortium, which consists of the expertise of 5 pillars, lead by Samuel James (on behalf of HR Wallingford), David Chen (Kapsule.life), Kwadjo Ahodo, Julio C Gonzalez-Saenz, and Emmanuel Gonzalez-Escobar leading the team throughout the challenge.

We are focusing our solution on taking a multidisciplinary approach to solving one of the greatest challenges we face today. Equitable and safe delivery of medicines to those in need. We aim to built robust models to improve the transit of medicines through a country’s supply chain.

The avenues that we are considering will help People, Providers and Pharmacies manage their medicines as they are in transit and to make sure that patients get the right medicine, at the right time.

Our pillar leaders will take the responsibility of using their expertise to help deliver a solution that is applicable for Roche, Australia, before helping to transform supply chains worldwide. Our pillars will focus on satellite data technology and forecasting, healthcare supply chains, cost-resource management, IoT and Networking, and environmental and sociological research. We are one of the few teams in the GRAVITY Challenge this year with a wide range of skills and interests.

Academy classes delayed to 2022

We will delay the official launch of our AcademyPASS platform to 2022. We have been working hard on the policy for each virtual class and workshop, but due to the challenges this year have been unable to secure staff to work flexibly and lead these classes. For anyone interesting, we are operating with limited capacity and can only offer a fraction of some services, but have opted to provide these free of charge. Enquire at academy@seanasol.org.

Our vision for the Academy.

We like to think of these Online Sessions as virtual classes. We hope that the Academy helps us to engage with our wider community and that those who are looking for feedback and support have somewhere to find this. We strive to be inclusive and offer a much closer interaction with AcademyPASS holders holders, whether it is to join our online sessions, workshops, read our support guides or submit their own solutions they wish to share with the wider student community. We don’t want to be that type of company with whom you interact via email or through an online platform; we want to engage directly with you; give you feedback and help you become more confident in presenting yourself and your work.

What’s changed?

We will no longer be advertising these Online Sessions as Services, because what we offer is the opportunity to receive personalised feedback from our experienced company members. Unlike other companies that sell proofreading services, for example, we are not charging for the service to proofread any document, but rather allocating our resources to giving a review on the work submitted and meet directly with our AcademyPASS holders to go over the feedback. This also means that we are not limited in any way by the size of the document nor is our fee higher for larger documents or projects. Everyone will be invited to a 1h online session (duration depends on the session type) to receive feedback. However, we recognise that sometimes online sessions might prove difficult to some people, so we also offer to return feedback in writing.

For single-use AcademyPASS holders, we work with the individual until they are satisfied that they have received an appropriate level of support and feedback. While we will only provide feedback on the document that is originally submitted, it will be to our discretion to review new versions of the work, as long as no significant changes were made. Otherwise, you may be required to register to another session. If you know you need more support, then try the Season AcademyPASS.

With our Season AcademyPASS structure, those who register are given extra flexibility when it comes to choosing the sessions they wish to attend within the activation period (in this case 3 months). We offer three different tiers, all which have different benefits. Generally, these benefits mean that Season AcademyPASS holders have access to several online sessions (details on the tickets) and complementary and unlimited access to paid workshops.

Why have we done this?

The Services Hub was previously split between Student Hub and Professional Hub, offering similar services though the differences aimed at the career level of the individuals requesting the service. At the time, this was a good way to balance the workload and allocate our resources efficiently, but soon realised that we might limit the contributions we make to those who subscribe to these services.

Important information about Your Privacy

We are committed to reviewing our company policies and strategies, and as a way to improve the transparency of our business structure (paid versus free resources), we have decided to make these changes to our Academy brand. You can find our Privacy policy here and we strive to have information clearly presented before you register to an online session. You will also receive all the information that you need via the email address you used to register and you may continue to use the Resource Hub for submitting your requests. You can find all this information on the Resource Hub.

Update V.1.2

Community Forum has been removed from the site after trial period due to increased spam content. This content was not published on the site due to moderation checkpoint, which affect performance and purpose of community forum. Along with lack of community input, the Community Forum was deleted.

Changes Made:

  • Website no longer requires reCAPTCHA, and privacy notice has been removed
  • Updated policy for those that subscribe to the website
  • Updated privacy notice for content that is published by members of the community or team members, either as comments or posts.
  • Updated Resource Portal link on Quick Access Menu and no longer as part of the Academy.

Introducing Readmy

Readmy is “My All-in-One Platform to Read, Engage, Achieve and Discover” and it is being developed over the next 18 months. It will be an ad-free and open-access platform that will rely on an interactions database and machine learning environment called the Journal-resources User Defined Interface (JUDI), that aims to change the way store, process, and retrieve scientific information.

Update to Privacy Policy

Effective from 07.03.2021 at 21:30 GMT (Updated 10/04/2021), after termination of the Community Forum trial. Please refer to these terms as they outline how your personal information is used while you visit this site and contribute to either comments and/or published posts. For my questions contact privacy@seanansol.org.

Agriculture, Health & Space

Plants may help establish Space settlements, but we cannot solely rely on plants.
When the company was first formed, our mission was clear and simple: create the niche for Space Biology and bring plants closer to Space. However, this image doesn’t quite grasp the importance of plants in developing communities. And more so, we wouldn’t be “bringing” plants to Space, they would instead be grown there. We are currently exploring ways to expand our industry, such that we can improve society, health and education.