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Welcome


"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”  

John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911

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Welcome


"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”  

John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911

This is a story of water. We all know parts of this story because it is a very human and very global story. It is about the freshwater we drink; the water we use in our work; the water we use to cleanse ourselves and in the ablution of our souls. Freshwater is the major component of our individual human physiology and water is linked in some way to everything we do and everything we experience every day. It is essential to our health and the production of our food, it is an intensive part of global commerce and industry, and a fundamental element in our social lives and our religious practices. After the air we breathe, freshwater is the most essential resource on earth, our species does not live long without it. Whether as something we consume or something we use, water is vital to our existence.

So welcome to Global Sounding. We are a new company that is designed and resourced to assess and monitor the earth’s freshwater supply. As we enter a future of increased resource constraints and imbalances, we recognize an emerging business case and value proposition in stewardship.  We are therefore focused sharply on the task of improving our systemic understanding of freshwater world-wide yet well positioned to prioritize the creation of long-term value for the global community over the generation of near-term revenue.  In fact, we represent a new generation of businesses that recognize opportunity in what is called the “sharing” economy.  Over the next few decades the value exchange model - the basis for all commercial activity – will evolve with the introduction of more precise and more systemic valuations of the resources in our global system.  Global Sounding is at the leading edge of that evolution.

Throughout this website you will become acquainted with our design and our work. In trade for your time with us, we offer you what we are learning, what we know and what we think; we’ll guide you through a gallery of compelling images and introduce you to an enterprise of people and organizations engaged with the many facets of our human relationship with water.  We explore and discover and learn more about earth’s supply of freshwater every day but with our story alone, our narrative is incomplete.  So we invite you to share your story of water because, in the end, we can only tell this story together. 

 
 
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The problem


"Because of the grave situation, we must put in place the strictest water resources management system.”

Hu Siyi, Vice Minister of Water Resources, China, 2012

The problem


"Because of the grave situation, we must put in place the strictest water resources management system.”

Hu Siyi, Vice Minister of Water Resources, China, 2012

Our growing population, changing weather patterns, and increasing consumption rates worldwide are placing increasing stress on human access to freshwater.  Aquifers and water basins in Iran, the United States, South Africa, and China – just to name a few – are being depleted at rates that outpace their natural replenishment at the same time that many populations are experiencing record droughts.   Populations that have traditionally lived with water scarcity in Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are experiencing additional stress from seawater intrusion, extended drought, and demographic urbanization. 

In its 2013 annual report, the World Economic Forum projected that by 2030 the global demand for freshwater will exceed supply by over 40%.  In their 2014 Global Risks Report, the World Economic Forum recognized water security “as a systemic global risk.”  We at Global Sounding are responding to the basic conclusions from Davos that call for greater systemic understandingbetter measurement, and broad international collaboration.

Global Sounding’s simple offering is to help people better 'understand the problem' in more precise and systemic terms by looking at more data from across more aspects of water issues – physical, political, economic, diplomatic, and social.  Our systemic assessments are designed to render more holistic and therefore better informed options, projections, and forecasts with a focus on human survival.  By collaborating, we can get bigger than the problem, as we are fond of saying, and we can bring together the optimum weight and scale of interdisciplinary knowledge, tenacity, and resources.  

We are designed to operate efficiently, catalyze momentum, and execute collaboratively through international partners from business, government, science, multi-national non-government organizations and private individuals.  Achieving these goals in an independent, transparent and apolitical manner is essential to creating positive options that advance and enlighten our stewardship of fresh water around the globe, help prevent conflict, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

 

 
...better efforts are needed to understand, measure and foresee the evolution of interdependencies between risks, supplementing traditional risk-management tools with new concepts designed for uncertain environments
— Global Risks Report 2014, World Economic Forum
 
 
 
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Mapping


“We can learn from a large body of information things that we could not comprehend when we used only smaller amounts.”

Cukier and Mayer-Schoenberger  

Mapping


“We can learn from a large body of information things that we could not comprehend when we used only smaller amounts.”

Cukier and Mayer-Schoenberger  

Discovery, exploring, mapping – words we use in describing our work and our data environment  - evoke the optimism and excitement of past periods of exploration.  Our name Global Sounding refers to the 19th Century voyages and circumnavigation by the HMS Adventure and HMS Beagle that were commissioned to conduct hydrographic surveys and soundings in order to advance scientific knowledge of oceans and waterways.  Likewise, our exploration and mapping of the ‘galaxy’ of global freshwater data will advance our knowledge and understanding of water resources and water scarcity.

Our data-mapping methodologies and data-behavioral models allow analysts, scientists, and decision makers to view freshwater problems more holistically.  Greater context and greater precision is achieved through the analysis of large amounts of freshwater data that helps us understand the interdependent variables related to fresh water and their systemic impact on the human experience. Global Sounding is a private commercial enterprise designed and resourced to apply unique data mapping methodologies as we explore the billions of bits of unstructured freshwater data now available. Much like mapping the human genome, the mapping and visualization of freshwater data at scale provides new opportunities for discovery and insight. 

With decades of combined experience in big-data analytics, Global Sounding developed its proprietary data-behavior models for water over the past eight years.  We took advantage of efficiencies in redesigning and adapting successful data models created and utilized by Ledgewood Design and Chime Media in the industrial and entertainment sectors.   Applying our water-data-behavioral models to the big-data surrounding freshwater aligns nicely with the newly emerging discipline of adaptation science and provides a completely compatible data platform for use with existing and with the most nascent modeling, simulation, and visualization techniques.

The 19th century voyages of the HMS Beagle were launched in advance and in anticipation of a new age of global human interaction – economic, social, political.  In much the same way, Global Sounding is at the forefront of a 21st century paradigm shift in the way humanity interacts with and values the resources in our global system and we are excited to be here.

 
 

George O'Conor

CHAIRMAN & FOUNDER

George O’Conor is the CEO of Chime Media and Global Sounding.  Chime is a technology business created to reduce supply chain friction in the Media and Entertainment Industry where currently more than 98% of the media content is unavailable because of inventory and rights management barriers.  O’Conor is also CEO of Ledgewood Design, which created the Chime technology, and is exploring barriers in rights management of natural resources including water, oil and natural gas.  His research is focused on discovering behavioral patterns in seemingly chaotic data, to solve complex problems.  He has spent over 8 years building the behavioral model for water and water rights.

O’Conor was formerly Chairman and CEO of Oco, Inc. an “on-demand” supplier of data cleansing, normalization and analytics to manufacturing and retail companies including Caterpillar, Welch’s Foods, Fidelity and many other public companies.  Oco had customers in 17 countries, and was estimated at 8% market share of Business Intelligence Platforms by Gartner.  The business was sold in 2011 to Deloitte and is now is part of Deloitte Managed Analytics. 

O’Conor has been awarded a patent for Data Migration and Analysis. He is the former CTO and Director of Watermill Ventures a $2b Leveraged Buyout (LBO) business. 

To contact George, please send an email to goconor@globalsounding.com

JEANNE HOUSMAN

BOARD MEMBER

Jeanne Housman is CEO, founder and President of NanoPolymer Research.  Their materials for metallization are comparable in performance and durability to industrial chrome-plating, but with zero toxic byproducts.  Previously Housman led  environmentally focused materials companies with manufacturing in the US and China.  Jeanne is an active investor and philanthropist with a variety of interests and global perspective.

PAUL KEANY

BOARD MEMBER

Paul Keany is a serial entrepreneur and investor with a wide-range of industrial sector experience in turn-around activities. Keany has fixed broken companies in materials, fabrication and technology for over 30 years.  He also has co-founded several software analytics companies over the past 15 years.  Keany is a passionate humanitarian who’s regular travel to each of the worlds continents keeps him focused on the challenges facing the planet.

 
 
 
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Solving


"...the world is not equipped to deal with global risks...leaders in business, politics, and civil society all need to first, identify, understand and monitor the most important risks."

Global Risks Report 2014, World Economic Forum

 

Solving


"...the world is not equipped to deal with global risks...leaders in business, politics, and civil society all need to first, identify, understand and monitor the most important risks."

Global Risks Report 2014, World Economic Forum

 

Over the past thirty years an increasing number of organizations across government, industry, academia, and the scientific community worldwide have recognized and begun addressing urgent concerns about the global freshwater supply.  So many, in fact, that in 2003 the United Nations established UN-Water as an “inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater and sanitation related matters.”

Focused on human survival, the Global Sounding mission is to assess and monitor the earth’s freshwater supply and improve how the global community “understands the problem” at the macro and micro levels. Our hybrid organizational design draws on the fiscal efficiencies, value propositions, and process clarity of a commercial entity; and the institutional transparency, philanthropic spirit, and collaborative energies of a non-profit foundation. We are designed to execute collaboratively through international partners from industry, government, science, multi-national non-government organizations and private individuals.

 

OUR VISION

Operate an openly collaborative information-sharing platform which advances the global community’s understanding and awareness of the status and systemic nature of the earth’s freshwater supply.

OUR MISSION

Utilize advanced data-mapping techniques in concert with partner organizations world-wide to assess and monitor the global fresh water supply with understanding and precision in as near-real-time as possible to provide decision-quality information to government, business and the global community with a focus on human survival. 

 

OUR PURPOSE

Discover new knowledge of the earth’s freshwater supply in order to better understand its systemic nature and generate new opportunities to catalyze, prioritize and guide effective stewardship among the global community.

OUR DESIGN

Our 7 interdisciplinary areas of operation culminate in the Global Water Operations Center (GWOC) where we analyze, synthesize and visualize opportunities for advancing the commercial and non-commercial stewardship of our global freshwater supply.

 
 
 
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Resources


"How can the global community respond? The overarching prescription is for a package of investments in information, institutions and infrastructure. But successful water management needs the cooperation of a wide network of water users, public and private institutions." 

Global Risks Report 2014,World Economic Forum

Resources


"How can the global community respond? The overarching prescription is for a package of investments in information, institutions and infrastructure. But successful water management needs the cooperation of a wide network of water users, public and private institutions." 

Global Risks Report 2014,World Economic Forum

While we bring a new and unique approach to exploring the systemic nature of global water scarcity, there are many government agencies, businesses and private organizations who have been involved in a variety of ways for many years. There are others whom we are getting to know but here are links to a growing list of vital, relevant organizations who continue to do great work to improve the human condition around the globe.  

 
 
 
 
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News & Events


“With all thy getting, get understanding”

Book of Proverbs

News & Events


“With all thy getting, get understanding”

Book of Proverbs

As an organization we place great emphasis on learning and we are increasingly active in identifying value, finding opportunity, and building relationships. We invest heavily in the creation and sharing of knowledge of freshwater for the global community and we are formalizing interdisciplinary research partnerships with academic institutions around the globe to better understand specific aspects of humanity’s relationship with water.

 

News

We have also posted links from a variety of sources with news about water that we find useful and compelling.  

 

Story

This is where we share stories about water. The Holocene epoch, also known as ‘the age of man’, encompasses the last 11,000 years or so and represents the total existence of our species on earth.  So there is much to share about our human relationship with water and it is a story that is rewritten and refreshed every day.  We want to hear your story and thank you for letting us share what we know.  Please post your story or a comment about our relationship with water and share it with the broader community.

 

Events

Many of the relevant activities and engagements that we are a part of or that we are simply aware of are posted for your review in the calendar below.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Get involved


“The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation”

Bertrand Russell

Get involved


“The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation”

Bertrand Russell

Our atmospheric and hydrologic resources circulate globally and much like the systemic nature of the human body, a change in one location on earth can affect the entire planet. So in a sense we are already connected and our common interests and water-focused efforts have already placed us in cooperation without our knowing it.  But through communication we can find alignment and coherence and in the end, we can have have greater positive impact.  Regardless of whether your efforts are commercial, bureaucratic or entirely benevolent, please contact us if you have an idea or think that what we do can support something you care about. There’s no telling what we can do together.

 

Let’s Connect