The perfect word to describe Yasser Ansari is passionate, and that passion was obvious during his UNTETHER.talks keynote on Smarter Mobs and the Rise of Citizen Science. You can see that passion in the above interview with Rob, as Yasser explains how Project NOAH is attempting to apply the lessons of mass amateurization learned from YouTube to directed learning and education. How? By turning mobile devices into the 21st century butterfly net.
Snapping photos of insects likely evokes youthful nostalgia in most any individual, but Project Noah provides more tangible benefits as well, such as a low-cost method to crowdsource big data and track ecological trends. But I feel Yasser would agree with me that the most important benefit is the social empowerment that comes from thousands of connected mobile devices.