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LATEST EPISODE

SEASON 3, EPISODE 11

CREATING THE WORLD'S MOST ACCURATE WEATHER FORECASTS & FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE, WITH WINDBORNE SYSTEMS CO-FOUNDERS JOHN DEAN AND KAI MARSHLAND

 

As the planet warms, we're experiencing more frequent and destructive extreme weather. Yet, 85% of the world lacks critical atmospheric data for precise forecasting that could help us better prepare. John Dean and Kai Marshland, Co-Founders of WindBorne Systems, are on a mission to close this gap. Born out of the Stanford Student Space Initiative, WindBorne began as a project to extend the flight duration of conventional weather balloons. Realizing the impact of their technology on climate change, they turned their project into a venture-backed startup serving both private and government partners like NOAA and the U.S. Air Force. John and Kai share how WindBorne deploys a global constellation of autonomous, navigable, AI-powered balloons that fly longer, are more sustainable, and collect more real-time measurements than standard balloons. Their data is fed into powerful AI models to create the world's most accurate forecasts – better than Google DeepMind’s GraphCast – unlocking the potential to improve disaster preparedness and climate resilience worldwide.

 
 

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE TO LEARN:

  • John and Kai's journey from Stanford students to SpaceX to weather tech startup founders
  • How WindBorne combines a unique data source, AI, and machine learning models to improve weather forecast accuracy and better predict extreme weather events
  • Why conventional methods of gathering and processing atmospheric data on a global scale have historically been so difficult
  • The machine learning techniques behind WindBorne's AI forecasts that surpass leading models and turn raw weather data into actionable insights and forecasts
  • The impact of climate change on weather prediction and the importance of collecting more global atmospheric data 
  • Potential applications of improved weather forecasting for industries, government agencies, and communities worldwide – from disaster response to climate change mitigation to agriculture and beyond
  • WindBorne's vision for a global network of 10,000 smart weather balloons in the sky
  • Advice for startup founders on pursuing a world-changing mission (think: ruthless prioritization)

Trying to navigate climate change with current forecasts is like stumbling around the woods in the dark. WindBorne has invented the equivalent of the flashlight. We're tackling climate change from both sides. Because we're uniting both comprehensive data and leading AI forecasts, we can radically improve the accuracy of the weather forecast and use that to reduce the carbon emissions that are causing extreme weather right now.

Kai MarshlandCo-Founder & Chief Product Officer, WindBorne Systems

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