Overview: National and international awareness has been increasing significantly in recent years of the need to monitor and forecast weather events, water resource availability and changes in climate. Similarly, awareness has been increasing of the need to measure, understand and act upon the associated economic impacts. The American Meteorological Society (AMS), with membership and activities spanning the private, public and academic sectors, is uniquely positioned to gauge these impacts, as well as to facilitate and guide the growth of the weather, water and climate enterprise. Toward this end, the AMS established the Board on Enterprise Economic Development (BEED), which serves under the Commission on the Weather and Climate Enterprise (CWCE).
The primary purpose of the AMS BEED is to promote growth in the economic base of the weather, water and climate enterprise. A secondary purpose of the BEED is to promote quantification of the economic value of the enterprise, including weather and climate-related risk.
The BEED fulfills these purposes by bringing together the providers and users of weather, water and climate data, technology and services. Engagement between these stakeholders has multiple benefits. It promotes understanding of user needs, socializes current and future applicable technologies and trends, matches solutions and services with user needs, and facilitates business opportunities. The BEED also creates an environment in which stakeholders can identify and document the economic risk factors and metrics associated with their sector of the enterprise.
Activities: The BEED develops and participates in a number of activities to support its purposes and goals. First, based on the economic environment and national priorities at a given point in time, the BEED facilitates dialogues between economic sectors and the weather, water and climate community through the establishment of committees. These committees develop their own Terms of Reference (TOR) for best addressing their respective goals, which ultimately support the goals of the BEED as well. The BEED also conducts regular (monthly or bimonthly) meetings, where the committees provide status and plans. These meetings promote collaboration between the committees and also ensure that they remain on track, aligned with the BEED’s goals and their respective TOR.
Conferences and forums are a key component of maintaining momentum toward achieving goals, both for the BEED and for the CWCE. The BEED organizes the annual AMS Washington Forum (AWF), which occurs each spring in Washington, D.C. The AWF provides an opportunity for members of the weather, water, and climate community to meet with senior Federal agency officials, Congressional staff, and other community members to hear about the status of current programs, learn about new initiatives, discuss issues of interest to the community, identify business opportunities, and speak out about data and other needs. The BEED also supports, as needed, the annual Symposium on the Weather and Climate Enterprise, organized by the CWCE. Beyond these specific events, the BEED facilitates additional venues for the weather, water and climate communities to discuss and explore business opportunities, including industry conferences, workshops, symposia and ad hoc meetings.
As the federal budgetary environment continues to evolve, and with the availability of new ways to facilitate communication among stakeholders, the BEED also leverages the latest technology in social networking (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, SMS) to communicate broadly about business opportunities in the weather, water and climate enterprise, in coordination with the Board on Enterprise Communication BEC.
Through committees, conferences, forums, and complementary stakeholder events, the BEED further supports the CWCE by identifying business opportunities that support the goals and activities of its peer boards, including the Board on Enterprise Strategic Topics (BEST), the BEC, and a new board dedicated to water, energy, security and global strategies.
To support quantifying the economic value of the weather, water and climate enterprise, including risk factors, the BEED first identifies sectors and stakeholders with strategic or tactical importance based on the priorities at that point in time. It then determines whether an existing BEED committee has the necessary staff and resources to analyze that sector. If so, that committee is charged with the quantification exercise and a timetable for providing the results of their analyses. If no suitable committee exists, the BEED establishes a new committee, where the initial TOR must be focused upon the quantification exercise at hand.
Structure and Rules: The BEED is a permanent standing Board, reporting to the CWCE. It consists of six (6) to fifteen (15) members including the Chair. The BEED Chair is generally chosen from the BEED members who have served at least one year, however, if necessary, the Chair may be selected from the broader community. The Chair serves one year as Incoming Chair, two years as Chair, and one year as Outgoing Chair. The BEED Chair also serves on the Executive Committee and Steering Committee of the CWCE.
BEED Membership terms begin with the AMS Annual Meeting, and nominally last three years, with one-third of the membership rotating off the Board each year. BEED membership must include at least one representative from each of the three sectors: private, government, and academia. Candidate Board members are nominated by the BEED Chair and approved by the CWCE Commissioner. The majority of Board members must be AMS members, but non-AMS members may serve on the BEED at the discretion of the BEED Chair and the CWCE Commissioner. Also at the discretion of the BEED Chair and with consultation and approval of the CWCE Commissioner, membership terms may be shortened or extended beyond three years. At the option of the BEED Chair, with CWCE consent, a Board member who does not participate in Committee activities for a period of twelve or more months can be removed and a replacement named.