Experts deliberate upon ‘global network’ for capacity development

Experts deliberate upon ‘global network’ for capacity development

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands: On the second day of Geospatial World Forum 2011, the ‘Exchange Forum: Evolving Industry-Institution Network for Capacity Development’ was organised to have an exchange of ideas between industry and institutions, leading to relevance and marketability of the trained human resource. The forum saw a confluence of industry and academia stalwarts bringing their rich experience and insight to the floor. Karl Donert, President, European Association of Geographers pointed out that citizens are powered by geodata, most of them without even realising it. The industry needs to market itself better. It is not the technology, innovation, creativity, but it is the geospatial awareness or the lack of it in political circles that actually limits us, he said. 
“For the past two years, I have come to realise that 95 percent of politicians have no idea that geospatial industry actually exists. This forum is a timely opportunity to discuss this issue. It is important to integrate industry and institution with policy and research. We have to establish ways to create awareness in political class. Industry must support us, needs the evidence and convincing argument about the relevance and importance of geospatial technology. This capacity building is essential and is urgent,” he suggested. 
Delivering the guest address, Dr Abdul Kalam, distinguished scientist and 11th president of India floated the idea of ‘World Geospatial Knowledge Platform’ and enumerated the proposed dynamics and dimensions of this platform.
“Global challenges include poverty, illiteracy, drinking water, clean and green energy, quality education and overcoming societal imbalances. Nations are working to find solutions to these challenges but many of these challenges have international dimensions. It is the collective responsibility of all the nations to find answers,” he said. 
Holding the rapt attention of his audience, Dr Kalam enumerated the dynamics of manifestations. He said the world today is intrinsically connected through environment, people, economy and ideas. Global warming and climate change are no longer problems of individual nations but of the whole world. Expertise and talent are also getting globalised. Similarly, today ideas and innovations are not geographically and politically confined. 
He proposed a ‘global network’ for prosperity and peace by 2030 – a world of nations where the divide between rural and urban, rich and poor has narrowed down, a world of nations where equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water, a world of nations where affordable quality health care is available for all, a world of nations where the students of all societies are imparted quality education, a world of nations where governance is responsive, transparent and corruption, world of nations with creative leadership who ensure effective mechanisms to resolve conflicts between nations and societies in a timely manner keeping overall peace and prosperity of the world as a goal.
He then went on to suggest how a Global Geospatial Knowledge Platform can carry out this mission. “World Geospatial Knowledge Platform will enable the joint design, development, cost effective production and marketing of the knowledge products, systems and services in various domains based on the core competence of partner nations to international market along the geospatial industry dynamics,” he said. It will take up the mission in the areas like agriculture and allied activities, environment and energy independence, urban planning, health care, utility planning, disaster prediction and management. 
“We need to form separate working groups on these concerns and share data. It should be a joint body of institutions, governments and industry – spreading across multiple universities. The Platform should be funded jointly and to be spread over a period of 10 years,” he concluded. 
Taking the discussion from where Dr Kalam left, Jack Dangermond discussed ways and means to turn Kalam’s vision into a reality. He said geospatial community has to organise itself into a global system to create a peaceful, sustainable and wonderful world. He said it is important to build capacities so that geospatial community can actually scale up its ideas to realise the vision. He said capacity building is bottom-up relationship building. People are inspired in different ways, but more importantly they are excited by the vision. 
Source: Our Correspondent