Abigail Page AGI Chair, 2018
It was an honour and a privilege to serve my second year as Chair of the AGI (www.agi.org.uk), a particularly significant year. I enjoyed meeting many members, listening to views and witnessing the amazing work that’s going on across the UK with geographic information. The energy, enthusiasm and commitment of the AGI membership continues to drive the Association forward at a critical time. The activities we look back on in 2018 have only been possible with your support and commitment. I’d like to offer my personal thanks to all those involved.
The emergence of the Geospatial Commission is a huge opportunity, and one that the AGI has embraced to ensure our collective voice is heard. It’s been my pleasure to ensure you have been well represented this year and engage on your behalf. I was delighted for this to culminate in presenting your views on the GC Call for Evidence, directly to the heart of government when I was invited to 10 Downing Street.
In addition to these exciting developments in the UK, it’s important to recognise that our position on a world stage is critical as we approach what will be an “interesting” 2019. It was an incredible opportunity to attend the UN World Geospatial Information Congress in China alongside a strong UK delegation – the hosting of the event and investment in geospatial was on another level, we should be in no doubt of the need to continue to raise our own game in the UK.
And so, as AGI reaches a landmark 30th birthday in 2019, the opportunities are there for us to seize together. The world around us will continue to change at an ever-increasing pace and I know that, with your support, AGI can continue to innovate and evolve alongside it. Please continue to raise the profile of AGI, get involved, and support our 2019 Council and incoming Chair. We are the independent voice that so many of you say is needed.
Matthew Leaver AGI Chair, 2019
As I think about the year ahead, I recall the opening lines of Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness … we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”.
Why? Because our industry is undergoing radical change, inside and out. The forces of change are many and they are diverse. In no particular order, they include Brexit, digital disruption, data security, mobile technology, 5G and IoT, UAV policy and revised BIM standards, to name but a few. Against this backdrop of challenges and opportunities, it’s the decisions we make together that will shape the AGI for the next 30 years and beyond.
Sitting in the audience at GeoCom 2018, I was inspired by speakers’ descriptions of the ‘geospatial moment’ our economy might be experiencing. I also marvelled at new visualisation tools, such as Uber’s demonstration of Kepler.gl. The overriding impression I had was that now, more than ever before, geospatial is mainstream. For the last 30 years, the AGI and its members have worked tirelessly to promote the benefits of geographic information. Now, that message has been heard. Our next challenge is to lead the way in the application of geospatial – and to deliver on its promise. One way we can do this is by engaging with the rich community of geospatial expertise and knowledge within the AGI. The AGI is the largest independent organisation in the UK that represents the geospatial industry. We’re well-positioned to provide thought leadership and support to the UK economy, and to be a valuable resource for those who are new to our industry.
In my term as Chair, I’d like to ensure we provide opportunities and platforms for all our members – irrespective of specialism – and to share knowledge and provide thought-leadership across the expanding UK geospatial network. Our advocacy will give you a voice to influence geospatial policy, quite simply through our strength of numbers. So, as we contemplate the year ahead and the changes it may bring, I’d encourage you to reflect that it’s through informing, influencing and acting together, we’ll lead this ‘geospatial moment’.
Together, we can continue building on the firm foundations laid down over the last 30 years. I like to think that, when we meet in November at GeoCom 2019, we’ll be reflecting on 2019 as one of ‘the best of times’ for the AGI – in year in which we’ve capitalised on all that came before us and started to pave the way for the next 30 years.