Geospatial industry leaders have announced the formation of the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) at the 8th session of the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) on August 1.
Co-founded by a group of 21 companies, the WGIC aims to be a collaborative platform for advancing the role of the geospatial industry and strengthening its contribution in the world economy and society.
According to a WGIC spokesperson, the council intends to facilitate knowledge exchange, and co-create larger business opportunities for the geospatial industry. Hinting at a lobbying function, the spokesperson described an intention to ‘to raise awareness among policymakers and advocate for better environment and investments in the geospatial sector.’
Stefan Schweinfest,Director of the United Nations Statistics Division, welcomed the WGIC’s inauguration.
“The World Geospatial Industry Council is a cooperation between leading private sector companies and we are very honored that they chose the United Nations to launch this important initiative. This new and improved cooperation between the industry leadership will also help them to focus and improve their contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda,” he said.
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WGIC Chairman, Jack Dangermond, was effusive about the opportunities he saw for the council.
“With WGIC we have the vision to create a new institution that brings together participants from around the world in the geospatial industry. This will allow new kinds of partnerships to emerge, enabling companies to help each other, and also allow the geospatial industry to collectively work with big global initiatives such as World Bank and the UN,” he said.
This will also enable our industry as a whole to have a collective opinion on emerging policies such as those on privacy or geospatial data restriction. I firmly believe that by joining together and exploring collaborative efforts we can make meaningful progress.”
The 21 co-founders of the WGIC are: AAM Group, AGI India, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Cyient, Data World, DigitalGlobe (a Maxar Technologies company), e-GEOS, Esri, FARO, Geospatial Media, GeoTech Vision, Ground Truth, Hexagon, IIC Technologies, Oracle, Riegl, Rolta Group, Trimble, Tom Tom, and Topcon.
Key positions within the WGIC are set out below.
Chairman: Jack Dangermond, Founder & President, Esri
Vice Chairman: Alain De Taeye, Member of the Management Board, TomTom
President: Amy Minnick, Senior Vice President and General Manager (Commercial and Civil Government), DigitalGlobe, a Maxar Technologies company
Secretary General & CEO: Sanjay Kumar, CEO, Geospatial Media and Communications
Treasurer: Stephen McCarthy, Chief Financial Officer, GroundTruth
Policy Development & Advocacy: Ronald Bisio, Vice President, Trimble
Partnership & Industry Engagement: Valrie Grant, Founder & Managing Director, GeoTechVision
Finance & Administration: John Renard, President – Utilities and Geospatial BU Cyient
Marketing & Communications: Theo Agelopolous, Director – Infrastructure Strategy & Marketing, Autodesk.