[OSGeo-Discuss] Sharing sad news from the web...

Jeff McKenna jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Thu Oct 27 14:04:25 PDT 2016

Hi Sergio,

Thank you for sharing this news.

I'd like to take this opportunity to take a moment for us, our 
foundation, to look in the mirror.  Like this article points out 
strongly (yet indirectly), we still have much work to do to reach the 
youth of today and tomorrow. And I don't mean the United States or any 
one country, as I see this in my own backyard in Canada and everywhere I 
travel for OSGeo: a focus on universities and industry (where the money 
and funding is), and a pure lack of focus on those fresh energetic and 
unbiased minds of youth in highschool and middleschool.  I see it each 
year in the Geo4All day (or PostGIS day, or GISDay, whatever we all call 
it) where events are held for university students and industry 
professionals, all over the world - the problem is those attendees of 
the events already know the thrill of the Open community, of geospatial, 
of our passion.  We miss the focus on today's youth.

I always tried to speak to the back row of the theatre, to sing to those 
at the very back too shy to come forward yet so eager to be part of the 
spotlight, part of the community, and I put much focus on those rarely 
heard of communities and countries around the world, giving them the 
spotlight and the microphone to shine and grow and be seen and heard on 
the world stage - well, the time is now for us to give that spotlight to 
the youth as well.

Now that Geo4All is the official education committee for the OSGeo 
foundation, we can use that committee to tackle this huge hole, or 
rather this huge opportunity.  Maybe the Geo4All committee feels that 
they are indeed handling this already, in the highschools etc, and this 
message can help Geo4All promote and recruit more champions for their 
existing work.  Great!  I'd like to hear of our equivalent for this 
ConnectED initiative by Esri, focusing on the youth (and not directly on 
universities), of how youth learn what "OSGeo" is, what "OSGeo" means - 
as this article strongly points out, youth learn what "Esri" means, 
indeed Esri continues to do great work and focus on that huge future 
market of youth.  But what are we doing as the OSGeo foundation? Talking 
here about that can help build this momentum.

Just how many highschools and middle schools are involved in our Geo4All 
initiative by OSGeo's education committee?  Can someone come up with a 
total from the list of current labs? 
https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Edu_current_initiatives  What does that 
total tell us?  How can we improve on that total?

I actually was on the stage and handed an award to about 4 highschool 
students in person at the FOSS4G-Europe event in Como last year, on 
behalf of OSGeo; I saw their passion and spoke with them right after the 
session, they were thrilled to be included in this community.
This was an award led by the Geo4All committee, so, this is an example 
of their great work with the youth of today - but I bet few knew of that 
award, well we can hopefully change that here through Sergio's wakeup 

I hope this message brings all those passionate leaders out there in 
OSGeo's Geo4All committee here, with their great examples of their work, 
and we can use this news shared by Sergio to help change this myth that 
OSGeo isn't a part of the youth activities today, get more press on the 
great work by the Geo4All committee of OSGeo (as mentioned by Cameron), 
and gather more champions to keep spreading our passion to the youth of 
tomorrow - as I've said many times, we're currently hiring champions :)


Jeff McKenna
President Emeritus, OSGeo Foundation

On 2016-10-27 12:36 PM, SERGIO ACOSTAYLARA wrote:
> Sadly, only ESRI seems to exist for some in the USA...Imagine the
> consequences of
> this: http://www.pobonline.com/articles/100610-gathering-up-geospatial-pros-to-meet-massive-market-growth
> Sergio Acosta y Lara
> Departamento de Geomática
> Dirección Nacional de Topografía
> Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Públicas
> (598)29157933 ints. 20329/20330
> http://geoportal.mtop.gub.uy/

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