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

Jeff McKenna jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Thu Oct 27 17:34:31 PDT 2016

Maybe what we are missing are the existing OSGeo-led education labs 
inside highschools - I was cooking now and thought of the great work 
being done by Bridget Fleming with the South African highschool 
geography teachers.  How can we publish and share this great work, and 
spread that out to other highschools around the world - can OSGeo's 
Geo4All committee make that its focus now?

Anyway, 'food' for thought! :)

Thank you again Sergio for bringing this to everyone's attention.

Night all,


On 2016-10-27 6:04 PM, Jeff McKenna wrote:
> 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
> message.
> 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

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