Esri User Conference to Showcase How Organizations Use GIS to Create a More Sustainable Future

Guest Speakers Will Discuss How Geospatial Technology Empowers Users to Shape Science, Policies, and Action

Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, will present the virtual, 41st annual Esri User Conference July 12–15, 2021. Last year, tens of thousands attended the first-ever virtual User Conference, which was the largest virtual gathering of GIS professionals. The event brings together technology innovators, executives, educators, scientists, and GIS users seeking to meet challenges in their organizations and throughout the world, using the most powerful mapping and analytics platform on the planet.

“Nature-Based Solutions in California: Combating Climate Change and Achieving 30×30”

This year’s conference theme, GIS—Creating a Sustainable Future, explores how organizations are using GIS technology to become smarter, sustainable, and more efficient. Experts will address how true sustainability requires a synthesis of environmental, social, and economic elements. Only by holistically integrating these concepts can organizations be successful in meeting challenges like climate change and wealth disparities.

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“As humans, we must grow and develop, but do so in a way that balances industrial advances with conservation of the natural world and social progress, as people and the planet are inextricably linked,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “We rely on natural ecosystems and the biodiversity they harbor. So our survival and, in turn, our economic prosperity are tied to our being good stewards of the environment as well as fostering equity.”

Over the course of four days, the GIS community will hear stories from Dangermond, Esri staff, users such as Telluride Ski & Golf, and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service as well as special guest keynote speakers on how GIS is empowering local communities and people around the world to create a more sustainable future. Plenary Session speakers include the following:

  • Paul Salopek—founder of Out of Eden Walk, writer, and National Geographic fellow—is in year eight of the Out of Eden Walk. The walk is a 24,000-mile (38,400-kilometer) crossing that follows the migration of early human ancestors. He will deliver his keynote speech, “A Walk through the Anthropocene,” from Shanghai as he prepares a one-and-a-half-year, 6,000-kilometer walk across China.
  • La June Montgomery Tabron, the president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will share “Expanding Racial Equity through Community Action,” a conversation with Jack Dangermond. Tabron has played an active leadership role in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s racial equity, diversity, and inclusion work for more than two decades.
  • Dr. Enric Sala, a full-time conservationist as a National Geographic explorer in residence, founded and leads Pristine Seas, a project that combines exploration, research, and media to inspire country leaders to protect the last wild places in the ocean. He will share “2021–2030: Our Last Best Chance to Protect the Ocean for the Benefit of Humanity—Protecting the Global Ocean for Biodiversity, Food and Climate.”
  • Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, will present “Nature-Based Solutions in California: Combating Climate Change and Achieving 30×30,” a conversation with Jack Dangermond. Attendees will learn how good natural resources management helps natural places thrive and allows communities and the economy to prosper.

The Esri User Conference provides an opportunity for GIS professionals to participate in more than 500 activities, including scheduled technical workshops, on-demand user presentations, and special interest group meetings. Organizations and individuals from 170 countries and all 50 US states are expected to attend the virtual conference.

Attendees will have opportunities for networking, collaboration, and real-time interaction with Esri experts. The perennial favorite, the Map Gallery, will be featured online. A library of recorded sessions and user presentations will be available as an ongoing resource after the conference.

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