In November 2019, Ministers from 105 member governments, business leaders, heads of international non-profits and passionate experts met in Canberra, Australia for GEO Week 2019 and the GEO Ministerial Summit. Hosted by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), a group that envisions a world where Earth observation data is used to drive better decision making, GEO Week brings together diverse people and cultures.
The focus of GEO Week 2019 was to accelerate the delivery of GEO’s Strategic Plan and scale-up the impact of Earth observations. The week’s events ensured that data collected about the planet becomes a core input to strategic decision making and key day-to-day economic, environmental and development decisions.
Through our partnership with Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), a long time participant of GEO Week, the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) hosted an exclusive ‘Data for our Planet’ Workshop in conjunction with GEO Week.
The workshop brought together the community’s experts from ESIP, Committee on Data for Science and Technology, ARDC, Australian Academy of Science, National Computational Infrastructure and others to discuss data integration issues across various disciplines. Participants discussed their current initiatives; examined specific challenges relating to data accessibility, interoperability and reusability (FAIR) and used a set of pilot case studies to examine these issues.
Ms Natasha Simons, Associate Director Skilled Workforce, ARDC, says the diverse group discussed a variety of common problems and challenges arising from the intersection between technology, data, people, policy, ethics and society.
“While some GEO agencies focus research above ground, others focus below the ground. When combined, they can deal with grand challenges facing humanity such as resilient cities, infectious diseases and disaster risk reduction. In saying this, a key outcome of this discussion was the recognition that both formal and informal collaboration is critical to solve common challenges and avoid duplication of effort.
“We are delighted to continue our collaboration with national and international organisations that are also working towards increasing the use and value of data,” Ms Simons said.
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