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Sharing Geography’s Future
IAYG Family partners with Youth Legacy Ghana and Ghana Students Accountability Network for Successful SDGs and Academic Research Conference
01 December 2020 • Kyle Singson
From 20-21 November 2020, IAYG was pleased to partner with convenors Youth Legacy Ghana and Ghana Students Accountability Network (GSAN) in the 2020 SDGs & Academic Research Conference (SDGs ARCon), held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the event, IAYG team members James Magige and Kyle Singson were featured speakers, in conversation with more than a hundred participants on the topics of geospatial impact, mapping, and
climate action in Africa.
IAYG joined Youth Legacy Ghana (YLG), Ghana Students Accountability Network (GSAN), Clith, and Epistles Multimedia as the partners for the event. With the 2020 theme of “Inculcating Sustainable Development Goals into Academic Research: The Role of University Students,” it aimed to inspire tertiary-level students to conduct more research toward the attainment of sustainable development and the sustainable development goals.
Kyle Singson, Deputy Global Director for Communications & Public Affairs, gave his presentation entitled “Mapping the cities of Africa, a Pathway to Climate Action” on the first day. His presentation revolved around the wider adaptation of participatory mapping and volunteer-created geographic information. Both aim to involve marginalized stakeholders of the mapping process that are frequently ignored or discriminated against; Mr. Singson spoke of their role in inclusion and participation. He also introduced the use of VGI through the HOT Tasking Manager and OpenStreetMap.
While for attendees on GMT, the presentation began at 4:00pm, it was midnight in Mr. Singson’s home time zone in Manila; for him, the presentation lasted well into the early morning. Addressing the schedule, he said that he stayed up later than usual because of his intent to share with a wider audience his ideas on climate action.
“That our team members are willing to speak at one, two in the morning speaks volumes about their dedication to geography and the positive impact it can have on the world,” said IAYG President Phillip Meng.
James Magige, co-East Africa Program Manager for IAYG’s Mapping Horizons GIS Competition, began his presentation at 8:00GMT the next morning. His presentation, “Charting Development, The Role of Geography and Geospatial Sciences in Attaining the SDGs,” explained geography’s special role in sustainable development, and examined historical
examples of geographic skills in understanding economies and public health crises.
After two days of engaging events on this critical topic, featuring other speakers from partner organizations and the Melton Foundation, the event came to a close on the 21st of November. IAYG strongly commends the programme and looks forward to further collaborations to advance education and understanding of geography in bringing about the Sustainable Development Goals.