Digital Earth Alliance
Digital Earth Alliance
Fostering Capacity Building in GI across Europe and beyond
Employers from all sectors and relevant domains are facing a significant lack of GI professionals. Consequences are, amongst others:
- missed opportunities to enhance societal and business decisions with spatial intelligence
- decelerated GI sector growth (in spite of promising business opportunities)
- difficulties in performing required statutory tasks
- time-consuming and expensive staff recruitment
Existing evidence, e.g. from Erasmus+ projects and surveys, supports this problem statement.
As the primary source for the GI labour market, higher education institutes (HEI) need to increase the number of graduates with relevant GI skills to meet current and anticipated demand. However, many HEIs are registering too few first semester students for GI-related study programmes. The reasons named by HEIs include:
- pupils are not sufficiently aware of GI-related study programmes, the extent of employment opportunities in the discipline, nor of the importance of spatial/location data and analytics for other professional and societal domains
- diversity of current programme names respectively the lack of a (single) well known and recognizable discipline identity, to be jointly used to market the HEIs’ individual offerings
- attention and perception of GI is split across main science and educational fields, like natural sciences, engineering, computing and the different ‘homes’ of Geography
- Draw attention to GI-related study programmes and course offerings
- Create a single umbrella brand to attract potential first semesters
- Collaborate in Body of Knowledge and curriculum definition initiatives
- Shape the perception of the professional field
- Foster cooperation of faculties and departments in GI
- Raise awareness at high school level and in teacher training programmes
Instrument / approach
The Digital Earth Alliance of HEIs with GI-related study programmes provides a common umbrella brand promoting well defined GI programmes. These cover all 3 academic cycles (bachelor – master – doctoral) and include minor specializations, full degrees and joint international programmes.
- development and communication of a brand identity
- membership and brand usage rules
- establishment of strategic partnerships with institutions
- development and dissemination of promotion materials
- support from industry and other stakeholders
It is envisioned that the EUROGI Portfolio Group “Education and Capacity Building” will serve as managing entity for the process of establishing and subsequently supporting the Digital Earth Alliance.
At this stage, we invite and welcome comments and contributions towards evolving this idea into an urgently needed platform!