Beyond the buzz, beyond the hype, the “Round Table” and bringing the Community together

Dec 11, 2013

From the desk of our Co-Chair – James Boxall

It is likely the nature of quasi-grassroots and voluntary organizations that what people hope for in terms of timelines and actions stretches a bit more than expected. However, in terms of the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table, this is only partly true.

We are on target for the release of a National Strategy for the Geomatics Sector. We are on target for an Economic Study and an Environmental Scan of the nature and value of the sector in Canada and for Canadians. We are moving ahead at the speed which is right, and we are gathering momentum.

Over the last year, many conversations have taken place at different forums across the country. These are being matched with online discussions and debates, as well as the release of documents that we trust are allowing members of the community to ponder their role in the future of the sector.

That’s the first step, and it was a big one. The next phase will see the release of a draft strategy to the larger group around the table, beyond the Steering Committee, and it will see the release of numerous background documents that outline individual parts of the strategy and how we aligned our thinking on 7 themes or “dimensions”.

We now need your engagement and we absolutely must come together! Have we got it right? Are there key pieces missing? How do we action the recommendations?

To help move forward towards action, we are launching this new web site that will take on a more familiar look and be sustainable for the next stages. There are also plans underway to bring together key leaders and organizations from across the multiple facets, subfields, and allied disciplines, so that we can discuss how best to develop our leadership and governance models.

While we are agreeing to many things, and developing the strategy and actions to come, one thing seems certain in that there must be more formal collaboration across the sector. We have numerous committees and working groups, and even more associations and societies that are leaders and who seek to position the sector and people in the field towards growth and success. However, we need a formal mechanism to bring the community together, find ways to share more, communicate better, and achieve things faster and smarter. Fundamental to the success of the community is the development of a Sector framework that engages all components and works for Canada!

The Steering Committee met in Ottawa November 14 and 15, and through those sessions we have developed the basis for the strategy. But we need to do more, and we are now at the stage where we will be releasing things out to the community for feedback. However, we cannot just have opinions, even when we value those, and we cannot just present our views as a final document. We need to move beyond discussion and into action! We will be seeking input that is directed towards deliverables and actions. And we need to act as a community!

The goal of our process is to create a collaborative community that seeks to act in unity more than ever before. We are seeking to capture the expertise and strength that is present from coast to coast to coast, and translate that into more contributions to Canada and the world. We are positioning ourselves as leaders in the world. We have done much in the past, and we recognize our success stories and our traditions over many decades. We now need to carry that into the next generation of a spatially enabled society, and with a community that supports the needs of our country, peoples and environment.


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