This years' programme is supported by high level presentations in seven keynote sessions on topics within the overall theme 'Smart surveyors for land and water management - challenges in a new reality'. These specially invited keynote speakers share insights into their own experience and pitfalls and present their vision and predictions covering the subtheme from each conference day.

The Challenges for Smart Surveyors in a New Reality

Founder and President of Esri - Environmental Systems Research Institute, Jack Dangermond, talks with FIG President Rudolf Staiger on the impactful latest trends in GIS software technology, how they impact surveying and the FIG community as well as thoughts and considerations on the future of the profession.

Jack Dangermond, Founder and President Esri - Environmental Systems Research Institute

A landscape architect by training, Jack Dangermond founded Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) in 1969 with a vision that computer mapping and analysis could help us design a better future. Under Dangermond's leadership, that vision has continued to guide Esri in creating cutting-edge GIS and Geodesign technologies used in every industry to make a difference worldwide.

Dangermond fostered the growth of Esri from a small research group to an organization recognized as the world leader in GIS software development.

Esri employs more than 4,000 people worldwide. Many who shared his passion for GIS in the early days are still with the company and remain dedicated to helping the users to be successful.

The Impact of COVID 19 on the Profession

Chair: Kate Fairlie, Former Chair of FIG Young Surveyors Network,

What impact is the coronavirus pandemic having on the geospatial industry worldwide? How do we adapt to these unexpected circumstances and what have we learned so far from these challenges?

Benjamin Davis, Director, Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality Division

Benjamin has extensive experience in social protection, social policies and agricultural economics.

He previously served as Strategic Progrmme Leader, Rural Poverty Reduction and Deputy Director of the Agricultural Development Economics Division at FAO and he was team leader of the From Production to Protection (PtoP) project. He has also worked as Social Policy Advisor for the UNICEF Regional Office in Eastern and Southern Africa and as a Research and Post-Doctoral Fellow at IFPRI.

He holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and a Master’s in Public Policy from UC Berkeley

Steven Ramage

Steven Ramage leads external relations (communication and policy teams) at the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. He is on the Governing Board of Digital Earth Africa, Digital Earth Pacific and is a member of the UK Space Agency Earth Observations Advisory Committee.

Steven was an owner/Director of 1Spatial for 10 years working with national mapping and cadastre agencies globally. He then joined the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) as Executive Director before becoming Managing Director at Ordnance Survey International. He joined GEO in 2016.

Steven is Visiting Professor at the Institute for Future Cities, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS). He tweets as @steven_ramage

Léa Bodossian


Léa Bodossian was appointed Secretary General and Executive Director of EuroGeographics in 2020. She has a passion for geography, political sciences and European affairs.

She spent a large part of her carrier with a number of high-level representation, communication and management positions within the European Commission, in an EU Agency or in membership association, mostly in the field of aviation. Léa has extensive experience in European representation. This includes presenting technical challenges and concerns into policy hearings and meetings at the European Parliament, and contributing to consultations and expert groups,

Léa holds Master’s degrees in geography urban planning and in political sciences – European affairs. She is also an invited lecturer for several French universities and a sought-after conference moderator.

A Decade of Fit-for-Purpose Land-Administration: Key lessons and future directions

It’s already well recognised that well organised land administration systems can support countries achieving sustainable development goals. They can support responsible land policies and land management strategies, assist land dispute reduction, enable fair investment opportunities, support social and spatial justice, and overall good governance. However, a large number of people-to-land relationships (read: tenures) are unaccounted for in formal land administration systems, especially in the developing countries. This undermines equity, equality and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For many reasons, conventional surveying approaches have been proven not to be efficient when it comes to scaling and completing land administration systems. Fit for Purpose approaches challenge the paradigm: seek lower costs, less recording time, and appropriate spatial data qualities. With FFPLA having now being formally on the FIG agenda for almost a decade, this session will reflect the successes, challenges, and future directions of the FFPLA approach.

Integrated geospatial information for transformational change

The Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF) was adopted in 2020, and provides a basis and guide for developing, integrating, strengthening and maximizing geospatial information management and related resources. The IGIF focuses on location information and are important for a nation's development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals. The purpose of the session is to present the current status of the development of IGIF, and what steps and actions are needed by member states for the implementation of IGIF. FIG has an interest to encourage the implementation and creation of country level action plans.

Making the land and property sector sustainable and resilient: Ensuring Diversity and Inclusion

Attracting new young professionals is an imperative to foster resilience in our sector. To attract the best people we need to demonstrate that our sector and practices are truly diverse and inclusive business environments that respects all human differences in the widest sense. There are increasing calls to recognize and actively implement D&I. A key part of this D& I conversation is to do more to increase the number of women in our professional world of land, construction and real estate.
This panel brings together exceptional women leaders to listen to their experience, their vision and hear their discussions on what we can all do now to explore how to achieve better outcomes.

Narelle Underwood

Narelle Underwood was appointed the 25th Surveyor-General of NSW in 2016 - the youngest person in over 200 years and the first female to hold the position.

A major role within State Government she is responsible for the leadership and regulation of the land and mining surveying profession and plays a key advocacy role in the geospatial industry. Leading a team of 70 she is responsible for delivering technical projects, policy and legislation and digital transformation. She is the president of the Board of Surveying and Spatial Information (BOSSI), Chair of the Geographical Names Board (GNB), and the NSW Surveying Taskforce Working in a profession where the average age is 52 and women account for only 3%,

 Narelle is passionate about women in leadership and improving the diversity of her profession and other STEM based careers. As a Superstar of STEM and brand ambassador for the Get Kids into Survey program, she is working to increase the public visibility of women in STEM to encourage the next generation, including the promotion of surveying in schools. She is also an energetic mentor for young professionals.

Digital Twins | How can DT support legal security?

Sustainable development and management of both the built en living environment, above- and below ground, needs to tackle many major social challenges, such as housing shortage, climate change and limited resources. Here, the concept of a Digital Twin plays an important role. The question we ask ourselves is ”How can Digital Twin support or facilitate to increase legal certainty?” and, is there a role for FIG to play? The Triple Helix model of innovation between Government, Business and University helps making policy. Together with these three parties we’ll discuss their roles, interactions and solutions.

Success - a Continuous Journey

Katriona Lord-Levins, Chief Success Officer, Bentley Systems, joins us in this special key-note session on success. What is success? Success can be seen in many ways, personal, your work place, your customers and clients, your closer team etc. What is success for you? Get inspired...