• Geography2050

Mounting an Expedition to the Future

19 November 2014 | NYC


An Event of the American Geographical Society

Hosted by The Earth Institute

Learn More Register Now

Mounting an Expedition to the Future

The world of 2050 will be radically different. It is not at all clear how we will get there from here or how we should navigate through the uncharted waters of the future. Climate change, urbanization, rapid expansion of the Internet and the availability and use of information, the continued evolution of human identity, and changing modes of commerce, cooperation, and conflict from local to global scales are just some of the many trends influencing the future. Each poses many challenges and opportunities for how we perceive and shape our world’s geography now and in coming decades.

To help lay the foundation for exploring these local, regional and global challenges—and the investments in technology, data, laws, policies, and capacities needed to improve our ability to navigate through them—the American Geographical Society is collaborating with the Earth Institute, Columbia University to organize an “Expedition to the Future.”

A multi-year strategic dialog on the vital trends that will reshape our nation and our planet.

Agenda

The vital trends that will reshape our nation and our planet.

Populations, Shifting Identity, and Well Being 

Over the next few decades, the geography of human populations will change materially. Urbanization will continue, and the concentration of people in coastal zones will increase. The geography of human well-being will be re-written as health and wealth shift radically. And, borders and sovereignty within borders will face and possibly succumb to new pressures as new social movements arise, reshaping identity.

Climate, Risk, and Opportunity

The onslaught of climate change delivers increased volatility in weather patterns and the resulting natural hazards, will impact populations along the coasts, on islands, in river basins, and in inland agricultural areas. The secular rise in sea level will only magnify the effects of these natural hazards. Additionally, climate change will fundamentally remap the Arctic, opening it up to intercontinental transportation, energy and mineral exploitation, and geopolitical competition.

The God's Eye View

In the 21st Century, human society came to understand its world geographically through a technical lens. Satellite and airborne remote sensing transformed how we observed and understood our planet. The rise of the Internet and social media opened up wholly new ways of thinking about the geography of human expression and activity. And, as every living human becomes a sophisticated, location-aware sensor, ground truth can be provided to validate broad-scoped change observed from above. How we understand our world’s geography in 2050 will be fundamentally different from how we knew yesterday.

The Future Energy Landscape

With huge changes in the geography of humanity, the future energy landscape will also change enormously. The geography of global energy demand will evolve as developing nations increase energy consumption to present-day first-world patterns. The acceleration of renewable energy development will change the nature of energy dependency between different regions as well as the landscapes on which we live. And, the emergence of new fossil fuel resources will fundamentally alter the global network of exploitation, distribution, processing, and consumption – re-writing power relationships across the globe.

The Emerging Geography of the Internet of Things

The Internet remapped the geography of human access to knowledge and what it meant to be connected to the global society. The Internet’s initial geography, connecting government labs, agencies and universities has expanded to touch billions of computers and mobile devices, remapping the distribution of societal capabilities. However, this geography is far from ubiquitous, and the spatial distribution of this digital divide materially shapes how societies can develop. The recent emergence of the Internet of Things promises to yet again reshape the geography of technical capability that societies have access to and can leverage to meet their goals.

Investment, Law and Policy

In order to successfully navigate our way to this new future, deliberate action will be required in the realms of investment, legal and policy development. The ability to properly observe and anticipate changes to our world’s geography - at a local, regional and global scale – will require investment in new geospatial technologies, data, and methodologies. Thoughtful engagement in legal and policy development (at local, national, and international levels) is required to ensure these techniques and technologies are leveraged to meet societal goals and not become technics out of control. Geography 2050 will not just happen. It will be the sum of many thoughtful, and perhaps thoughtless, actions by the private, public academic, and social sectors.

Speakers & Presenters

Trends Reshaping the Geography of Our World

D. James
Baker

Clinton Foundation

Dr. Michael
Botts

Thought Leader in SensorWebs and the Internet of Things
CEO, Botts Innovative Research

Lawson
Brigham

Distinguished Professor of Geography and Arctic Policy
University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Prof. Jerry
Dobson

President, AGS
Professor, University of Kansas, Department of Geography

Francis
Ghesquiere

Head of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery Secretariat
The World Bank

Neil
Golightly

Vice President External Affairs
Shell Oil Company

Dawn
Meyerriecks

Deputy Director for Science and Technology
Central Intelligence Agency

Prof. Alexander
Murphy

Professor, Department of Geography, University of Oregon

Anthony
Quartararo

CEO
Spatial Networks

Dr. Lee
Schwartz

Geographer of the United States
The State Department

James
Scrivener

CEO
National Solar

Christopher
Tucker

Chairman
The MapStory Foundation

Abe
Usher

Chief Technology Officer, HumanGeo

Partners & Sponsors

Partners

Our Sponsors

Friends of Geography 2050

Event Details

Register for this event now before the rates go up.

Venue

Low Memorial Library

Columbia University

116th Street and Broadway, New York City

Parking info

Hotel info

Contact Us

(571)-392-7208 for registration concerns

(571)-392-7208 for registration concerns

info@geography2050.org

Rates & Registration

    • Early
      Registration

    • until 29 September

      • $250 AGS Business Member
      • $2,000 Friend of the Symposium**
      • $400 Non AGS Member Business
      • $100 AGS Government Member*
      • $250 Non AGS Member Government
      • $100 AGS Academic Member*
      • $200Non AGS Member Academic
      • $100 AGS Non-Profit Member
      • $200 Non AGS Non-Profit Member
      • $100 AGS Humboldt Club or Galileo Circle Member*
    • Register Now
    • Regular
      Registration

    • 30 Sept - 18 Nov

      • $275 AGS Business Member
      • $2,000 Friend of the Symposium**
      • $425 Non AGS Member Business
      • $110 AGS Government Member*
      • $275 Non AGS Member Government
      • $110 AGS Academic Member*
      • $225Non AGS Member Academic
      • $110 AGS Non-Profit Member
      • $225 Non AGS Non-Profit Member
      • $100 AGS Humboldt Club or Galileo Circle Member*
    • Not Available
    • At Door
      Registration

    • 19 November

      • $300 AGS Business Member
      • $2,000 Friend of the Symposium**
      • $450 Non AGS Member Business
      • $120 AGS Government Member*
      • $300 Non AGS Member Government
      • $120 AGS Academic Member*
      • $250Non AGS Member Academic
      • $120 AGS Non-Profit Member
      • $250 Non AGS Non-Profit Member
      • $100 AGS Humboldt Club or Galileo Circle Member*
    • Not Available

*If you are currently not a member, you can register as a member now and receive the member rate. Sign up here.

**For those who select this premier registration, your organization will be acknowledged as a friend and participant of this strategic dialog.