Around 18 months ago, the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) profession welcomed me as the Head of Government Geography, a new vibrant cross government group sat within GSE. In 18 months we’ve grown to over 1,000 members and I have a network of Deputies who are developing the profession alongside me.
12 months ago, we held our first Geography in Government conference (GiG). At the time we had 300 members and we packed out a conference room with 100 of us somewhere in the labyrinth of rooms under BEIS. Despite the lack of sunlight, it was a great event. The profession has expanded ever since. We hosted our first Geography in Government Awards in April and now we are ready to launch our second Geography in Government conference (GiG2).
With such a large membership, I’m very grateful to the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) for their continued support, letting us use their iconic venue for GiG2, with space for 300 of us!
The team have been busy organising a great day for GiG2, with a packed agenda spanning the range of the work our members do.
A month of geography
But there is so much going on in the profession right now that the team proposed a Geography in Government month. A chance to celebrate the contribution of government geographers and to raise understanding of what we do across policy, delivery and evidence in government.
I must admit I was slightly sceptical when the idea was originally pitched to me and wondered if geography week would be more achievable. But I’m glad that I have such an ambitious and enthusiastic team as I have been proved completely wrong!
We have a great programme for the month of November where we will tweet, blog and host webinars covering case studies, information and career profiles about being a professional geographer in government. With the support of the RGS we’ll also provide support for those government geographers who wish to work towards the professional recognition of chartership.
And for those attending the conference to mark the end of the #GiGMonth, we will release our first Geo in Gov laptop stickers. This is the part I’m personally most excited about as I’ve just started an exciting new role in Defra to lead on geospatial data and data science and I have a new laptop that needs covering!
To get involved have a look at either @GiGMonth on twitter and join the geography slack channel. You’ll be able to get an insight from across the profession, join in via twitter or slack and sign up to webinars. It all goes towards your CPD!
If you’re not a member, you can sign up to the GSE Profession for free and access everything on offer in Geography month (and far more!).
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