Urbanisation, migration and disaster relief are topics that are ubiquitous in the media of the 21st century. Frequently critical or crisis-related aspects are in the foreground, including, to name but a few, megacities out of control, migration flows triggered by economic and violent conflicts and inadequate or delayed disaster relief.
It is obvious, however, that most crises in the context of conurbations, migration and environmental disasters are not short-term developments but evolve over the long or medium term. It is therefore necessary to deal with these phenomena promptly and permanently, address them publicly and face up to the challenges resulting from them.
The armed forces and the administration as well as the research sector and the economy depend on processes characterised by the division of labour, which leads to specialization in individual responsibilities and disciplines. However, the study of topics such as megacities, migration and disaster relief shows that in reality they are multi-faceted, complex and largely interdependent. Consequently, the approach to tackle these challenges must be an interdisciplinary rather than an intradisciplinary one. Comprehensive interaction and, above all, international cooperation are additional determining factors with increasing importance.
Even though the characteristics, dimensions and manifestations of the mentioned developments are hardly foreseeable in detail, it is essential to respond to particularly threatening changes by performing cause and effect analyses and working out options for action and preventive measures. Looking ahead, this also means being prepared not only for potential threatening and hazardous situations but also for damaging events in order to take required appropriate action at short notice.
The first European Geoinformation symposium will be held at the Maritim Hotel in Berlin from 20 to 22 October 2015, and will be hosted jointly by AFCEA Europe, the Bundeswehr Geoinformation Centre (BGIC) and the AFCEA Bonn chapter with a broad participation from government departments and with delegates from science and research as well as specialised institutes and industry. It will zoom in on the complex challenges of this subject field.
With its focus on highlighting environmental, geopolitical and security-related developments plus selected aspects of “Human Geography” and specific requirements on sensor technologies and data fusion, the First European Geoinformation Symposium of AFCEA Europe and BGIC offers a promising 2.5-day forum for a constructive dialogue between well-versed and competent representatives from industry, research, administration, and the armed forces.