Always looking for the next wave…

I’ve noticed a bit of a theme lately in spatial industry communications, further evidence of which hit me in the recent email inviting the submission of papers for OZRI 2012:

…this year’s conference is designed to engage and inspire the next wave of new GIS adopters.

GeoNext is also looking at/for “new markets” and in my conversations with people around SSSI there has been a strong sense that the focus is on bringing in the new.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that:

  • businesses need new markets,
  • professions need a steady stream of new people and that there is a skill shortage, and
  • the genie is out of the bottle and consumer space is (finally?) location aware.

and I am not suggesting that there should not be some focus on the next wave of business opportunities, GIS adopters, and the like. I do think that many of those who are already within the industry and seeking to build their own careers and explore, develop or advance their own practice could be forgiven for feeling they have been forgotten though.

One of the things I would like to see change in 2012 is that, as an industry, we find a way to engage with the practitioners who are the backbone of our industry. How to do that?

Yeah, not so simple.

But I think it would be worthwhile.