First FIG Young Surveyors Conference

Young Surveyors from 40 Countries Meet in Rome

Rome, Italy, 4-5 May 2012

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Young Professionals filled the auditorium of Cassa Geometri to share experiences and learn from each each other and from oldies.

More than 120 Young Surveyors from 40 countries joined the first FIG Young Surveyors Conference held in Rome, Italy, 4-5 May 2012. The network manifests across social media, which was prominent during this event. A Young Surveyor is someone who is either younger than 35, a student or within 10 years of graduating from a Bachelor or Masters degree in the profession.

The Young Surveyors Conference created a platform for young surveying professionals to explore common issues and identify future opportunities. The ambition was to increase young surveyor participation in the FIG Commissions, to provide with a voice for young surveyors in the future of the profession and the FIG, and to offer a more informal platform for presenting than at the traditional FIG conferences.

There was a strong focus on entrepreneurship. The debates were lively, rich in content and generally clustered across the current challenges and future perspectives. In general it was felt that support for young surveyors must be improved, but that there is also a need for young surveyors to be proactive in seeking that support. Arguments for both lie in the low visibility of surveying internationally. Low student numbers are a particular concern - whilst the use of crowd-sourced data is growing, the development and management of society and land is only possible with the contribution of surveyors. In Land Administration a substantial demand for land professionals is expected, and similarly, the exponential adoption of survey technologies is driving many new survey applications.

Action is needed. Promotion of student opportunities and support – including international exchange, internships, mentoring and work placements – may help to promote student enrolments. Young surveyors may become more engaged with professional bodies and promotion of surveying if adequately supported and encouraged by employers. Other opportunities, such as international professional and lecturer exchanges will also serve to promote the profession and generate enthusiastic and visible emerging surveying professionals. People, projects, funding and passion have to be connected to promote the profession

The conference brought inspiration. Participants could see firsthand the depth and breadth of the profession, and the many opportunities locally and internationally. The need for surveyors is clear to us, but young surveyors will need to be innovative to ensure a continuing profession. For this, continuous learning is needed. A global network of young surveyors has been created to facilitate this, and the broad participation of members demonstrates this future promise.

It was concluded that:

  • The FIG and Member Associations can best support young surveyors by devolving responsibility to young surveyors and supporting their engagement with the FIG.
  • Young surveyors think the benefits of FIG are the opportunites provided through networking, knowledge-sharing, advocacy and professional standards
  • The priorities for the FIG Young Surveyors network are communication, connections, motivation and inspiration

The main sponsors of the FIG Young Surveyors Conference include Trimble Navigation and ESRI (Platinum Sponsors of FIG Working Week 2012), Consiglio Nazionale Geometri e Geometri Laureati (CNGeGL) and Cassa Geometri.

Kate Fairlie
Chair, FIG Young Surveyors Network

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Kate Fairlie, Chair of FIG Young Surveyors Network and main organiser of YSC giving her welcome address... more pictures in the picture gallery.

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President CheeHai Teo addressing the young professionals.

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FIG Foundation grant receivers in a group picture.
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Podium at the Opening Ceremony included presidents from the organising associations.

16 May 2012

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