Update from Damian Testa, Senior Public Affairs Manager for AGI and RGS-IBG: Transport Scotland (TS) is in the process of reviewing its National Transport Strategy (NTS); this sets the long term vision for transport policies in Scotland.
Recently, TS issued a call for evidence on the NTS with a focus on economic, environmental and governance issues and potential changes in society and technology. This presented a valuable opportunity for me to work with AGI and RGS-IBG members to produce an evidence-based response to the consultation. I was able to draw on member expertise to develop a robust submission that will help TS in its work. It will also signal to TS that AGI and RGS-IBG are actively promoting a geographic information approach to strategy and policy development.
Using strong input from a number of members I have also reviewed a draft of a new briefing paper on Earth Observations prepared by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
Responding to government consultations is one aspect of my role as Senior Public Affairs Manager. Fundamentally, my role is to develop, manage and enhance AGI’s and RGS-IBG’s relationship with stakeholders. These can be quite diverse including individuals or groups with an interest in the AGI’s/RGS’ affairs; politicians; officials; public bodies; trade associations; think tanks; business groups; the media; and importantly AGI and RGS-IBG members.
The aim of my work is to influence public policy, build and maintain a strong reputation and find common ground with stakeholders. This is focused around advocating on issues that impact upon the AGI/RGS's ability to operate successfully.
Over recent weeks, I have met a number of key stakeholders; this has resulting in invitations to discuss GI further with the relevant businesses and the opportunity to provide a regular guest blog in GeoConnexion. I have also visited both the Satellite Applications Catapult and Ordnance Survey HQ; these have identified opportunities to work more closely in the future to promote the role of GI and to raise the profile of the AGI itself.