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At #GeoCom17, we’ll be hearing from speakers with insightful answers (and questions) about the use of geospatial in a smarter, more connected world. 

Exploring our theme of 'Smart Geospatial', we'll be bringing together thought leaders, forward-thinking individuals and geospatial businesses to explore the impact of our work on the emerging digital economy; we’ll hear who’s leading the way with responses to policies and key geospatial strategies.

Already, we can confirm this impressive line-up, with more names expected to be announced in the coming weeks:


Javier de la Torre, CEO, Carto

Many of our members will recognise Javier de la Torre. Javier founded Carto in 2012, and is a pioneer and keen advocate for the democratisation of data analysis and visualization: a strong speaker on all things geospatial.

We expect to hear his insights on turning location data into valuable business intelligence, and the need for not only new data streams, but new analysis methods too – plus a cohesive, shared commitment from the geospatial intelligence community to help governments ‘cross the geospatial bridge’ … and ways for us all to collaborate with private partners and non-profits to help with these new analyses.


Dr Helen Ferrier, Head of Policy Services, NFU 

Geospatial is an essential tool in agriculture and the insurance sector. At the NFU – the National Farmers' Union  – these disciplines intersect. Dr Helen Ferrier is the NFU’s Head of Policy Services and will present collected geospatial insights from cross-sector policy experts who work on behalf of the NFU’s 55,000 members. 

As Chief Science and Regulatory Affairs Adviser, Helen leads the organisation's policy work on agricultural science and research, and biotechnology, covering all sectors of farming. She is a director of the Rothamsted Research Association Board and a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, and was a research scientist at Imperial College London, working on probabilistic modelling of dietary exposure to pesticides.

Philip Graham, CEO, National Infrastructure Commission

Phil Graham worked on many of the UK’s most important infrastructure projects for the Department for Transport. He led the development of the government’s high speed rail strategy from its inception and took it through one of the country’s largest ever consultation and analysis processes, as well as leading the team supporting Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission and working on the London Olympics. Previous roles include posts running DfT’s incident response team, working on the Eddington study of transport and economic growth and as‎ Private Secretary to the Secretary of State. 

Phil is responsible for leading the National Infrastructure Commission’s overall work programme, including the development of the National Infrastructure Assessment and the delivery of the Commission’s programme of targeted studies on key infrastructure challenges. As well as heading the Commission’s management, the chief executive also leads its ongoing engagement with government departments and key stakeholders in the public and private sectors.

David Johnson, Dep Dir., Partnerships & Knowledge Exchange (ONS) Data Campus

Co-founder of a machine-learning start-up, and having worked previously with Google, BT and Comcast, David joined the ONSs Data Science Campus in May 2016 as Interim Head, working with a small team to build the Campus and prepare it for formal launch.

Prior to joining the Campus he developed a real-time local event detection platform using geolocated social media photo and video uploads, forming a €1.6M EU FP7-funded Research programme in association with the University of Dublin, Trinity College and the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon in the areas of MachineLearning, Data Mining and Computer Vision. He was part of the leadership team that launched Google’s European headquarters in Dublin, and worked previously with BT and Comcast. In addition, he has served on the Boards of the University of Dublin, Trinity College and the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dún Laoghaire.

Charlotte Jee, Editor, Techworld

Techno-libertarians get a frisson of excitement at the idea of computers becoming integral to the human experience, but those in the know understand the importance of starting with the basics. Good data, good systems: smart technology that delivers benefits for all – when and where they need it.

As the editor of Techworld, Charlotte Jee covers the development of this technology in government, politics and the public sector, before which she reported for CIO UK and Computerworld UK, and was assistant editor of Government Computing magazine. Charlotte has been a regular contributor to the New Statesman, Private Eye and Radio Four, and will be bringing unique insights to this event.

Professor Kate Jeffery, Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at UCL  

Kate Jeffery is Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at UCL and also a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation. She understands the need to structure data in great detail: originally a medical graduate, her PhD in neuroscience took her to UCL's Division of Psychology and Language Sciences in 1999. Her research focuses in particular on how a sense of direction and sense of place is determined. 

In 2006 she founded the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, Kate is also co-founder and co-director of the eletrophysiological instrumentation company, Axona Ltd., and is bringing bringing academic knowledge about navigation into the wider world, to help inform urban and technology design, and make our cities easier to navigate.



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