FIG Foundation - Building a Sustainable Future

Report from James Quick

FIG Foundation Young Surveyor Grant Recipient to attend the FIG Congress 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey

“ It was such a privilege to be sponsored by the FIG Foundation to be involved in the FIG Congress and FIG Young Surveyors meeting last year. Crucially, it enables younger members in FIG to develop a wider view of the problems in our industry and then encourages them to contribute to some of FIGs excellent thought leadership work.”


From left: Cemre Sahinkaya, Turkey, Jean-Pierre Habiyaremye, Rwanda, Ana Julia Herrera Gonzalez, Costa Rica, John Hohol, President, FIG Foundation, Eva-Maria Unger, Chair, FIG Young Surveyors Network,   James Quick, United Kingdom and Mudit Kapoor, India.

The 4th FIG Young Surveyor Conference, titled – ‘Beyond Boundaries: The Changing role of the Surveyor’ was a two-day event where early career professionals discussed these changes and dialogued how we can play an integral role now and, in the future, to make this theme a success. Certainly, Turkey was the archetypal country to explore this topic, with its blurred boundary between continents. The 2-day conference involved keynote speakers from industry leaders, panel discussions, workshops and networking. The conference ended with a spectator evening cruise on the River Bosporus; a great chance to unwind and get to know more of the wonderful minds that had gathered for the weekend conference. It was welcoming to see so many young people, at a similar career stage, from across the globe sharing solutions to common problems we all face as surveyors.

Following the weekend sub-event, the main Congress began with the opening ceremony, which gave a real sense of scale for the event. It was amazing to be able to attend a truly international meeting, with many countries represented by various national survey associations, national mapping agencies and businesses. Topped off by traditional Turkish dancing to open the Congress!

Of the many interesting plenaries and technical sessions at the Congress that I attended, the issues surrounding land rights and tenure was really apparent to me and I learnt alot about this issue throughout the event. 70% of people in the world do not have security over the land they own. Consequently, many of the technical sessions that I focused on land administration during the conference were about and how to create a spatial model that can facilitate the registration of land parcels. Additionally, an eye-opening policy campaign on women’s rights to land ownership was also part of the Congress’ dialogue. This was an extremely refreshing and powerful discussion to be a part of. Women own less than 20% of the land in the World (UN FAO, 2017). Consequently, many developing countries at the Congress were discussing introducing progressive legislation to enshrine gender equality in land ownership was. It was amazing to see that in action at the FIG Congress.

Another message from Congress that I thought was a really important takeaway was how organisations can remain successful in the world of geospatial by embracing automation. I left the conference feeling how important it was to embrace this revolution because it will allow us to offer more to society, with greater client care and even richer and more accurate spatial data.

Overall, it was such a privilege to be sponsored by the FIG Foundation to be involved in the FIG Congress and FIG Young Surveyors meeting last year. Crucially, it enables younger members in FIG to develop a wider view of the problems in our industry and then encourages them to contribute to some of FIGs excellent thought leadership work.

/James Quick
United Kingdom


Group photo of the participants of the 4th FIG Young Surveyors Conference


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