Dear EUGEO representatives,
After the summer holiday season I would like to update you on some recent developments within the EUGEO community and on some forthcoming actions.
Firstly, the French initiative of the “Night of Geography 2018” held on 6th April 2018 was a real success. This was the second edition of the Nuits de la Géographie initiated by CNFG in order to increase the recognition of geographers and geographical knowledge among the public. Thanks to the active involvement of our member societies the initiative has grown really to a European scale campaign this year with around 80 events taking place in 60 locations in 8 countries. The scope of these events was very diverse from exhibitions, to walking tours, and wine tasting, reflecting the non-academic relevance of geography. I would like to thank EC member Antoine le Blanc and his team in France for organizing this pan-European action. We discussed during the EUGEO Seminar and General Assembly in Warsaw the framework of continuation. Our French colleagues suggested 5th of April 2019, as possible date for the third round. We hope that the number of member societies, universities and cities involved in the awareness making campaign will further increase. The Night of Geography was also among the topics discussed during the IGU National Chairs and Session Chairs’ meeting held in Quebec, 7th August 2018. After the presentation of IGU vice-president Nathalie Lemarchand, national chairs showed great interest towards the action. If the Night of Geography would become a world-wide initiative in the future we do not yet, nevertheless, I am convinced that it will be important part of the European calendar of geographers.
Secondly, the EUGEO Seminar of this year was held in the Institute of Geography, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, 13th of April 2018. The theme of the seminar was “Making geography relevant in contemporary society”. Representatives of EUGEO member societies (ca. 20 people) discussed the opportunities how the contemporary societal understandings of geography and the position of the discipline in the wider public could be strengthened. During the seminar initiatives and best practice solutions from the member states were presented and discussed. The Seminar was followed by the celebration organized on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Polish Geographical Society which was held at the University of Warsaw. We passed the greetings and congratulations of EUGEO and European sister societies to our Polish colleagues, hoping their active participation further on in the work of EUGEO. Next day (14th April 2018) the General Assembly was held. The General Assembly was followed by a walking/public transport tour in Warsaw with the topic “Functional changes of Warsaw districts over the last 25 years”. Special thanks to Konrad Czapiewski and the Institute of Geography PAN for hosting the 2018 EUGEO Seminar and General Assembly. Our next General Assembly will be held during the 7th EUGEO Congress in Galway.
Thirdly, the 2018 IGU Thematic Conference was held in Moscow (4-6 June 2018) with the motto “Practical Geography and XXI Century Challenges”. The conference was dedicated to the centennial of the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences. The event was co-organized by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Faculty of Geography of Moscow State University, the Russian Geographical Society, and the Russian branch of World Wild Foundation. During the opening ceremony I extended warm welcome to the participants and local organizers on behalf of EUGEO. The conference was attended by 754 participants including 242 foreign geographers from 36 countries. The programme of the conference was rather diversified, covering the following main topics: climate change, geographical education, urbanization and urban geography, water resources and water use, political geography and border studies, problems of polar regions, organization and functioning of natural parks and reserves, etc. During the conference EC member and former president of EUGEO Christian Vandermotten delivered a plenary lecture about the role of geography in the elaboration of regional policy and physical planning in Belgium and other EU countries.
Fourthly, the main geography conference of this year the 2018 IGU Regional Conference, was held in Québec City, Canada (6-10 August 2018) with the motto “Appreciating Difference”. The event was held jointly with CAG (Canadian Association of Geographers) Annual Meeting and NCGE (National Council for Geographic Education) Annual Conference. The conference was attended by ca. 1500 delegates from all over the world. IGU National Committee chairs and IGU Session chairs held two joint meetings during the conference where important topics related to geography were discussed among others the Night of Geography as a potentially global initiative, or the 2019 EUGEO Congress (to be held in Galway).
Fifthly, the main event of EUGEO in 2019 will be the 7th Congress to be held in Galway, Ireland, 15-18 May 2019. Please book the date, visit the website of the Congress (https://www.eugeo2019.eu/); and circulate the opportunity among your members as much as possible. Please note that the call for sessions will open soon. The most important dates regarding the 7th EUGEO Congress are as follows:
- Monday 3rd September: Registration and call for sessions opens,
- Friday 30th November: Call for sessions closes,
- Monday 3rd December: Call for papers opens,
- Friday 1st February 2019: Call for papers closes; early bird registration closes,
- Friday 15th March 2019: Provisional programme published.
Finally, during the General Assembly meeting in Warsaw I presented a set of priorities that I intend to deliver over the coming years. These are as follows:
- To increase the visibility and recognition of EUGEO (Decrease the number of sleeping societies; Search for core persons via personal communication; Branding activities),
- To involve more physical geographers (non-human geographers),
- To improve communication within the GA e.g. presidential letter,
- To solve the question of treasurer, and increase sponsorship,
- To fix the dates and location of forthcoming events (congresses, seminars etc.) well in advance,
- To strengthen cooperation with strategic partners (e.g. IGU, AAG) During the GA I presented.
President of EUGEO