Esri CEO and WGIC co-founder Jack Dangermond has been awarded the Planet and Humanity Medal by the International Geographical Union (IGU) for his contributions to global sustainability.
The International Geographical Union (IGU) is an international, non-governmental, professional organization devoted to the development of the discipline of geography. The purposes of the IGU are primarily to promote geography through initiating and coordinating geographical research and teaching in all countries of the world. Every four years, the IGU hosts its International Geographical Congress and also promotes regional conferences and other meetings. The Planet and Humanity Medal honours individuals (not necessarily geographers) who have made outstanding contributions to peace, welfare, or sustainability.
The names of the individuals that make up the Awards Committee have not been disclosed, but a blog post by the IGU reveals some of its motivations: “Although not trained as a geographer, Jack Dangermond has done more to advance geography and create opportunities for its employment than any individual in history”. They go on to highlight is resumé as founder and CEO of Esri, where “he has consistently and constantly argued that GEOGRAPHY is the key to understanding the patterns and processes GIS reveals”.
German interdisciplinary geography Professor Eckart Ehlers and British-born Canadian toponym specialist Helen Kerfoot are awarded the Laureat d’Honneur (which recognizes individuals who have achieved particular distinction or who have rendered outstanding service in the work of the IGU or in international geography).