2019 GEO Ministerial Summit & Roundtable


Under the theme “Earth observations: investments in the digital economy,” Ministers from GEO’s 105 Member governments will gather on 7-8 November 2019 for a roundtable discussion, dinner and Ministerial Summit to discuss the integration of Earth observation data into the broader digital economy - critical for sustained, inclusive, economic growth.

Why we’re meeting

In our rapidly changing world, almost all economic activity and almost all business decisions must consider how the planet on which we depend is changing. At the same time, digital technologies are disrupting our societies and economies, changing how we work and how we live. This change is happening at an extremely rapid pace, and presents us with new challenges and opportunities to deliver sustained and inclusive economic growth. The integration of Earth observation data into the broader digital economy will be critical to achieving this goal.

What we’ll discuss

The summit will include Ministerial deliberation on Earth observations as a critical driver of economic growth and development in a changing world, and engaging with vulnerable and developing nations Including people from vulnerable, minority or disadvantaged backgrounds.

The summit will also provide the platform for Ministers to provide guidance to the GEO community on important strategic topics, including:

  • Future of Work
  • Trade in Digital Services
  • Privacy in a Big Data World
  • Sharing Economy

The Summit will highlight the business case for investing in Earth observations, in terms of the economic dividend these investments provide to the governments, businesses and communities.

The summit will include a focus on the integration of GEO and its work into the broader multilateral economic cooperation framework, reflecting the increasing emphasis in those forums on issues where GEO is active.

Our stage, your platform

The Summit will also provide a platform for Ministers, businesses, the philanthropic community, non-profits and other stakeholders to demonstrate their commitment to accelerating the delivery of the Strategic Plan adopted at the 2015 GEO Ministerial Summit in Mexico City.

A range of opportunities will be provided for Ministers and others to highlight their capabilities and announce new actions in support of GEO.

Engaging the Pacific Island Countries and Territories

Pacific Island Countries and Territories are disproportionately exposed to the impacts of climate change, disasters and economic development challenges, and have critical and unique expertise and knowledge that is essential to the future work of GEO. As host, Australia will facilitate discussions on how the Pacific Island Countries and Territories can engage with GEO, benefit from its efforts and contributing to its progress.

Accelerating delivery of GEO’s Strategic Plan

In 2015, Ministers adopted a new Strategic Plan for GEO. This new strategy called for GEO to support progress in key areas, including: sustainable development, climate change and disaster risk reduction. GEO’s efforts in these areas support three key global frameworks:

  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • The Paris Climate Accord
  • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

The GEO community has completed its realignment towards these new strategic priorities and is now structured for action. The broader discussion on implementing the three global agendas has matured, both at a global level within formal UN institutions, but most critically at a national and community level. The action required is clearer.

The business case for Earth observation as a driver of economic growth has become clearer in the minds of those outside the Earth observation community. This means that new investments and actions in GEO can be explained in terms of the return on investment.


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