Notes from the second FIG Young Surveyors North America Meeting
We came from six countries and 23 states because we were told that we are the future. We traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota in frigid February to meet each other and figure out what that means. After attending the 2nd FIG Young Surveyors North America Meeting, we found out that the future is now, and it’s being shaped by those who show up.
The meeting itself was impressive. We were fortunate to be in the same room as powerful executives from Trimble, Leica, and Autodesk as well as some seriously venerable professional surveyors with decades of experience and wisdom to impart. We heard lectures on topics ranging from construction automation to self-driving cars.
By far, the most dynamic speaker was Bryn Fosburgh, vice president of Trimble Navigation. (I want motivational pep talks from this man for the rest of my life.) What I took away from his speech was the notion that young people are naturally inclined to be cooperative, democratic, collaborative, and focused on integration, which is what this industry needs in order to evolve with the changing world.
As I sat listening to the speakers and taking notes, I was also posting to forums, updating my website, and taking photos. I realized this was not unusual for someone my age, and the future is not too far away for a generation raised on instant access, internet, and smartphones.
We are stepping up now. We are involved now. We showed up. We are the future because we are active and we have energy and enthusiasm. We were born to network and multitask.
After spending the week with young surveyors from all over, I believe the Young Surveyors Network is a great way to harness that energy and could become a powerful tool in the shaping of the future of land surveying.
When the meeting ended, we were invited to stay and attend the MSPS Annual Conference. Most of us stayed, and we formed lifelong friendships and gained each other as resources. I believe we will be more effective in our local and state associations because of this networking.
Curt Sumner, executive director of NSPS, put it best when he said, “I want to encourage you to be the first generation ever of surveyors who think it’s okay to communicate with other people.” We all got a good laugh out of that, but it’s true that our generation’s strength lies in our easy association and collaboration with each other.
I’m looking forward to the next meeting, and I’m enthusiastic about growing the network because the true value of an organization like this is that it brings us together. And when a group of young, passionate individuals come together, the momentum that creates is exciting.