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USGIF Technology Day 2012 – The Real Winners

Mark Alonzo
USGIF Technology Day is an unclassified event showcasing more than 60 USGIF Member organizations displaying the latest innovations for the Defense, Intelligence, and Homeland Security Communities. It is part of the larger GEOINT Community Week, which features the NGA Tech Showcase East and the Ground Warfighter Geospatial Intelligence Conference. The emerging tech showcase, ignite talks, and other lectures were very informative, and I think the format of the ignite talks in particular encouraged a more focused and concise presentation of subject matter, and kept the audience interested throughout the talks. Oddly enough, the true winners on the day were not the industry sponsors luring in their next client with flashy displays and free pens. Nor was it the Government heads whose mission it is to exploit the technologies featured in the show. It was not even the warfighter, perusing the various technologies in search of the next solution to their biggest problem. It was the kids. The student science and technology showcase at the show highlighted several award-winning projects from high school participants in regional science competitions. I was amazed at the ingenuity and level of detail that some of these kids put into their projects. So while most attendees left the Hyatt that day feeling satisfied with a job well done, focused on their next work day, trade show, or mission, these kids left the Hyatt that day as new people. What they gained that day was not a new lead or potential solution to a problem, but a passion and a fire for GIS innovation. These will be the future CEO’s and military commanders that are solving the problems of the future, so next time you see a student showcase at a trade show, make sure to stop in and say hi to your future boss! What were your experiences at Technology Day 2012? Did you happen to stop in and see the student displays?

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