Report on IGU-YECG Events at 2018 IGU Regional Conference, Quebec, Canada

The IGU Young and Early Career Geographers’ Taskforce (IGU-YECG) organised a series of activities at the recently concluded 2018 International Geographical Union (IGU) Regional Conference – Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) Annual Meeting held in Québec, Canada from August 6th to August 10th. Dr. Komali Yenneti, Chair, IGU-YECG coordinated the task force events at Quebec. Mr. Falguni Dey from University of Calcutta, India supported IGU-YECG in organising the events.

The conference theme, Appreciating Difference or Apprécier la differénce, is a Quebec expression that invites participants to consider the world as a blank canvas that we must first decide how to depict before putting down images and words. Surely, the choice of those images and words is a matter of appreciation. To appreciate is not only a question of what we find significant and of value, it is also an awareness of differences and the ability to recognize them as meaningful to a more inclusive interpretation of the diverse world in which we live. Rightly, the conference topics, as well as IGU Commissions, CAG study groups and more importantly our IGU-YECG sessions reflected on this thought-provoking theme.

IGU-YECG Activities at the 2018 IGU Regional Conference, Québec

  1. Networking Event –The IGU-YECG activities started with the meeting-cum-networking event held on August 7th, 2018 from 7pm-9pm. The event began with presentation by Dr. Komali Yenneti, Chair IGU-YECG on the progress of the task force followed by self-introductions around the table. The event ended with a networking event over drinks and nibbles. The event was a unique occasion at the conference to get to know ‘young’ and ‘young at heart’ geographers as well as to stimulate discussion and collaboration between like-minded researchers. In line with the conference theme, Appreciating Difference or Apprécier la differénce, the event had witnessed participants of diverse age groups, nationalities, cultures and geographical interests. An important outcome of the networking event is IGU-YECG’s future collaboration with the International Geo Olympiad (iGeo).
  2. Representation at the IGU Commission Chairs Meetings –The Chair, IGU-YECG participated at the IGU Commission and Task Force Chairs and Chairs of National Committees meetings held at the Congress Venue. The first meeting took place on the August 7th from 15h30 to 17h00, and the second (August 8th) from 15h30 to 17h00. At these meetings, the Chair had an opportunity to introduce the IGU-YECG, its current and past activities and opportunities to collaborate with other commissions. The topics discussed at the meetings include:
  1. Mapping the SDGs
  3. La Nuit de Geographie/Night of Geography project
  4. IGU archives
  5. TROP-ICSU project
  6. OSGeo
  7. International Conference on Silk Road Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development
  8. Upcoming Congresses (especially Istanbul 2020) and Thematic Conferences

III. IGU-YECG Paper Sessions 1 and 2 – The other main activities at the conference were the two oversubscribed paper sessions. The first one took place on the August 8th from 10h30 to 12h00, and the second (August 9th) from 15h30 to 17h00. Each of the paper sessions had five speakers presenting on diverse areas of geographical (physical and human) interests. Below are the details of the sessions. The sessions garnered extensive discussion and opportunities for young scholars from different parts of the world to present in a relaxed environment.

  1. IGU-YECG Sponsored Awards –Last, but not the least, the IGU-YECG had given away three student fee registration waiver awards and one Late Dr. Manju Singh Best Paper Award for paper presenters at the IGU-YECG sponsored sessions. The Best Paper award of CAD 200 was instituted in the memory of Late Dr. Manju Singh, daughter of Prof. RB Singh (Secretary-General and Treasurer, International Geographical Union). Dr. Manju Singh, a young and dynamic academic did her M.Sc. from USA and PhD in nanotechnology from Italy. She left for her heavenly abode after a prolong illness on 9th December 2014. Prof. RB Singh has been generous enough to provide financial support for this award.

The three student fee registration waiver award winners were selected prior to the conference by the IGU-YECG Steering committee, whereas the Best Paper Award winner was judged by a judging committee formed at the conference. The committee included Prof Mike Meadows, Assistant Secretary-General of IGU, Prof. Joos Droogleever Fortuijn, First Vice-President IGU, and Prof Yehua Dennis Wei, University of Utah.

Late Dr. Manju Singh Best Paper Award

Mr. Armand Djoumessi Mouafo, University of Tasmania, Australia

Paper Title: The determinants of inbound open innovation in regional clusters: insights from two Australian maritime clusters

Student fee registration waiver award winners

Mr. Joseph Kangmennaang, University of Waterloo, Canada
Mr. Ulisses Denache Souza, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Mr. Sheyi Aworinde , University of Lagos, Nigeria