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I am a Rising Star: Reflections from the Geospatial World Forum


Attending the Geospatial World Forum was an incredibly enriching experience. One of the highlights was receiving the certificate for the 50 Rising Stars at the Geospatial World Forum. Earlier this year, I was informed that I had been named one of the 50 Rising Stars by the Geospatial World. While I know I have made significant contributions to the industry, I sometimes question whether I deserve this recognition. It's a mental battle, as I feel this honor will challenge me to become even better. Nonetheless, I am delighted and humbled to receive this recognition, as it serves as a meaningful milestone to celebrate my 10 years in the workforce.πŸŽ–οΈ


I was even more excited when I learned that there would be a certificate presentation ceremony in one of my favorite countries in Europeβ€”the Netherlands πŸ‡³πŸ‡±! The news overwhelmed me with happiness and motivated me to continue striving for excellence. Although the preparations for the trip were exhausting, with the usual visa applications and travel arrangements, my past three years of attending conferences and traveling around Europe and the Schengen area helped me feel more prepared.

Another significant moment was participating as a panelist in a plenary talk on engaging Gen-Zs in geospatial practice. As a millennial working closely with Gen-Zs through YouthMappers and my students at De La Salle University, I have witnessed their vibrant and innovative minds firsthand. This session allowed me to share my experiences and insights on how to engage and collaborate with this dynamic generation effectively. I didn't prepare much for this session, relying instead on my experiences, and I'm glad I did. The questions were expected, and the discourse turned out great. Sharing the stage with Allan Mbabani, Executive Director of OSM Uganda and a fellow YouthMapper alumnus, was a highlight. It was an interesting, non-technical talk, and despite the nerves of presenting in front of 900 professionals, it was a fun and rewarding experience.


I also had the opportunity to be a panelist in a session on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I). This was my main role at the forum, with this invitation coming first, followed by the Gen-Z panel. Although I am not an expert in DE&I, I prepared extensively for this session to ensure my responses were thoughtful and sensitive to different cultures and people. I feared being wrong and misrepresenting myself and YouthMappers. Despite my initial nervousness, the discussion went well, and I gained valuable perspectives on this crucial topic.


The overall vibe of the conference was different from my past experiences with other community and GIS events, but it was undoubtedly memorable. The Geospatial World Forum provided a unique platform to connect with professionals from diverse backgrounds, exchange ideas, and celebrate our collective achievements in the geospatial field.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the communities that have been integral to my journey. Without the support and encouragement of YouthMappers and OSM Philippines Community, my colleagues at UP Resilience Institute - NOAH Center and De La Salle University, and the broader geospatial community, I would not be where I am today. Their collaboration, mentorship, and friendship have been the foundation upon which I have built my career. I am deeply grateful for their unwavering belief in me and their invaluable contributions to my professional growth.🌻