- Feye Andal
The YouthMappers network competitively selected university students from chapters worldwide to participate in the 2023 YouthMappers Leadership Fellows Summit. Undergraduate and graduate students from a recognized YouthMappers chapter were chosen based on their demonstrated leadership potential, technical abilities in open mapping, and strong communication skills.
The Leadership Fellowship Summit provided fellows with knowledge, skills, professional development, and capacity training in open mapping techniques to help them enrich their chapter activities. They were mentored by international experts and geospatial champions and engaged with other participants for a ten-day program held last January 4-13, 2023, in Montego Bay, Jamaica, with the help of the local YouthMappers host.
Divided into regional cohorts (Asia, Americas, West Africa, East Africa), the fellows participated in various sessions that allowed them to meet other fellows in their respective regions and understand how other students from local YouthMapper work, thrive and connect. Different YouthMappers alums and leaders, including UP Resilience Institute Youth Mappers’ co-mentor (me!), served as navigators in the various sessions.
Among the topics covered under the technical sessions were introducing open data tools such as OSM Teams, importing OSM data into QGIS, AI/ML technologies in the geospatial industry, iD and JOSM mapping and validation, mapping using collaborative tools like HOT Tasking Manager, mobile field mapping using KoboCollect, collecting aerial images using drones, and a special lecture on geospatial technologies in Jamaica. They also participated in a tree-planting activity around Grange Hill High School in Westmoreland Parish, organized by Dr. Donovan Campbell from the University of West Indies.
The fellows were also selected under different themes, such as Mapping for Climate Resilience, Activating Youth Leadership, and Promoting Equity and Inclusion, where they received learning sessions led by various subject matter experts in their respective thematic areas. Fellows under the ‘Mapping for Climate Resilience’ theme learned about the state of sciences in global climate change, geodesigning a theory of change for climate adaptation, games for understanding climate impacts, and putting local to global youth climate action. Under the ‘Activating Youth Leadership’ theme, they covered the topics such as leadership fundamentals, the anatomy of a YouthMappers local chapter, building quality mappers, and leadership in the field of youth action. Lastly, the topics of the ‘Promoting equity and inclusion’ theme included starting with the concept of inclusion, the intersection of gender data and OSM, and youth action-inclusive project design towards equity and inclusion.
To conclude the 10-day program, the fellows under the three thematic clusters presented perspectives on climate resilience, youth leadership, and equity and inclusion, highlighting their learnings during their sessions through a panel discussion. The regional cohorts also shared their regional successes, challenges, and proposed action plans through presentations, cultural dances, upbeat music, and dramatic skits. The fellows under the Asian region, led by me, highlighted the undeniable presence and successful contributions of YouthMappers within the region’s OSM communities, as evident at the 2022 State of the Mapa Asia and OSM Hackfest, where they co-organized both the international conference and hackathon event.
We want to thank the YouthMappers network for the opportunities provided to me and the fellows from different parts of the world!
For more information about the summit, follow YouthMappers on Twitter!