Esri and UN launch storytelling competition to spread awareness of sustainable development
Esri, a global leader in location intelligence, and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have launched the 2020 ArcGIS StoryMaps Competition for the Sustainable Development Goals.
The SDSN is a leading nongovernmental organization (NGO) working to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise for sustainable development. According to the organization’s president, economist Jeffrey Sachs, “Today’s leaders in sustainable development require skills in the rapidly expanding range of geospatial data and GIS tools, as well as the ability to convey geographic information in stories and maps that advance the public understanding.”
Esri’s ArcGIS StoryMaps is one such tool that enables users to integrate maps, data, and other multimedia content with text to tell stories about the world’s greatest challenges and highlight or inspire solutions. Esri and SDSN are inviting both professionals and students to build and submit stories to the 2020 ArcGIS StoryMaps Competition through November 25, 2020. Story submissions can be created with either the new ArcGIS StoryMaps or the classic Esri Story Maps templates and must address one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Maps reveal patterns and trends by placing them in a geographic context, and that helps us to better understand the world,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “Our goal with this competition is to inspire hundreds of professionals and students to combine insightful maps with rich multimedia to tell stories that enable us to envision a sustainable, just, and peaceful future.”
In 2015, 193 world leaders agreed to an ambitious set of 17 SDGs to be met by 2030. These goals function as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, addressing issues such as poverty, hunger, gender equality, and climate change.
For the competition, Esri’s ArcGIS StoryMaps team will select 20 finalists from all qualified submissions—10 finalists from the professional track and 10 finalists from the student track. Guest judges will select first-, second-, and third-place winners in each track. The four guest judges include Jeffrey Sachs, president, SDSN; Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, SDG advocate and environmental activist; Alex Tait, The Geographer at the National Geographic Society; and Dawn Wright, chief scientist, Esri.
Winners will be announced in February 2021. Each winner will be featured on SDSN’s SDGs Today: The Global Hub for Real-Time SDG Data, a new open access data portal that features timely data (updated regularly, at least once every year) on sustainable development measures.