The aim of the organisers, and the participants, scientists, students and local body and national body politicians, is to glean what knowledge we can,
using space sensors as well as terrestrial and marine digital information gathering to further our knowledge base of the challenges that surround us
here on earth.
There were top class world scientists some mentioned below.
Professor Guo Huadong Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China who's on the International Steering Committee on International
Symposium of Digital Earth (ISDE).
COMMENT: As I have been to China many times I was able to strike up a conversation with the professor, and I found him a very good hearted man. The
fact that I could speak a few words of Chinese tickled him, and he laughed with me at my attempts to converse.
Dr Amory Lovins (interactive video link)
Co-CEO Rocky Mountain Institute, USA The Wall Street Journal named Dr. Amory Lovins one of 28 people world-wide "most likely to change the course
of business in the '90s". Newsweek called him "one of the Western world's most influential energy thinkers".
COMMENT: In have seen Amory the three times that he has been to NZ , I have a keen interest in where he is focussing. The worlds 'frugal elegance"
were used by him to set the stage to combat our throw-away society. I felt these were a wise combination of words.
Dr Manfred Ehlers
Director of the Research Center for Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing, Germany specialising in geoinformatics, GIS, digital image processing, environmental
monitoring and information systems.
COMMENT: This guy is very young at heart and had a good sense of humour. Look to Germany to learn a balance of our world news. Quite possibly more
neutral than the BBC.
Professor Tetsuya Sato Prof. Sato is Director-General of the Earth Simulator and is an Emeritus of Theory and Computer Simulation Center, National
Institute for Fusion Science. COMMENT: Sadly I missed him, but his simulations were superb and out of this world.
Dr. Tim Foresman is a pre-eminent scientist who was a leading expert with NASA, where he led the Digital Earth program as national manager. He continues
to help lead this program's legacy, as founding member of the International Society of Digital Earth.
COMMENT: I could hear Tim's heart as he talked with the students. I felt an affinity with him, just like a great majority of the audience. He has
what it takes to bring everyone on board and continuously works towards the positive outcome we truly desire.
Joseph Firmage CEO ManyOne. Joe was once a big player on the web who has contributed articles and essays to many major publications, and
regularly speaks at conferences on the future of science, technology, business and society.
COMMENT: Joe along with Tim Foresman can offer NZ a huge boost in learning, and building up a knowledge and wisdom economy. This man has much to offer.
James Howard Kunstler Author of The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the
Twenty-first Century (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005)
COMMENT: Unfortunately I could not find James to talk to him. His premise is that we are too late to bring about positive change, and is essentially
saying that humanity must gear down for the crisis that is about to come, and that is ... we are going to run short of oil. Strange, because if we
had plenty of oil in his words, there would be no crisis, which is exactly the opposite to what James Lovelock the father of Gaia theory is saying.
The more oil we burn, the faster runaway greenhouse affect and climate change will kick in. It is obvious that Kunstler and Lovelock are diametrically
apposed ... with out any dialogue between.
However with sustainability the catch cry, the NZ government had the Prime Minister Helen Clark open the conference, with David Cunliffe the Minister
for Communications spend a lot of time talking with the speakers as well as have Trevor Mallard, Minister for Technology & Industry speak, and
the conference was closed by Judith Tizzard, the Minister for Auckland. In her final statement she mentioned the quintuple bottom line, adding culture
and spirituality to the mix of how business should be done. This was an eye opener, and I heard a number of delegates murmur approval.
Something very positive and optimistic happened at that conference and as a result Tim and Joe affirmed that 100 NZ students will be going up
to the USA for the next conference, to crank them along into saving the earth.
More at a later date.
Post Script: With the Labour Party Clark Government being ousted after 3 terms, the new National Party Government have a totally different
agenda, based on 'Neo Liberal exploit the situation' that is not bearing well for the general populace of our country or our planet.
Sadly this too has disappeared from the vernacular of NZ.
Judith Tizzard, the Minister for Auckland, in her final statement mentioned the quintuple bottom line, adding culture and spirituality to the mix of how business should be done. This was an eye opener, and I heard a number of delegates murmur approval.