The stage is set, and the judges are ready! Take a look at our global cohort of experts, industry leaders, and visionaries – handpicked to evaluate the 2024 Geospatial Innovation Awards. Stay tuned for more judges to be announced.

Cities for the Future

Jarek Marciniak

Director of Geospatial Services at Spyrosoft

Jarek brings his wealth of experience in the industry directly to the Cities for the Future category. With a background in Geoinformatics and extensive expertise in the geospatial service industry, he champions trust, professionalism, and partnership – values crucial for judging impactful urban innovations.

Kathy Nothstine

Head of Future Cities at Challenge Works

Kathy empowers cities to build their tomorrow. From sustainable mobility to drone integration, her expertise spans projects like the $9 million Sustainable Cities Challenge and the multi-sector Flying High initiative. With 15+ years in urban planning, Kathy brings a passion for communities and a keen eye for transformative innovation.

Joanna Averley

Chief Planner at MHCLG

Joanna brings 30 years of town planning experience across government, major projects, and local authorities. Her expertise spans planning research, policy formulation, practice, and project execution. She has been involved in significant regeneration and masterplanning endeavours, from Manchester City Centre to the London Olympics. 

Fayez Al Sayil

Director at the MDA Geographic Information Center

Fayez Al Sayil, a geospatial technology and urban development leader, directs the Geographic Information Center at Madinah Region Development Authority. With a Master’s in Geo-information technology, and over 14 years experience in the Geospatial field, he’s been instrumental in advancing Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 through his leadership in creating the award-winning Manara Urban Platform.

Alex Wrottesley

Managing Director at Landmark Geodata

Alex leads Landmark Geodata, a top UK land data provider. He develops growth strategies for their digital platforms and creates new geospatial data solutions for customers. Alex has a rich background in geospatial technology, having founded Near Global, an immersive real-world data visualization company and previously leading Geovation prior to joining Landmark.

More category judges coming soon…

Nature and Environment

Lara Prades

Head of Research Assessment & Monitoring at UNFWP

Lara is a seasoned Senior Geospatial Analyst, at the helm of the Research, Analysis, and Monitoring Unit within WFP Pakistan. She had previously worked at the Climate and Earth Observation Unit, where she served as the Project Coordinator for PRISM and AIMS.

Her expertise lies in geospatial analysis tailored for humanitarian applications and risk-informed programming. Holding a PhD in Geomatics from ITHACA, her academic background and practical experience make her an ideal judge for the Nature and Environment category.

Sarah Hodgetts

Director of the UK Geospatial Commission

Sarah Hodgetts, Director of the Geospatial Commission, brings extensive experience in science, environment, and economic policy. Previously, she led policy initiatives like establishing ARIA and developing the £14.8bn Pioneer R&D programme.

Her 23-year career spans across economic departments, Treasury and No 10., including leading roles in delivering the Industrial Strategy and managing the apprenticeship levy. Sarah’s qualifications in industrial economics and her background in management accounting further strengthen her expertise as a judge. 

Jarkko T. Koskinen

Deputy Director General of National Land Survey of Finland, and Director of Finnish Geospatial Research Institute

Jarkko T. Koskinen is Deputy Director General of National Land Survey of Finland and Director of Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) and Chairman of ESA’s Programme Board on Earth Observation (PB-EO).  He is a member of Finnish Academy of Science and Letters and he has served as national delegate to Eumetsat, Copernicus committee (EU) and Group on Earth Observation (GEO).  Prof. Koskinen has acted as reviewer of several international journals and conferences. He has authored and co-authored over 100 scientific papers. 

Contribution to Diversity

Valrie Grant

Founder & Chairwoman at GeoTechVision

Valrie is an esteemed entrepreneur and Geospatial Strategy consultant who champions diversity in the geospatial innovation sector. Beyond her executive role at GeoTechVision, she hosts the “Mapping the Conversations” Podcast, advocates for technology and entrepreneurship, and mentors emerging women entrepreneurs and youths.

Her impact extends globally, as she chairs the UN-GGIM: Americas Private Sector Network and serves as vice-chair of the UN-GGIM PSN at the global level. Her extensive contributions exemplify her commitment to breaking barriers, fostering inclusion, and empowering underrepresented voices.

Dr. Gobe Hobona

Director of Product Management for Standards at the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)

Dr. Gobe Hobona is the Director of Product Management for Standards at the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). In this role, he provides oversight of evolution and harmonization of OGC Application Programming Interface (API) Standards. He identifies opportunities for investment in working group participation and innovation initiatives to help advance OGC API Standards. He also serves as Chair of the OGC Naming Authority and Co-Chair of the OGC Architecture Domain Working Group. He holds a PhD in Geomatics from Newcastle University. He is a professional member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).

More Category Judges coming soon…

Protection of Life

Olivia Powell

Head of Geography and Geospatial at ONS

Oliva is a geospatial expert with 20+ years of experience. Leading the ONS’s geospatial division, she’s shaped national infrastructure and championed data for public good. Her passion, ignited at La Sorbonne University, has led her through diverse roles in environments like law enforcement and central government. A champion for inclusivity, she co-founded Women+ in Geospatial, a global network of 5,000 women. Olivia’s expertise, passion, and commitment to inclusivity make her an invaluable judge, ensuring impactful solutions for the Protection of Life category are recognised.

Dr. Laura Gilbert

Director of Data Science at 10DS

Dr. Laura Gilbert, a Particle Physics doctorate, leads the 10DS data science and analytics team at Downing Street. She’s also the Incubator for Artificial Intelligence (i.AI) director and joint Chief Analyst for the Cabinet Office. Her teams drive policy support, deliver expert data and AI solutions, and champion evidence-based decision making. Dr. Gilbert spearheads the Evidence House program, fostering innovation and digitisation in central government. She’s a Visiting Professor at LSE and holds fellowships with the Institute of Physics and Institute of Analytics.

Kate Chapman

Chief Technology Officer at Open Supply Hub

Kate Chapman, a technologist, geographer, and farmer, champions the transformative potential of digital commons. As the Chief Technology Officer at Open Supply Hub, she spearheads technical strategy and execution, creating tools for accurate and actionable supply chain information in an open context. Kate also leads the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), advocating for open mapping to enhance community resilience. Her expertise lies in socio-technical systems that bridge human-computer interactions, providing better decision-making information.

Nadine Alameh

CEO of the Open Geospatial Consortium

Nadine is the CEO of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) – a global not-for-profit membership organization hosting the largest collective-problem solving community of experts making geospatial/location information Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) via open standards, innovations, and partnerships. 

Dr. Alameh is an appointed member of the U.S. National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) and sits on the board of the UN  a Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) Private Sector Network. Nadine was awarded the 2022 Geospatial World Diversity Champion award and the 2019 Geomatics Canada Diversity Leadership Award. 

Nadine has a Ph.D. and 2 M.S. degrees from MIT in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). 

Scottish Geospatial Technology

Ashley Stewart

Senior Consultant at Optimat (Delivery lead for Location Data Scotland)

Ashley co-ordinates and manages Location Data Scotland, on behalf of Scottish Government, to transform services and create new products using geospatial technologies and/or location data in Scotland.

She specialises in data, digital and emerging technologies. She is experienced in techno-market/demand analysis, technology roadmap development, strategy and commercialisation support to private and public sector organisations.

She has a BA (hons) Marketing, an MSc IT with Web Development and a PhD in Technology Enhanced Learning and Communities of Practice.

More Category Judges coming soon…