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‘Geography really matters’ – behind this year’s Conference theme

This years’ Conference theme, ‘Geography really matters’ seeks to emphasise what many of us as geographers already know; the importance of geography to the way we live.

Each year’s Conference theme is set by the GA President. Current GA President, Gill Miller, had this to say about her choice of theme:

“As a community of geographers we know that geography matters. However, many people don’t realise how central geography is to the way we live.

There are so many ways in which geography is fundamental to our lives, from physical landscapes, natural disasters, the characteristics of where we live, the energy we use, services we enjoy, the travel we undertake and the networks in which we engage.

Geography is a cornerstone in the continuing education of everyone, both young and old, helping to make us more effective local and global citizens.”

GA Chief Executive, Alan Kinder, also shared his views on the meaning behind the Conference theme:

“The GA’s Manifesto for geography describes geography as one of humanity’s big ideas and a core component of a worthwhile education for every young person. It seems to me that there has never been a more important time to teach geography. We need to nourish young peoples’ curiosity and fascination about the world’s countries, cultures and environments.

We need to help them understand the world they are growing up in. We also need to prepare them to live in a future world, as knowledgeable and responsible adults. Geography really matters because it can achieve all these things, by changing our understanding of ourselves, our communities and our relationship with the world in which we live.”

More details about this year’s choice of Conference theme, including a special challenge set by the GA’s president, can be found here.