Technology and Commitment for the World We Want

Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc., was founded in 1969 by Jack and Laura Dangermond as a company that would build technology to preserve the environment by enabling more informed and holistic decision-making. Now known as Esri, the company has pioneered the application of the geographic approach to not only improve decisions but also streamline processes and enhance communication, thus helping public and private organizations save time and money.

Esri’s original commitment to improving and preserving life on Earth remains. That commitment was reflected in the 2023 Esri User Conference theme, GIS—Creating the World You Want to See. The conference’s Plenary Session showcased the work of 14 organizations that are using GIS to create a world that is more secure, prosperous, equitable, and sustainable. Several of those organizations are highlighted.

Lockheed Martin uses GIS to monitor and respond to the hundreds of thousands of events each year that may threaten the company’s employees and assets.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), which provides electric and gas services to 16 million people, has expanded its use of GIS across the organization and improved the efficiency of its operations, access to information, and the productivity and safety of its employees.

Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds was honored with a Making a Difference Award for her leadership in applying GIS to address the systemic inequalities that affect Black communities in California.

GIS lets Electrify America use a holistic approach to the siting of its ultrafast electric vehicle (EV) chargers. This approach considers customer needs, partner collaboration, financial realities, and environmental factors.

In concluding his discussion of the conference theme during the Plenary Session, Esri president Jack Dangermond stressed that creating the world we want to see will require more than technology. It will require the unique vision and talents of the GIS community.

About the author

Monica Pratt

Monica Pratt is the founding and current editor of ArcUser magazine, the executive editor of ArcNews magazine, the editor of Esri Globe and head of the Publications team at Esri. She has been writing on technology topics, specializing in GIS, for more than 25 years. Before joining Esri in 1997, she worked for newspapers and in the financial industry.