Thursday, 8 August 2013

Getting involved with the AGI, why and how

As alluded to in my previous post part of our membership initiative is to encourage greater involvement of our members in the AGI. We are after all, a membership organisation and the participation of our members is key to the success of the AGI. In terms of membership it is definitely the case of the more you put in the more you get out with a whole range of opportunities and benefits for active members.

Getting Involved (in making crowns...)
There are a range of different ways for members to get involved with the AGI from volunteering at AGI events or standing for executive positions on special interest or regional groups or standing for the AGI council itself. This is alongside participating in the working groups we run to ensure the smooth running of different aspects of the AGI such as marketing or the GeoCommunity conference.

There are many reasons to get more involved with the AGI; networking, becoming a more active part of the UK geographic information community, having a voice in the industry and alternative professional development.

Volunteering to be a part of an AGI group or to help at an AGI event provides unique opportunities to network with like minded people in the UK GI community. As well as the social and altruistic benefits of this kind of networking it also provides members the opportunity to form business relationships and share expertise and best practice.

Becoming involved in the regional or special interest groups is an excellent way to increase your voice within the UK GI industry especially if you run for executive positions within these groups. The various AGI groups have helped to inform policy and are often asked to participate in standards and other public consultations. As a member of these groups you will have a much greater weight than as an individual and as an active member you have the chance to shape the groups policy and priorities.

Working as part of an AGI group also offers the chance for alternative professional development outside of your normal career. For example if you are a GIS analyst in a non management role volunteering to help organise the GeoCommunity conference could leave you with additional experience that you would no encounter in your normal role. This is an excellent opportunity to develop your skills and build your CV, putting you in a strong position in the job market.

I have realised recently that there is some confusion as to how to go about getting involved with the AGI so I thought I would clear this up. This page contains a list of all the different AGI groups with links through to the group pages which contain contact details of the group chairs. One option is to email the chairs directly expressing your interest in joining the group.

Alternatively members can email me ( with details of where you might be interested in getting involved and I will point you in the right direction!

And Finally:
I completely recommend that our members get involved as much as possible; you will see the most value from your membership by being more than just a passive part of the AGI. As an organisation we exist to support our members, their concerns and their hopes for the GI industry and it is only through the continued support of our members that we are able to do this.




  1. Hi Chris,

    I think this leaves off the simplest ways to get involved. Yes we need more people to join an occaisional phone call for example, but for those who dont have time for this, it can be as simple as a tweet or a comment. Just because you cant guve up regular time, doesnt mean your opinions dont count. This is why we are using twitter and forums like this so much more. We know that particularly in local government with 5 months to inspire that time is practically non existent. I can only do as much as I do as I am part time!

  2. Hi Kristin,

    Thanks for the feedback (sorry about the slow reply I've been on holiday). This is an excellent point and something I will be addressing in today's post.