The inaugural IGC meeting was hosted by Esri, 23–25 February 2019 in Redlands, CA, USA

IGC 2019 Inaugural meeting, 23-25 February 2019

IGC 2019 was the biggest assembly of Geodesign-focused academic designers to date, representing nearly 100 participant universities and other organizations. The schedule of the first IGC conference on 23-25 February 2019, was linked with the 10th Geodesign Summit, 26-28 February 2019, generously hosted by Jack Dangermond and Esri at their Redlands, California, headquarters.


Our goal was to have at least one person from each participating school’s active geodesign team at this first IGC meeting.  60 organizations submitted project displays, 40 of those were able to send participants to Redlands.  Participants presented their projects during the Sunday and Monday work sessions interspersed by four comparative discussion groups, organized and grouped by similarity-themes such as climate zone, and led and summarized by core and adviser participants.

Key IGC 2019 activities

On Sunday 24 February and Monday 25 February, school representatives presented their projects in the Esri main auditorium, half each day.  Each team had 8 minutes for a pre-set powerpoint presentation. To help comparison these were shown in groups organized approximately by study area distance from the equator--"cold" to "hot" and within each group ordered from largest to smallest (see below for detailed schedule).  Each IGC participant voted to select 4 presentations for showing at the Monday 5:00pm pre-Geodesign Summit session.


Also on Sunday and Monday, there were four groups of three simultaneous comparative research discussions, two each day. The overarching question was: What are the patterns of similarity and difference among how the participating teams responded? Our goal was to inform and shape IGC to ensure its successful future.


The outline schedule for the IGC event was as follows:​

IGC_Geodesign2019CollAgenda_2-19 vs4.jpg

Order, presenters and titles of presentations

All materials are available for download on the IGC 2019 Conference Presentations page

Emerging comparative research themes


Emerging research themes

There are several themes of comparative research which can be derived from this first experiment by IGC and which were discussed to assess interest and build research teams:


Project definition phase:

  1. How were systems chosen and defined, what constraints and opportunities are created by those choices?

  2. How were evaluation and impacts assessments defined across many partners?

  3. How were global and local design scenarios identified?



  1. What are the patterns of similarity and difference between how participants create and use models?  How do those patterns affect decision-making?

  2. What are the patterns of similarity and difference between how participants respond to scenarios?  How are those patterns affected by local governance, global economics?

  3. What have we learned about design?

    1. Procedural aspects, what can we learn about how geodesigners think?

    2. Regional normative differences, what do geodesigners believe?


We will publish descriptions of IGC outcomes as they come available.


Meanwhile, refer to IGC 2019 Conference Presentations for project powerpoints presented during the meeting, and to IGC 2019 Meeting Photographs for a visual record of the gathering.

Core organizing committee for IGC 2019:

Carl Steinitz, Harvard University Graduate School of Design and CASA, University College London. 

Brian Orland, College of Environment+Design, University of Georgia. 

Thomas Fisher, College of Design, University of Minnesota.

Ryan Perkl, Esri Professional Services Division. 

Michael Gould, Esri Higher Education Director.

Maggie Dunlap, IGC data coordinator.