2013 Laureate

Entrepreneurial Vision (co-winner)

Jack Dangermond
Environmental Systems Research Institute

Jack Dangermond is an American business executive and environmental scientist. In 1969, he and his wife Laura founded the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), a privately held Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software company.

A landscape architect by training, Dangermond founded ESRI with the vision that a mapping and analysis framework could provide a deeper understanding of our world and help us design a better future. He is dedicated to creating innovative GIS technology that enables people to make insightful decisions and improve the quality of life everywhere. His commitment is to ensure that research, education, and nonprofit organizations working in the fields of conservation and development have access to the best geo-spatial, analytical and visualization technology. ESRI has donated hundreds of millions of dollars in technology and expertise to these institutions. Dangermond and ESRI have transformed the world by developing technology that allows decision makers to manage our planet with increased understanding of the relationship between socio-economic, environmental, and economic information – for actionable change.

Headquartered in Redlands, California, ESRI company has an installed base of more than one million users in more than 350,000 organizations, including most US federal agencies and national mapping agencies, all 50 US state health departments, transportation agencies, forestry companies, utilities, state and local government, schools and universities, NGOs, and commercial business. Sources estimate that about 70 per cent of the current GIS users make use of ESRI products.

The company hosts an annual International User's Conference, which was first held on the Redlands campus in 1981 with 16 attendees. An estimated 15,000 users from 131 countries attended in 2012. In 1989, the ESRI Conservation Program was started to help change the way non-profit organizations carried out nature conservation and social change missions. This program provides GIS software, data, and training, as well as helping to coordinate multi-organizational efforts. 

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Janez Potocnik, Slovenia
Champion of the Earth 2013 - Policy Leadership

Unless we change the way we produce and consume we will face a crisis in our natural resources. It is crucial that we make the necessary changes now rather than when we hit environmental tipping points.

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