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The 1st Youth Innovation Forum on Digital Earth Concluded Successfully, Ushering in a New Chapter for ISDE Young Scientist Innovation Network

From August 21st to 23rd, 2023, the 1st Youth Innovation Forum on Digital Earth was successfully held in Beijing, China. Under the auspices of International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals, and Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, it was co-organized by the ISDE Young Scientist Innovation Network and Nanjing Normal University. The theme of the Forum is “Digital Earth in Support of Global Sustainable Development”. More than 160 participants from 13 countries including Algeria, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru, and Venezuela attended the Forum, fully demonstrating their research findings, comparing notes, and fostering lasting friendships in such an impressive assembly of brilliant young scientists.


The opening ceremony

The opening ceremony was held on the morning of August 22nd. Dr. Alessandro Annoni, the President of ISDE first delivered the video opening remarks to extend his congratulations on the commencement of the Forum and expectations for the young scientists to make more advancements in the field of Digital Earth. Prof. Min Chen, Chair of ISDE Young Scientist Innovation Network, and Prof. Fang Chen, Deputy Director General of the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals, made welcome addresses subsequently. The opening ceremony was moderated by Dr. Zhen Liu, the Executive Director of ISDE.


ISDE President Alessandro Annoni delivered video opening remarks


ISDE-YSIN Chair Min Chen made a welcome address


CBAS Deputy Director General Fang Chen made a welcome address

Following the opening ceremony, the plenary session was graced by Prof. Huadong Guo, Honorary President of ISDE, with an invited keynote speech on “Digital Earth in Support of Sustainable Development Goals”. He first elaborated on the current challenges on the utilization of big earth data to achieve the sustainable development goals, including lack of data, insufficient research on indicator systems and uneven development in regional areas. In addition, he introduced the status of the process of realizing some of the SDGs, such as SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG13 (Climate Action), SDG14 (Underwater Organisms) and SDG15 (Terrestrial Organisms). Finally, Prof. Huadong Guo gave a detailed account of the design parameters, operation and follow-up plans of the SDGSAT-1, which was launched to assist countries in their sustainable development research and decision-making, illuminating the path for the sustainable development supported by the big earth data.


ISDE Honorary President Huadong Guo delivered a keynote speech 

Afterwards, six keynote speeches were presented. Moderated by ISDE-YSIN Chair Prof. Min Chen, the first two speeches were “Unmanned Aerial Systems as Tools for Mapping Water Resources” given by Dr. László Bertalan from the University of Debrecen, and “Mathematical Modelling Efforts for Understanding Pathogen Evolution and Transmission” given by Dr. Huaiyu Tian from Beijing Normal University. Moderated by Dr. Jian Lin, Secretary General of ISDE-YSIN, the remaining four keynotes were as follows: “Research with Contribution to Science: Examples of Earth Observation Data Cubes” given by Dr. Martin Sudmanns from the University of Salzburg, “Geospatial Big Data in Support of Sustainable Urban Environment” by Dr. Bin Chen from the University of Hong Kong, “Mapping Super Methane Point Emissions from Chinese Hyperspectral Satellites” by Dr. Fei Li (on behalf of Prof. Yongguang Zhang) from Nanjing University, and “A Threefold Approach to Rescue SDGs from Failing” given online by Dr. Prajal Pradhan from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Prof. Wei Yang from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, CAS concluded the plenary session with an introduction to The Innovation Geoscience.


Dr. László Bertalan made a keynote

Dr. Huaiyu Tian made a keynote


Dr. Martin Sudmanns made a keynote

Dr. Bin Chen made a keynote

Dr. Fei Li made a keynote


Dr. Prajal Pradhan made a keynote

Prof. Wei Yang introduced The Innovation Geoscience

In the whole, 94 abstracts and 11 full papers were submitted to the Forum, and 90 oral presentations were successfully made in 13 parallel sessions. The parallel session topics covered “Study on the Interaction among Sustainable Development Goals”, “Big Earth Data in Promote of Marine and Coastal Sustainable Development (SDG 14)”, “Spatial Technologies Facilitate the Conservation and Sustainable Development of Natural and Cultural Heritage (SDG11 & SDG15)”, “Intelligent Monitoring and Evaluation of Agricultural Land Systems”, “Regional Sustainable Development and Sustainability Transitions”, “Regional Sustainable Development and Strategy Analysis”, “Geospatial Big Data Analytics and AI for Public Health”, “Big Earth Data in Support of Sustainable Urban Development”, “Opportunities and challenges in achieving integrated health research through Earth's big data”, “Key technologies and paths for achieving the global SDG7 economically applicable clean energy goal”, “Research on New Methods for Remote Sensing Monitoring of Surface Water”, and “Climate Change and Environmental Health”.

To recognize and reward outstanding young scientists in the Digital Earth research field who take proactive and creative approaches in proposing influential concepts and innovative technologies with societal and environmental impacts, the ISDE Young Scientist Award 2023 was conferred by the Forum upon two young scholars in recognition of their remarkable contributions and achievements. The award winners are Dr. Bin Chen, Assistant Professor of the University of Hong Kong, China, and Dr. Athos Agapiou, Assistant Professor of Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus.


Dr. Bin Chen was granted the ISDE Young Scientist Award 2023


Dr. Athos Agapiou delivered a speech for the ISDE Young Scientist Award 2023

The Forum set up the Excellent Paper Award 2023 to acknowledge and honor authors whose full papers submitted to the Fourm were evaluated with high quality and to encourage them to make more outstanding contributions in future scientific research. On the afternoon of August 22nd, a parallel session specifically for the selection of Excellent Paper Award winners was organized. Four young scientists, namely Ya Tian from Jiangxi Normal University, Yaohui Liu from Shandong Jianzhu University, Chao Fu from Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, and Shenglei Wang from Aerospace Information Research Institute, CAS distinguished themselves and won the award with their remarkable papers entitled “Towards One Health: finding potential synergies and trade-offs in global One Health”, “Post-earthquake recovery and its driving forces of ecological environment quality using remote sensing and GIScience, a case study of 2015 Ms8.1 Nepal earthquake”, “Women's intra-household decision-making and household dietary diversity in environmentally and economically vulnerable areas of Asia: The role of crop diversity”, and “Changes of lake clarity in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau from 1986 to 2021 observed by Landsat series satellite data with an improved QAARGB model”, respectively. The award is intended to inspire and support the future academic pursuits of aspiring young scientists.


The Excellent Paper Award 2023 winners

On the closing ceremony on the afternoon of August 23rd, Dr. Jian Lin, the Secretary General of ISDE-YSIN made an overview of the accomplishments of the two-day Forum. Prof. Changlin Wang, the Secretary General of ISDE, conferred the ISDE Youth Scientist Award 2023 on the Award winners, and Dr. Liu Zhen, the Executive Director of ISDE granted the Excellent Paper Award 2023 to the Award winners. Then it was announced that the 2nd Youth Innovation Forum on Digital Earth would be held in Hong Kong, China in 2024. On behalf of the co-organizers of the 2nd Forum, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Young Scientist Association, Prof. Peifeng Ma from the Chinese University of Hong Kong welcomed all participants to attend the next Forum in Hong Kong, and took over the Forum Flag.


The Forum closing ceremony


The Forum flag handover ceremony


The Forum group photo

The International Society for Digital Earth - Young Scientist Innovation Network (ISDE-YSIN) was launched on May 26, 2023 to support the growing and development of young scientists in the field of Digital Earth and build an open, equal, innovative, and shared growing environment. It aims to empower young scientists in the field of Digital Earth, promote the development of crucial concepts and innovative technologies of Digital Earth, and contribute to the global sustainable development by using digital technologies.

Any person wishing to join the ISDE-YSIN, please visit the ISDE website http://www.digitalearth-isde.org/list-105-1.html, fill out the application form as instructed and send it together with a CV to the ISDE-YSIN Secretariat (ISDE_YSIN@163.com), as per the requirements provided.