Last week, Milan welcomed thousands of scientists, educators, industry experts and students to the city for the triennial “Living Planet Symposium” event, held at the MiCo – Milano Congressi exhibition space.

On 13-17 May, over 4000 people passed through its doors to hear all about the latest in Earth observation research and technology. The Symposium – the largest Earth observation conference in the world – was organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) with support from the Italian Space Agency.

The purpose of the Symposium was to showcase the latest in European space activity and the initiatives in place to protect our planet, focusing on how Earth observation contributes to science and society and, most importantly, examines our changing climate.

The week-long event kicked off on Monday morning with a series of presentations from a panel of expert speakers that included Pierfrancesco Maran (Councillor for Urban Planning, Parks & Agriculture in Milan), Alain Ratier (EUMETSAT Director-General) and Jan Wörner (ESA Director-General). See our Twitter account for more of the speakers.

Alain Ratier, EUMETSAT Director-General talks at the opening ceremony

“We want to have an impact on forecasts, and, using our data records, understand more about our changing climate.”

The key topics covered at the event included:

    • Promoting technological innovation
    • Inspiring and educating the young scientists of the future
    • Data access and the importance of sharing data
    • Cooperation between space agencies and organisations worldwide to work together
    • Future Earth observation missions

Representatives from EUMETSAT were on-site all week either taking questions at our booth or talking to the crowds about our next-generation geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites, specifically, the critical data they will provide. Together with ESA, we will be launching one next-generation satellite per year between 2021-2025, the first of which is due to be launched in 2021.

Jörg Schulz (Climate Service & Product Manager at EUMETSAT) is discussing the use of our current/future meteorological satellite data in measuring climate from space

The Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) and EUMETSAT Polar System-Second Generation (EPS-SG) systems will be among the most complex and innovative meteorological satellite systems ever built. More information on our future satellite missions can be found here.

If all the fascinating presentations weren’t enough, there were also many poster sessions to go and check out (an opportunity for attendees to ask questions to the respective presenter), a gallery featuring some ‘climate street art’ (by Shane Sutton, who actually live-painted an amazing piece throughout the week, see below) and also a ‘Night at the Museum’ – an inauguration of a new, permanent wing featuring ESA’s ‘Fragility and Beauty’ exhibit at the Leonardo Da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan.

The MiCo’s large, open space was the ideal location for the event. Spread out over three floors, there was always something to see or do and the perfect place for EUMETSAT to talk about our operations, especially how we deliver crucial satellite data to help with global problems, such as climate change.

We can’t wait for the next event! We had a great time getting to know all of the visitors to our booth to discuss our future programmes and work with partners, such as Copernicus. If you were there and still have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to write in the comments section!

 

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Posted by Natalie Lunt

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