Jack Dangermond: Unlocking ArcGIS & The Science of Where [Ep. 129]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.

Jack Dangermond, President of Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), is recognized as a pioneer in spatial analysis methods and one of the founding fathers of GIS technology. Considered to be one of the most influential people in GIS, Jack combined an early interest in computers with studies in environmental science at California Polytechnic College, urban planning at the University of Minnesota and landscape architecture at Harvard University. In 1969, he and his wife founded ESRI in his hometown of Redlands, California. Jack is an outspoken proponent of GIS as one of our most promising decision-making tools for urban, regional, environmental, and global problems.

ESRI has the largest GIS software install base in the world with more than one million users in more than 130,000 organizations representing business, government, NGOs, and academia. Jack fostered the growth of ESRI from a small research group to an organization of 2,700 employees, known internationally for GIS software development, training and services. 

Beyond his commercial success, Jack’s passion for GIS and for its application to solving problems – particularly for the causes of the environment and the less empowered in society, and his generosity concerning those issues – is well known throughout the industry.


Some highlights from Kevin Bayuk’s conversation with Jack Dangermond include:

  • The evolution of ESRI from serving a handful of users to serving millions across sectors

  • The degree to which ESRI reinvests into research & development driven directly by user feedback

  • Emerging open source and civic applications of ESRI’s arcGIS technology

  • Jack’s relationship with conservation and an example of ESRI’s work with The Nature Conservancy

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.


Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.


Kevin Bayuk, Co-founder and Partner at LIFT Economy, works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets next economy organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown and a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute.  You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinbayuk or email him kevin@lifteconomy.com.