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Solutions to World's Migration Challenges the Focus of Virtual Technology and Design Professor's United Nations Address

October 22, 2018

In an effort to address the world's growing migration challenges — spawned in some cases by climate change and environmental degradation, John Anderson, program head and associate professor of Virtual Technology and Design in the College of Art and Architecture, is speaking on Oct. 23 at the United Nations 2018 World Data Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The focus of this year's forum is innovative data solutions, which can be used by policymakers and citizens, to achieve sustainable development of things like migration, health and the environment. According to the United Nations World Data Forum website, of primary concern is improving migration data by enhanced tracking of the "over 258 million migrants around the world to help ensure safe and orderly movements of people and the services they need."

The forum is in its second year and aims to increase international collaboration among nearly 2,000 leaders in the data field — from national statistical offices like the World Bank's Development Data Group, to academics, to non-governmental organizations — from over 100 countries.

Anderson specializes in research on the development of visualization tools and virtual environments that allow people to manipulate policies and environmental factors under a variety of social and ecological scenarios. Users can then examine how certain actions might affect the impending state of their communities so they can make decisions for the benefit of future generations.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at