Geography 2050, The Changing Map of Risk, Hazards, and Finance

Athena’s Lighting Talk: The Power of Predictive Modeling in Wildfire Prevention

Athena Intelligence
3 min readJan 11, 2024

SACRAMENTO, CA — November 18, 2023 — Athena Intelligence, a pioneering data vendor headquartered in Sacramento, proudly announced its participation and presentation at the 9th annual Geography 2050 conference hosted by the American Geographical Society (AGS). The conference, a strategic dialog on the evolving trends that will reshape the geography of our planet in the coming decades, provided a platform for Athena Intelligence to showcase its groundbreaking geospatial algorithm, Voice of the Acre®, focused on wildfire risk.

AGS has uploaded 6-minute video, The Power of Predictive Modeling in Wildfire Prevention, to YouTube: ‍

A video presentation from Mr. David Sypnieski, CEO and Founder of Athena Intelligence, released in conjunction with the American Geographical Society’s 2023 Fall Symposium, Geography 2050: The Changing Map of Risk, Hazards, & Finance.

Geography 2050, an initiative by AGS, brings together professionals from industry, government, academia, and the public to collectively explore the future and discuss how geography, geographic thinking, and geospatial data and technologies can enable proactive solutions to major trends. This year’s symposium, themed “The Changing Map of Risk, Hazards, and Finance,” was particularly relevant to Athena’s expertise in geospatial intelligence and innovation.

Athena Intelligence’s Voice of the Acre® algorithm garnered recognition for its prefire, conditional, geospatial capabilities. The company’s invitation to present a lightning talk on wildfire risk emphasized the critical role of geospatial insights and innovation in projecting the magnitude, probability, and spatial distribution of future risks. Wildfires, increasingly recognized as a major societal and economic risk, demand advanced geospatial algorithms due to the limitations of historical methods in classifying and projecting wildfire risk.

David Sypnieski, founder of Athena Intelligence, expressed enthusiasm about the recognition of Voice of the Acre® at Geography 2050. “Athena provides risk profiles, with probabilities for pricing and reserving to insurance companies, and maps of terrain risk to electrical utilities for operational support,” Sypnieski stated.

The conference featured prominent figures from academia, government, and the insurance sector, offering insights into the escalating risks posed by climate change and presenting geospatial solutions. Dr. Richard Hewston, Director of Climate and Resilience at Verisk, highlighted the role of geospatial data in managing interconnected climate and ESG risks — a field closely related to Athena Intelligence’s roots as an AgTech startup.

With over 15 years of experience at the intersection of geospatial information, agriculture, and business decision-making, David Sypnieski’s expertise has evolved to address the critical issue of wildfires, from the perspective of wildfires as harvest events which only occur where the fuel exists. Athena Intelligence’s innovative approach analyzes wildfires and terrain from a new perspective, providing actionable insights into geospatial conditions that create future wildfire risks.

Geography 2050 also focused on the evolving role of insurance in measuring, mitigating, and managing risk, particularly as climate change increases the importance of insurance for climate-related risks. The conference explored financial vulnerabilities, equity concerns, and the challenges faced by vulnerable communities in obtaining insurance coverage for wildfire risks.

About Athena Intelligence

Athena Intelligence, headquartered in Sacramento, is a data vendor with a proprietary, geospatial, conditional profiling tool that integrates vast amounts of disaggregated wildfire and environmental data. This tool generates spatial intelligence, providing a digital fingerprint of wildfire risk. The company’s innovative solutions empower industries such as power, insurance, and financial services to make informed decisions in risk assessment, portfolio optimization, and loss cost probabilities. Learn more at

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About American Geographical Society

Since 1851, AGS has been a leading advocate for geography in the United States and around the world. The Society promotes the use of geography in business, government, science, and education. The mission of AGS is to advance geographic knowledge and the recognition of its importance in the contemporary world. The goal is to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide. AGS stands for explicit recognition of the geospatial and temporal contexts that shape the real world and influence how it works. The Society maintains its headquarters in New York City, New York. For more information on AGS, go to



Athena Intelligence

Athena Intelligence weaves vast amounts of disaggregated environmental data. Drop us a line (, or visit