Get ready for August 2020 and a huge congress

2020 is the year of the next biggest Sections event, where representatives from the 160+ country-members of IEEE, meet together. This is nothing less than the IEEE Sections Congress 2020, marked in the calendars to be held in August. Participants of previous Sections Congress, are speaking with great enthusiasm for this huge congress, 100% IEEE focused. How big will this year be, you will be able to read just in a few lines.

IEEE Sections Congress is a triennial gathering of IEEE grassroots leadership, with three main objectives, Network with other Section leaders, Attend training programs, Develop recommendations to guide the future of IEEE. Beside these, the IEEE Sections Congress is an experience that every IEEE member has to leave at least once. 10 Regions, gather together under the same roof, with the same goal, sharing the same volunteering beliefs, being equal to each other.

costas stasopoulosIn IEEE Region 8 Today, we had the amazing pleasure to speak with Costas Stasopoulos, the Sections Congress Coordinator of Region 8.


What should we be expecting at this year’s Sections Congress?

The IEEE Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) Board will partner with Region 7 (Canada) in hosting the IEEE Sections Congress 2020 in Ottawa, Canada, at the Shaw Centre, from 21 to 23 August 2020. The SC2020 theme is “Leading our Global Technical Communities”. It will have three tracks: “Why we lead”, “Where we lead” and “How we lead”. Under each track we will have many workshops and presentations where members can learn and exchange ideas with other members. During the Recommendation process our members will have the chance to recommend and vote on important issues they would like IEEE to handle or initiate change. We will also have a competition on IEEE Section Engagement with Industry during which each individual section will have the opportunity to present their views and actions regarding  Industry engagement.

Could you describe in numbers how big the Sections Congress is expected to be? (ex. number of participants, number of sections participating, number of talks)

The Congress will be attended by more than 1300 attendees from 165 countries.  We are expecting 50 exhibitors and 200 speakers to attend this Congress.

What makes the IEEE Sections Congress unique?

What I find  amazing with Section Congresses is the dynamics of having so many great volunteers from different backgrounds and cultures all together in one place.  The IEEE bond is great, people feel like they know each other all their lives, there is trust and respect and an awesome feeling of working together for a better world.

How important is it for an IEEE member to experience a Section’s Congress?

Attendees of IEEE Sections Congress 2020 will come from more than 165 countries to hear tens of speakers and attend vital networking sessions on technology, membership development, Section vitality, standards, women in engineering, students, young professionals, life members,  regulatory engineering, humanitarian activities, leadership, education, sustainability, ethics, history, soft skills, operations, management, organizing events  and many others. They will be able to see and talk to exhibitors and learn about their IEEE products and line of work. This is the opportunity for IEEE members from all over the world to participate in an event that provides them with the tools and training to assist them in focusing their activities to benefit their members while increasing participation in IEEE activities. They will meet other volunteers with similar or different problems, will learn about the best practices from around the world and make friendships that will last for years. Going to a Sections Congress makes you realize that you are a small part of a huge family!

When was your first participation at a Section’s Congress and how would you describe that first time?

My first Sections Congress was in Washington DC back in 2002! Of course it was much smaller than it is now and its theme was “Creating a Global Community”. I didn’t quite know what a Sections Congress was up until I actually got there! We had the opportunity to explore and plant the first seeds of what evolved over time to be this awesome event. I had the privilege and honor to attend each of the subsequent ones : the SC2008 in Quebec, Canada, the SC2011 in San Francisco, USA, the SC2014 in Amsterdam, Netherlands and finally the SC2017 in Sydney, Australia. I guess I am a Sections Congress veteran! The Section Congresses have evolved over time in multiple dimensions: organization, content, number of sections, attendees,  session variety, industry engagement, networking opportunities. In every Congress we see and do something different. We learn from the sessions, we make new friends, we reconnect with old ones, but most importantly we are given this unique opportunity to connect with people, exchange ideas and explore interests and prospects within this huge, complex and diverse ecosystem and family of IEEE !!


The  IEEE Sections Congress 2020 is planned to be held during 21-23 August in Ottawa, Canada. The registration for the congress is now open, and everyone interested may visit the website for details of registration.