IEEE Region 8 Continues its meetings turning them online. New initiative announced to keep everyone engaged.
Being an active IEEE member requires time, dedication and self-motivation as in all volunteering positions. IEEE includes a wide range of activities, from industry to higher education, or soft skills development. In order to be able for work to be done either from the staff members of IEEE or its volunteers, hours of meetings are required. Meetings to catch up, to set next steps, to check goals, to set priorities, to read reports.
COVID-19 has brought a new reality to our life, changing a lot of what we knew until yesterday, forcing each and every one of us to adopt a new way of life, a new way of communication, a new way of gatherings. Turning virtual the majority of IEEE activities was expected to happen. We had previously seen how IEEE Region 8 Volunteers turned their activities online with student members giving great effort. But also flagship conferences of IEEE Region 8 turned virtual, such as MELECON 2020. Of course the 114th regional meeting which was to be held in Warsaw was also affected, turning virtual and hosting more than 100 participants online.
Keeping everyone engaged and updated with ongoing developments
The motivation and the interest of continuing the work to be done, doesn’t stop. Recently, on June 13th an IEEE Region 8 Sections’ Chairs meeting was held virtually, to keep everyone’s interest and receive feedback of the activities done until now.
Adeel Sultan, Vice Chair, Member Activities (VCMA), commented: “During the current challenging times, Region8 OpCom remains committed to continue providing its members with the best possible engagement and support. As such, Region8 OpCom called for an adhoc “Region8 Section Chairs” virtual meeting on Jun13th. The scope of the meeting was to have a follow up of the Section activities during these months (post 2020 Spring R8 Committee meeting which have been especially challenging as well). Moreover, intention was also to share some of the ideas that Region 8 OpCom & R8 Strategic Planning Subcommittee developed to help Sections to keep moving forward during this unprecedented situation.The idea was not only to keep all the sections informed, engaged & abreast with the ongoing developments, but also to brainstorm opinions to enable us serve our members in the most efficient & productive manner. During the meeting, multiple avenues, suggestions and issues were discussed and Region8 OpCom assured of its extended support to sections & OUs during these difficult times.”
This is our new way of gathering and meeting with each other. Next to the Sections’ Chairs meeting was the Subcommittee Chairs, having great engagement coming from all members. A new initiative presented on how in-person events could be held where this is possible and safe.
Antonio Luque, Director-Elect, commented: During the last months, the safety of all our members and volunteers has been of paramount importance and we have made every effort to serve them and provide them with the technical information and knowledge they expect from IEEE through online means. We also feel that in-person networking and exchange of ideas is fundamental, and at this point many countries in the Region are allowing gatherings of a small number of people together under certain conditions. We are starting to promote a network of distributed small meetings, always complying with local regulations and safety measures, for those members who want to meet again their colleagues and professional peers. These local meetings, held wherever possible without need for travel, can be a good addition to the online events that will continue being organized during the coming months. We encourage Sections, Chapters, Student Branches, Affinity Groups, and IEEE groups in general, to consider restarting the in-person events where possible and safe, and to make them hybrid, offering online participation to those that cannot or do not wish to attend in person. Please contact me for the support that Region 8 can provide for this initiative.
Even though online, it was moving to see again everyone safe with a great smile decorating everyone’s face.