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IEEE in 2030 – Inputs Solicited

IEEE in 2030—Please Provide your Input

In January of 2015 the IEEE Board of Directors (BoD) went on a retreat with a collection of additional IEEE members recruited to represent young professionals, women in engineering and people from various geographic regions and interests. The purpose of the discussion in that retreat was to determine “What changes must we make now to best position IEEE for success in 2030, while still supporting the needs of technologists between now and then?” At the end of the retreat four Ad Hoc Committees or Teams comprised of BoD members were created. The first committee (Team 1) was to Create a Nimble, Flexible, Forward-Looking Organization. The second committee (Team 2) was to Foster Public Imperatives. The third committee (Team 3) was to Foster Diverse Technical Communities with Industry, Government, and Academia.   The fourth committee (Team 4) was to Empower the Discovery, Development and Delivery of Cutting-edge Products and Services.   I was appointed to lead Team 3 (Fostering Diverse Technical Communities with Industry, Government, and Academia).

While all four Teams continue to develop plans to create an IEEE in 2030 that meets the needs of Technologies at that time, this piece is meant to look at the activities and discussions in Team 1 (lead by Barry Shoop, 2015 IEEE President Elect) and to invite regular IEEE members to contribute to the discussion and help shape the future of the IEEE going forward. At the June IEEE Board of Directors meeting a constitutional amendment that was to be on the IEEE Ballot later this Summer was pulled from that ballot. It was felt by many that some items on the amendment were not well considered and left the IEEE open to rapid redirection by a small group of people sometime in the future, possibly not in the best interests of the members. It was also felt that the amendment was created and approved without much discussion or exposure to the regular members.

It is our hope that the actions around the plans being developed around Team 1 to Create a Nimble, Flexible, Forward-Looking IEEE will benefit and be shaped by the opinions and guidance of the individual members. There are continuous meetings to discuss possible change in the board of directors of the IEEE in Team 1. We need the input of our members to make sure that they are aware of these discussions and that they participate in creating a board that both represents all the elements of the IEEE, that creates roles that do not overwhelm the volunteers that serve on the board and that allow the IEEE to grow and serve the needs of our members as well as mankind as a whole.

It is expected that at the November 2015 Board of Directors meeting that the Board will vote on actions to take regarding the plans of Team 1 around possible reorganization of the IEEE Board of Directors. This new board will likely have its current duties split between more than one body and different people will have different responsibilities. There will also be a multi-year transition period to implement these changes. It is also likely that there will be constitutional amendments needed to enable these changes. I want to make sure that we have the input of all of our members on proposed changes in the IEEE BoD and that any changes are not a surprise to our members and hopefully are generally understood and accepted by our members. There is a slide deck that outlines the current plans (as of June 2015) for reorganizing the IEEE BoD on the Region 6 web site at https://ieee-region6.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/June-b27p-IEEE-2030.pdf. If you do have things you want to say about these plans and advise for how we can best organize the IEEE for success in the future please send them to feedback2030@ieee.org.   I would also be glad to hear from you on this topic (tom@tomcoughlin.com).

Thanks for your attention and participation!

Tom Coughlin
Region 6 Director

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