I hope all had a productive and healthy third quarter of 2019.
In my last message, I highlighted the important work of the TAB Ad Hoc Committee on Global Society Interaction (GSI) and shared my enthusiasm for collaborating with leaders from other technical professional associations from across the globe. I am glad to report that, in conjunction with the June IEEE Board Series, the first GSI Summit successfully provided a platform for representatives from global societies with similar interests to the IEEE to discuss how we can work together to advance technology for the benefit of humanity. Planning for a second event, in 2020, will soon be underway.
While one facet of leading IEEE into the future is building global collaboration, yet another important aspect is identifying new ways to adapt to technological evolution. New technology opportunities are cross-cutting, and becoming more so, while Technical Activities is primarily a vertical organization. While IEEE’s 46 Societies and Technical Councils are first-class resources in their respective fields, can many of today’s newest technologies be owned by a single entity? How can we empower IEEE’s technical communities to ensure we are as nimble an organization as possible?
The 2019 TAB Ad Hoc Committee on TAB Structure and Constituents, chaired by Steve Diamond, has been working diligently to address these questions, beginning with a breakout discussion at the June 2019 TAB meeting. During this session, TAB members split into 5 groups to discuss whether Technical Activities should either reorganize or add options to its current structure. After deliberating potential options regarding existing Societies, Councils, Technical Communities, Divisions, and the addition of a Horizontal option, it became evident from the breakout session that there is enough support to add a new Horizontal component to TAB.
As a new, optional waypoint or destination to help cross-cutting technologies prosper within IEEE, this Horizontal component will ideally be available to both existing and future IEEE entities. By creating a simple, scalable organization, or by further giving FDC more mandate to incubate new technical communities, Technical Activities will be better prepared to break down past silos and build improved ways to support new and cross-cutting technologies. It will also provide a home for graduated initiatives that have progressed through the IEEE Future Directions lifecycle, ensuring that the newest and most ground-breaking technologies transition seamlessly into the fabric of the IEEE.
The TAB Ad Hoc Committee on TAB Structure and Constituents will continue to explore how Horizontals can most effectively serve the IEEE membership, and I look forward to sharing more about this important activity in future messages.
K.J. Ray Liu
2019 Vice President, Technical Activities