Let the show begin!

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We are just a few days away from the opening of the first Virtual ISI World Statistics Congress! What an exciting journey it has been so far.

First, we decided to follow a new model for the WSCs, with the ISI at the helm of the whole organization, and then we had to switch to the virtual format.  A lot of new things came on the way – we succeeded in coping with them and we also learned many lessons. Now we can’t wait to see how the participants will experience the virtual event. Will they take home as many positive impressions as they would from a physical WSC?  I look forward to hearing about your experiences!


Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Our congresses are usually more than just the scientific sessions. From my first ISI congress in Helsinki, Finland, in 1999, I remember a trip with my Finnish friend to her summerhouse, the beautiful nature and the elks we met on our way. Pure magic! Also, our host, the Director General of Statistics Finland, organised a sauna experience for the (male only) participants and awarded them with a certificate when the mission was completed. So the congress was an interesting and fun experience.

At that time, the ISI congresses lasted more than a week, with a weekend in between – something we can no longer afford today. Still, we ensure that each WSC has a lot to offer, not only through a good scientific programme, but also the local culture. Even this year’s virtual WSC has a Dutch touch to it.

The WSC also means the change of the Executive Committee and Council. After two years of intensive work of the current EC led by the President John Bailer, the new EC will take office under the leadership of Steve Penneck. We thank the outgoing President and the Vice-Presidents Fabrizio Ruggeri and Peter Guttorp for their fantastic contribution to the ISI. John for his unsurpassed leadership and creative ideas; Fabrizio for giving the statistical capacity building a boost and coordinating the ISI Awards; Peter for giving the ISI’s public voice solidity through blogs and other initiatives. I also thank the outgoing Council Members for their involvement and commitment, and the Association Presidents for leading their own associations and the productive and fruitful cooperation. It has been a great pleasure and privilege to work with everyone.

For now, let the show begin!

Ada van Krimen
ISI Director

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