Many people ask me this . . . well, actually not that many, but maybe they should, as it’s your ISI, and the EC is leading it forward on your behalf. But I thought it would be helpful to give you some feedback on the EC meeting we had in The Hague last month.
With the widespread use of virtual meetings, most of ours are on-line but we do get together in person (not everyone, but most of us) for two days of discussion three times a year. Face to face meetings like this are important as many of us did not really know each other until we joined the EC, and now we need to work together as a team.
One of the benefits of meeting in The Hague, as we did last month, is that the PO staff can join us for relevant issues. Also our incoming Director Conchita Kleijweg was able to join us for part of the time. At these meetings, we try to deal with three big topics, usually related to progress with our strategic priorities, and leave short term decisions to our monthly calls. So in May the three big items were the budget and annual report – preparations for the General Assembly on 14 July; preparations for next year’s WSC in Ottawa, and progress with our work on Public Voice and Capacity Building.
Our budget position remains challenging. The virtual WSC 2021 made a small surplus which we have used to employ a further staff member to support our Congresses. We always recognised that organising these Congresses ‘in-house’ would need to be resourced, and this will help ensure the success of Ottawa 2023. The Annual Report points up a number of achievements including the virtual Congress, the improved website, the new blogs and virtual short courses. The report has now gone out to members for approval.
Preparations for next year’s WSC are well advanced. The call for invited paper sessions is out – so please do submit your ideas by 15 July. We will be asking for contributed papers later. A new promotional video is planned for the end of this month, and there have been visits to the Congress Centre to finalise the logistical details, and look at the scope for a virtual offer. We are also meeting with Stats Canada and the Statistical Society of Canada who are providing major assistance to us. Sponsorship brochures are now ready, and we shall be announcing the registration fees shortly.
You will be aware of the strategic priorities we have been working to over the last few years. We have now developed these into Annual Work Plans, so we can be clearer about what we plan to achieve each year. It helps to improve our delivery if we can be more specific in our planning. Our Public Voice Committee and Statistical Capacity Building Committee have both produced plans.
We are working on how best to continue out popular blog ‘Statisticians React to the News’, and would welcome more volunteers to help with its organisation. Also plans are pressing ahead for our first Regional Conference (in association with the IAOS) in Zambia in April next year.
So it’s a busy time! Do give us any feedback on what the EC is doing, and if you are an ISI member, join us at the General Assembly meeting, online, on 14 July.