Community Board - New Year Message

Dear Volunteers,

I am emailing you on behalf of the Community Board to thank you all for your hard work and dedication in your various roles in the Member Group Community during 2018 and to wish you and your families a peaceful and enjoyable festive break.

At the fresh hold of a new year we are well-placed to start transforming the way we engage the BCS membership, IT professionals outside the Institute and the wider public.

We are a team of volunteers and staff comprising over a thousand people, who believe in Making IT Good for Society and who lead or support over 120 Member Groups and 12 International Sections running many events each week. On the whole, we do this very well, but we can still all imagine taking this to a much higher level. We need to improve our communications and how we work with one another across our community as well as developing new approaches to engaging our audiences in ways that resonate with them and which they find relevant. This will be no mean feat, but it is one that the Community Board wants to work with you all to bring about.

We have received very candid and honest feedback from Member Groups through the annual Chairs’ Reports, which the volunteers on the Best Practice Committee are currently analysing and will report to Community Board on early next year. The Institute has also conducted a very successful and positive but nonetheless challenging Membership Survey, which will also feed into our thinking.

The next Member Group Convention will be later than usual this year so that we can first engage in a series of consultations with you around how we improve what we do and how we can better support Member Groups with the limited resources at our disposal as an Institute. I want us to work together to build a shared vision of what we should be achieving as a community and I feel this approach will lay solid foundations for an exciting and constructive convention.

Starting in January onwards, the Swindon team will be talking to chairs to understand the issues and opportunities that their group faces. We anticipate this becoming an ongoing activity as we move through the year. We are also investigating ways of using technology to bring our volunteers together more often to develop an ongoing dialogue about how we are working together to grow and sustain our membership and how we can project ourselves to a wider audience.

We have already begun to trial a new capability approach to develop our understanding of how groups might embed themselves more fully within their communities and how we can centrally support this. We will learn from the initial pilot and seek wider participation during the course of next year.

I am always eager to receive constructive ideas on how we can move forwards so if you do have some positive views then please do contact me via our Community Manager Jon Jeffrey.

I anticipate that 2019 will be a challenging but rewarding year, one in which I will ask you and your colleagues to come together across the Community to build and then deliver on a shared vision that really does start to make a difference in the coming years in how we as a community are Making IT Good for Society.

Best wishes

Eur Ing Alastair Revell CEng CITP MBCS
Vice-President, Community