If elected 2018 IEEE President-Elect, which is your vision about IEEE support to other underserved geographical areas in addition to Africa?
There are several other geographical areas in which IEEE is not yet providing enough services and support to the scientific and professional community, e.g., some areas in south-east Asia, India, Middle East, central and south America. IEEE can do much more also in these areas. Everybody should see IEEE as his/her home. Nobody should be ever left behind.
With our extraordinary people in the various geographical areas, I will focus on creating a personalized offer for every individual in our scientific and professional community, by taking into account the specific needs and characteristics of such a community. Listening to our colleagues in these areas, analyzing the local needs, and identifying effective solutions all together, I will work with all Boards and organizational units catalyzing our efforts to address these needs and better serve also these communities.
It is worth noting that many of the solutions developed for other areas can be tailored on the specific needs of these communities, exploiting synergies and reusing components.
Focus should always be on:
- expanding technical activities, communities, and standards especially in emerging technologies, multi-disciplinary areas, and emerging needs for technology, applications, and standards;
- developing more practical knowledge to solve real-world problems and use standards, including methodologies, guidelines, best practices, and successful cases;
- introducing a recommendation system on a comprehensive platform to facilitate identification of knowledge, products, services, and volunteering opportunities according to the profiles of each individual;
- extracting fundamental and advanced knowledge from the technical material already available;
- expanding continuing education activities and educational material to support local activities;
- expanding networking opportunities with specialized forums, both at local and regional level.
I believe that it is essential to identify multi-tier membership models, with fees proportional to the average income in each geographical area to make them equally affordable, and whose products and services are tailored on the specific needs, possibly with rewards for volunteers and frequent users, and more caring for the financial burden and its concentrated impact when individuals are transitioning between positions or become unemployed or retired.
Cooperation among all global organizational units in IEEE and the local units as well as cooperation with national scientific and professional associations will be essential to improve the services in the underserved geographical areas. Alliances with the United Nations, foundations, and other institutions could also significantly help in achieving the common goals for the benefit of the scientific and professional community and all people in these areas.
Actual specific activities should be identified together with people in the local communities. These initiatives should be anyway analyzed also on the bases of the available financial and human resources. Specific additional funding could be envisioned to boost the activities and the support to the scientific and professional community. To this purpose also cooperation and synergies with non-IEEE entities should be broadly explored and promoted, in particular with international foundations and institutions, including, e.g., the United Nations and the World Bank.
This approach will ensure supporting the entire scientific and professional community around the world, as well as the global economic and social development for the benefit of the entire humanity.