Town Hall 1, Blog by Yatin Trivedi

What’s on the mind of many IEEE volunteers who serve as local leaders in various chapters and sections?

Serving humanity, especially at this uncertain time of Covid-19 pandemic; growing membership, especially in emerging economies; mentoring Young Professionals (YP) and women engineers for entrepreneurship, especially among underserved communities; importance of ABET accreditation activities, and the list goes on.

How do I know? Because I had the privilege to host and moderate a virtual Town Hall session on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. These, and many more topics were discussed in a lively dialog in a Zoom session. The 60-minute session went on for more than 75-minutes and the attendees wanted to talk more. Don’t worry, there is another virtual Town hall session coming up on Saturday, July 11.

Here is a screenshot of the attendees engaged in conversation towards the end of the session.

Image capture of the 1st Virtual Town Hall Meeting

Why was the virtual Town Hall held? To have an open dialog about various challenges and opportunities for IEEE as a global organization and IEEE volunteer leaders in serving local and regional members. This is an initiative by Dr. S K Ramesh, candidate for IEEE President-Elect 2021 in the upcoming IEEE election.

S.K. Ramesh

This is the “listening tour” version of what would have been a half-million miles flying around the globe in the pre-Covid world to interact with thousands of IEEE volunteers in hundreds of local sections and chapters. He covered wide ranging topics mentioned above. What impressed me the most is his fluency at catching the essence of the question in real time and being able to recall statistics, actual projects and current engagements to share his vision of IEEE. Clearly, Dr Ramesh has served the IEEE communities with deep involvement and great impact across local chapters and sections in Region 6, as well as governance and administration roles with EAB, ABET, IEEE-HKN and the IEEE Board of Directors.

To say this was truly a global meet is an understatement. In IEEE membership parlance, most of the regions were in attendance. A past IEEE Region Director from Mexico and a Region Director Elect candidate from Australia, a YP leader from Canada, section leaders from Guatemala, and Buenaventura (CA) , a champion of nano-technology chapters, a mentor from Women in Engineering (WIE), a chapter leader from the Central Valley, a champion for public-private partnership, and many more. You can just imagine the dialog … and this was only the first virtual Town Hall!

Connecting with other professionals across IEEE is both exciting and educational. I invite you to listen to the recorded session, and register to participate in the upcoming session that is convenient for you.

Written by Yatin Trivedi | July 9, 2020

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