REGION 10 DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE — October 2020
Dear All IEEE Region 10 Members,
We have reached the 4th quarter of 2020. Even though the global COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, I hope each of you and your families remain safe and healthy! Our IEEE activities have been very much affected by the pandemic, and everything went virtual from March, comprising the Region 10 Annual Meeting, TENSYMP 2020, and our recent R10 SYWL Congress 2020.
The SYWL Congress is far better done face-to-face, but we had no way to host the meeting other than online. Under the excellent leadership of General Chair Zia Ahmed and General Co-Chair Supavadee Aramvith, our individual Chairs of Region 10 Committees of “Students, Young Professionals, Women in Engineering, and Life Members,” all worked extremely hard to prepare, organize, and hold the Congress under newfound conditions.
The Opening Ceremony on Saturday, 19th September was attended by 266 persons on WebEx with an additional 8,300 viewers joining on Facebook Live Stream. So, we can be proud that SYWL was an outstanding success in terms of the number of its attendees. In the physical meetings, we cannot have so many people due to limited space as well as travel costs. Many, however, must be frustrated because networking opportunities, one of the main benefits of the Congress, were by necessity limited.
We will hold two more flagship conferences: TENCON 2020 and R10 HTC 2020 in this 4th quarter, once more online. Our early 2021 events may also have to be virtual. All of us are getting used to online meetings, but we still have to devise new ways of conducting events where the warmth of a human touch is more an integral part of the event.
In my most recent message three months ago, I mentioned our outreach programs making use of local languages. This is now officially referred to as “Region 10 Project Reaching Locals,” and it is headed by Lance Fung, Region 10 Educational Activities Committee Chair. Webinars, workshops, meetings, and so forth are already conducted in local languages in many areas of Region 10. Especially
for pre-university students, the local tongue is more convenient and offers greater learning efficiency. We can provide many different sorts of IEEE-related content, and by doing so can imprint the IEEE brand subliminally, so that younger student attendees become interested in joining IEEE after reaching the appropriate age.
The year 2020 the world has been gobsmacked by COVID-19, but the year with its sadness and many inconveniences will come to an end in just three months’ time. I really hope next year will mark a net improvement. Probably we’ll have to live with COVID-19, just as we do with many other viruses, not by a total eradication, but by exploiting extant and new technologies.
Keep staying safe and healthy!
With every good wish,
Akinori Nishihara, Director, IEEE Region 10