Envisioned Future Progress

IEEE has been busy achieving its goals

5 December 2008

It has been a challenging yet highly satisfying year as your IEEE President. It was challenging because the nature of our organization is inherently complex—diverse culturally, geographically, and technically, and there are always surprises. It was satisfying in many ways, but especially because we embarked on the first year of our IEEE Envisioned Future, completed by the Board in 2007, and our new commitment to strategic planning.

The Envisioned Future establishes goals, core values, and a vision for IEEE far into the future and helps us focus on directions for success.

Here are examples of our goals and what we are doing to achieve them:

  • Industry professionals and their employers will value IEEE as a major resource to achieve success. Continuing to build relationships with industry, IEEE renewed a memorandum of understanding with Boeing Co. to collaborate on technical meetings and other activities with its staff. Industry professionals are increasingly using IEEE's 1.8-million-document digital library to achieve success. In 2007, IEEE publications were cited 96 000 times in patents—four times as often as any other publisher.
  • IEEE will improve the professional competencies of students and professionals through education. IEEE has committed resources to such offerings as IEEE Expert Now, which presents interactive Web-based courses based on tutorials and workshops given at IEEE conferences. The Teacher In-Service Program, designed to improve how science and math are taught in the classroom, has reached several hundred preuniversity teachers worldwide.
  • IEEE will increasingly be valued by the global community as a catalyst for a balanced dialogue on technology-related issues. Conference digests and journal articles are key technical sources, and we continually examine emerging areas for new conferences, publications, and tutorials and short courses. The IEEE Standards Association enhances global adoption of IEEE standards through partnerships with the International Electrotechnical Commission, the International Organization for Standardization, and the International Telecommunication Union.
  • The public will increasingly value the role of IEEE and technical professionals in enhancing the quality of life and the environment. In 2008, we launched a multiyear public visibility effort—including celebrating IEEE's 125th anniversary in 2009—to promote IEEE and the contributions of engineering, science, and technology to society. This year IEEE initiated a major focus on the application of engineering, science, and technology to address societal problems, part of the Envisioned Future. Members are becoming involved in humanitarian programs around the world, including the UN Foundation's Humanitarian Technology Challenge and GEOSS, an Earth-monitoring system involving more than 70 nations.
  • IEEE members will increasingly find value and enjoyment through their involvement in the organization. Volunteers are IEEE's lifeblood. Efforts began this year to improve their experience as volunteers—an ad hoc committee I initiated and another in Member and Geographic Activities, are both aimed at developing programs to attract volunteers and provide them with training and support to enable their growth and increase their satisfaction as volunteers.
  • IEEE will operate as a model global association, with aligned purpose, energy, and infrastructure that facilitates the development and execution of coordinated strategy. In June, the Board reaffirmed its commitment to the Envisioned Future and the strategic planning process, and organizational units and staff departments began to align objectives to support its goals. Continual progress toward our Envisioned Future is a challenge that volunteer and staff leaders at every level willingly undertake for the future of IEEE.

Finally, my thanks to the thousands of volunteers, the Board of Directors, and the staff for their tremendous work during my presidential year. I especially want to thank our 375 000-plus members for their continued loyalty and support of our great organization.

I welcome your comments at Terman.column@ieee.org


pres Lewis Terman
IEEE President and CEO
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