ISA NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Infantino
ISA Hosts First Scientific and Engineering Inter-Society Benchmarking Summit
Research Triangle Park, NC (10 December 2007) - ISA organized and hosted a summit entitled "Building and Preserving Association Relevancy into the Future" last week in Research Triangle Park, NC. The summit was a unique inter-society benchmarking meeting for the engineering and scientific community. Senior leaders from more than a dozen organizations, representing more than 750,000 members, met to discuss common challenges, best practices, and future collaborations.
Common challenges faced by the societies included attracting and retaining members under age 40 and in under-represented groups; becoming a global organization; achieving a fully integrated business; cultivating leaders from within the volunteer ranks; the future of individual membership organizations; and the future demand for engineers and scientists from industry and the government. Several organizations, including the Society of Women Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Project Management Institute, the American Industrial Hygiene Institute, and the Society of American Military Engineers, gave detailed presentations introducing each issue.
The group then broke out into smaller working groups with a goal of elaborating on proposed solutions, or beta programs, for each of the identified challenges. Eventually, the goal of the group is to identify one or more "owners" for each of the beta programs, and solidify collaborations to help each organization succeed with their beta program.
"Every organization brings something unique to the table, and some organizations are better poised to implement one program over another," explained ISA Executive Director and CEO Patrick Gouhin. "We want to work together as a community to solve the challenges we face. This summit was a crucial first step in that process."
All of the organizations expressed commitment to follow up activities and continued collaboration. Gouhin will present a report of the summit at a mid-winter meeting of over 100 scientific and engineering organizations. ISA will create an electronic report summarizing the topical themes and relevant discussion on best practices and proposed solutions, which will be made available to other associations.
"The summit was a great success. We developed a deeper understanding of the common challenges we face, the solutions we can each bring to the table, and we'll be able to develop a usable tool for all associations for considering what they can do to better serve their members and keep their organizations relevant in the future," said Gouhin.
Key planning and participating organizations beyond ISA included the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, the American Nuclear Society, the Association of Facilities Engineering, the Society for Biomolecular Sciences, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, Sigma Xi, the Air and Waste Management Association, the Estuarine Research Federation, the American Phytopathological Society, the Society of American Military Engineers, the American Society of Agronomy, the Project Management Institute, the American Concrete Institute, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, ASM International, and the Automation Federation.
For more information about ISA, visit www.isa.org or call (919) 549-8411.
Founded in 1945, ISA (www.isa.org) is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts the largest conference and exhibition for automation professionals in the Western Hemisphere. ISA is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org).