December 11, 2012
On Wednesday December 5th, biology organization leaders came together in Washington DC to learn more about the challenges facing our community today. What began three years ago in AIBS's own strategic and long range planning efforts has yielded some deep knowledge and insights that may inform the community at large in thinking about how we all fit, connect, and respond to the changing culture in which we find ourselves.
At this event, AIBS invited knowledge and process experts and married their expertise with what we had uncovered through our own exploration of the community to yield an integrated program exploring Topics in Biology Leadership. In the words of AIBS 2012 President Susan Stafford upon opening the event, we have redesigned the annual AIBS Council gathering as "an audio, visual handbook - it's like a 3-D presentation without needing any special glasses!" The 2011 and 2012 Council meetings were designed to be ... "a compendium of useful and relevant information that has been designed specifically for leaders of biology organizations -- to learn more about the common issues and challenges we are facing and most importantly, learn about strategies for their successful resolution."
The content themes for this year'smeetings program were woven throughout the day, having been defined by the results of AIBS's biology organizations survey. In summary the days presentations explored key topics, like:
The journal publication model has been completely overturned by new technologies. David Crotty from Oxford University Press examined what those changing patterns look like for publishers of scholarly information large and small.
Value propositions that have shaped membership in professional associations for decades are shifting. Association consultant Mary Byers and I explored how we examine these changes to ensure the vibrancy of our professional communities.
Through changing revenue models, shifting value propositions, changing roles for our organizations, Debra Natenshon of the Center for What Works informed us on how to measure our success in outcomes, and to ensure we are focusing limited resources to maximize impact.
Special afternoon programs highlighted our international colleagues and the pathway to a successful collaboration.
The topics resonated with the approximately fifty biology organization leaders who attended both virtually and in person. The AIBS Council meeting provides a unique opportunity for leaders to come together and discuss issues that are common to these and future leaders.
Speaker presentations and audio files from the day are available via the AIBS Website, in addition to recommendations for additional materials to explore the topic suggested by the presenters. If you have ideas, questions, thoughts, or would like to be engaged in follow-up conversations, please let us know! It is incredibly important that as a community we respond to these changes together so that we can continue to fulfill the important function and role that scientific societies serve for the science we advance.
Sheri Potter is the Business and Programs Development Manager for AIBS. To contact her, please email her at: spot...@aibs.org.