The Gift of Time
As shared in the February Newsletter, after careful consideration by the Board, the 2023 Conference has been postponed to 2024. The generous acceptance of this decision, by many of our members (as well as non-members) has been received with great appreciation. Postponing the conference to next year gives us much-needed time. YOU have granted us the great gift of that time—thank you!
This gift has allowed Deborah Valentine (appointed in October 2022 as Program Chair) and Tanya Crossman (Logistics Chair, who will be stepping down in October after 4+ years) a tremendous opportunity to plan and prepare for what lies ahead, and to respond to the changes that have taken place over the last few years. I (Deborah) will admit there was a faint sweat on my brow about preparing a conference without the voice of the community and the RFPs (Request for Proposals) we have used for years to determine content, so I am tremendously grateful. I (Tanya) am so thankful for the time to truly prepare in advance rather than to play a continual game of catch up.
Space in Between
In addition to time, we have also been given clarity through the process of big-picture thought work that the FIGT Board has been involved in for some time now, to refine our values, mission, and vision as an organization. This new clarity is helping us define the steps to prepare for and the vision we have for FIGT in 2023 and beyond. Guiding our discussions is the question: What we can do online that we cannot in-person? What does a “conference” look like with all the changes that have taken place around us and within FIGT? How can a logistics team support FIGT throughout the year, as opposed to in a “moment”?
In the past, conferences were a time when the community gathered, shared, and celebrated. COVID encouraged us to look for other ways of connecting. Gatherings are taking place regionally (i.e. the group that gathered to attend the virtual FIGT 2022 conference; the informal FIGT European Meetup in September 2022, and the planning of another gathering in Central Asia in 2023), and many moments of connection are taking place online throughout the organization. Change is in our DNA, and it is time to adjust once more. And this is what you have granted us: the time to reflect on the past and to prepare for a future that is still in development.
Do You Have Ideas?
If you have an idea or a thought to share – what the conference could/should look like or what could/should be involved – please do not hesitate to contact Deborah! She would be happy to hear thoughts from our community members, newsletter readers, and supporters. Also, if you enjoy planning and helping others to cross barriers of understanding, including crossing the technical divide, Tanya is also on the lookout for people to form a team for the future.
With sincere thanks,
Deborah Valentine and Tanya Crossman, on behalf of the FIGT Board