Is there a Need to Improve Collaboration between IEEE Societies, Councils and Standards?

In fulfilling its mission of advancing technology, IEEE technical activities are primarily pursued within 46 technical Societies and Councils (S/C) with additional support from Standards Association and geographical units grouped in 336 Sections. The vertical organization of IEEE Technical Activities follows the dividing lines defined by the technical fields of interest of Societies and Councils. The divides are natural and reflect the breadth of IEEE’s technology portfolio.

While each of the S/Cs advances different technology defined in its field of interest, such as communications, computers, power and energy, robotics and automation to name a few, the S/Cs’ tasks typically overlap. These include actual technical activities, membership and community development, events and conferences, standards development, educational/career services, and development of resources for industry professionals. Despite overlapping activities, however, joint S/C ventures are typically limited only to co-sponsored journals and conferences.

If elected President, I will encourage cross-S/C and Standards collaborations since they’re economically more efficient and consume less volunteer resources. They also promote mutual sharing of best practices. Whether they’re one-year or multiyear projects, such partnerships would require joint funding of inter-S/C projects. Pooling volunteer talent from across the units will follow. S/C volunteer leaders could develop such joint ventures through more frequent consultations, and cross-pollination of their boards, especially if their fields of interest are closely related.