Two notable developments of Life Member activities have been under way during the summer period:
Meeting of LMAG Chairs in Neuchatel, Switzerland, September 5th 2017.
The LMAG Chairs from Benelux, France, Italy, Lebanon, Slovenia, Switzerland, and UK & Ireland held a meeting on September 5th to coincide with the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of the Swiss microelectronic watch industry, at the Microcity Centre in Neuchatel.
This was the first meeting of LMAG Chairs in Region 8. The continuing loss of older members was a matter of concern in most Sections and needed to be addressed urgently. Among the proposals discussed were ways to improve the quality of service for older members, a possible review of the criteria for qualification as a Life member, and the need for wider inclusion of older members in Life member activities.
A proposal for the involvement of Life members in IEEE’s Humanitarian Activities (e.g. the IEEE SIGHT programs) was also discussed. These are expected to be especially of interest to retired members: it was agreed that Sections should be encouraged to begin recruiting volunteers from their Life and retired members for specific projects in their local communities under the SIGHT program.
Life Member Committee Task Force on Life member activities.
A small task force set up by the IEEE Life Member Committee has been working on the problem of engaging Life members more actively. Some proposals being discussed include improving communications with Life members, informing them of new advances in technology, and re-vitalising LMAGs. One potentially significant proposal argues for the active involvement of all members in the pre-retirement age group in Life member activities. This would help to boost the number of volunteers and active members in LMAGs, making LMAGs viable even in Sections with very few Life members. The Task Force is due to complete its work shortly and will report to the next LMC meeting.
In summary, the current focus of the IEEE Life member community must be on proposals to raise the level of member involvement so that older members are motivated to remain as members. The challenge to MGA is to offer an attractive menu of activities and services with particular appeal for older members.
Charles Turner (Region 8 Life Member Coordinator) October 2017.