The GOLD Book is a project launched in 2010 with the purpose of creating a legacy about the activities that have been organized by GOLD Affinity Groups (AG) around Region 8. Though compiled and edited during 2010, this book was never officially published during that year. For this reason, during 2011 the Region 8 GOLD subcommittee decided to extend the book’s content and span it from 2008 to 2010. The scope of the book is not only to present the activities of the AGs, but also to show their well-succeeded and failing experiences. Special focus was given to GOLD oriented programs, such as the Student Transition & Elevation Partnership (STEP) and the Humanitarian Workshop (HW).
The content of the book was obtained by direct contact with the local AG chairs whom have been encouraged to submit a structured report. The report consisted in several questions aiming at summarizing AGs operation. The questions were then adequately arranged in order to give this book its final format. Thus, the book is separated by topics and each topic is separated by AG and year. The topics are:
- Events: lists the events that have been organized by each AG and summarizes the main lines of each one of the activities;
- STEP program: summarizes the details of the STEP events that have been organized. The GOLD AGs have been asked to specify the content of the event and to give clear insight on the dates and number of attendees;
- Humanitarian Workshop: summarizes the details of HWs that may have been organized in the local AGs;
- Successful stories: Stories of success and accomplishment are stated in this section. The purpose is to identify the best practices that drive AGs towards fruitful and rich content organizations;
- Failing stories: In many cases the AGs do not succeed in organizing their events, in operating smoothly their committees or fundraising their activities. For this reason, this section aims at spotting such cases so that further work can be performed at IEEE in a global perspective;
- Main problems: This section though similar to the previous one aims at identifying the issues that each AG faces, despite the success of their activities;
- Future plans: Gives some insight on the planning of activities in the AG and the continuation of the AGs as organizational units.
Regarding AGs operation, Region 8 has seen much activity spanning from technical to professional and social events. The GOLD oriented programs have been proving to be a good platform for well establishment of GOLD in local sections. The STEP event is currently organized in several AGs and in some of them it is organized even more than once a year. The HW, since it is not yet presented as a closed package, it has not been organized as frequent as it would be desired. During 2010, it has been organized only twice. Regarding success stories, reports typically mention the success of events with higher participation than expected and good feedback from attendees. The failing stories are commonly related to difficulty in sustaining the continuity of the GOLD committees and fundraise.
With the content of the current book, the editors expect that it will serve future volunteers and committees so that they can learn and take advantage of these experiences in order to enrich and enlarge their activities in local AGs. Additionally, it is expected that some of these details enlighten what members expect IEEE to deliver to them, and ultimately drive some of the strategic direction of IEEE as a worldwide organization.