Opinion

Conferences and summits provide an ideal platform to highlight IOSH’s priorities

Vincent-Ho-IOSH-President-ioshmagazine.com
IOSH President

This is a time of purposeful and productive global engagement by IOSH, so my year as president has enabled me to travel to different parts of the world on behalf of the institution and make many new friends with whom we can collaborate.

A lot of meaningful engagements have centred on conferences and summits, with the speaking opportunities offering IOSH a way to connect with stakeholders from similar professional bodies in different industries and in different regional contexts.

IOSH 2018 – our own annual conference last year in Birmingham at the heart of the UK – provided the platform for me to begin my presidential role and meet members and guests from 25 countries.

One week later, I was at the centre of Europe presenting our No Time to Lose campaign to tackle cancer caused by work. We were invited to take part in a Joint Action on Comprehensive Cancer Control European Presidency summit in Vienna, Austria, with senior government officials, ministers and advisers from European Union states.

Since then, I have attended conferences in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, India and the US, speaking about themes that relate to IOSH’s priorities and to projects and issues that need our attention.

The presidential team has travelled widely as well, throughout Europe and as far as South Africa, extending understanding of WORK 2022 and developing our relationships with other organisations and businesses.

I always find these meetings useful. Conferences and exhibitions represent a gathering of knowledge and skills – a “deep dive” into new professional perspectives – that can deliver more information and ideas in one day than a series of meetings.

When you attend them, you often wear more than one hat. As an employee, you may be looking for solutions to challenges your organisation has. You may want to create new commercial relationships – gaining contacts or expanding your horizons and footprint.

As a professional, you can acquire new knowledge that enhances your abilities, gain insights from other people’s experiences that can inform your own approach to the work you do, and improve learning that contributes to your CPD. Networking opportunities with your professional peers can also develop future opportunities.

For academics, conferences also represent essential forums for presenting or discovering new ideas and research findings, and places to debate what these mean for practice. As an adjunct professor, the insights I gather at conferences enrich my teaching and benefit the emerging generation of OSH and engineering professionals.

I am looking forward to IOSH 2019 next month and all the opportunities that it will provide, including an opportunity to meet you and hear more from you.

 

Vincent Ho is President of IOSH
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