Welcome to the October edition of Electra. It is my honor to write to you as the new CIGRE President, a position I am very pleased to accept; and I am very delighted to be part of a team of officers with Michael Heyeck (VP Finance), Marcio Szechtman (TC Chair), and Philippe Adam (Secretary General). As a member of CIGRE for over 30 years I have seen the constant development of our industry and how necessary CIGRE has been and will continue to be. Global communication and knowledge sharing have made it possible to build the world’s power systems.
We can’t move forward without thanking Rob for his achievements during his tenure as CIGRE president. Rob's collaborative leadership style maintained open discussion leading to excellent results. His highly successful approach gathers the ultimate buy-in from all.
Rob brought CIGRE to the precipice of its second century, with greater diversity and membership growth, with end-to-end power system expertise advancing distribution, and with strategic focus on the future electric grid. He saw the provision for our digital future, with improved searchability of CIGRE technical assets and publications. He facilitated the unprecedented and swift adaption to virtual in the pandemic period.
Rob's greatest strength has always been his humility throughout his decades of service to CIGRE and that will continue in the future! We all thank him for accepting to be the Editor of the CSE.
The main challenges before me will be to implement a strong and financially sustainable CIGRE strategy in the post-Covid-19 environment.
We must continue to modernize our services to members through the digitalization of services, of our publications, and to develop and increase our membership in new territories but also historical territories.
CIGRE needs to provide resources that will advance diversity within NGN and WIE, grow our reach towards more student membership, and ensure their conversion into permanent members.
Covid-19 made it clear that CIGRE’s financial sustainability (benevolent contributors, sponsors) should be diversified in a broader manner that will ensure affordable membership rates while managing risks for any unforeseen events affecting CIGRE financials. The development of new revenue streams so that we become less dependent on The Session is necessary, and we will be looking for the support of NCs and existing members to attract new members and sponsors.
But this is also a time to celebrate…
2021 will mark the 100th anniversary of CIGRE. It is an occasion to celebrate the changes that have occurred throughout these decades, both in our industry and in our association. We have the opportunity to be a group of great engineers that have contributed to an ever-enriched, shared vision that fosters engagement and global knowledge sharing among power system professionals to enable the sustainable provision of electricity for all.
It is also the time to celebrate the way forward and to demonstrate CIGRE’s contribution - by its members – and to be universally recognized as the leading global organization for all aspects of electric power systems.
CIGRE: The Electric Energy Transition Thought Leader
This will be the direction that adheres to the CIGRE traditions while developing our end-to-end power system expertise, enhancing our industry’s digital transformation, and contributing to the energy transition.
The Covid-19 crisis has already had a major impact on CIGRE with the postponement of the 2020 Paris Session. It will also have a long-lasting impact on the way we work together, travel, meet, and communicate. With this in mind, one of the main tasks I will focus on will be to derive new working and revenue models to ensure the association’s sustainability as well as attract new members and new geographies willing to grow our common expertise, all in the collaborative tradition of the CIGRE community. The new digital tools developed, as part of our marketing effort, will contribute to make this possible.
My intention is to foster and work closely with our NCs in this transformation – using new technologies to enhance our functioning - and make CIGRE’s second centennial an even greater success than our first.