Dear ITS Colleagues:|
I'm delighted to begin my report in the current (May 2013) issue of Interconnect with the happy news that for the first time in the history of our organization ITS has surpassed 400 fully paid members. While there are many reasons for this, first among them is the complimentary subscription to the journal, Telecommunications Policy, which accompanies each paid ITS membership. The response of our members to this benefit, particularly as reflected in membership renewal rates (and, interestingly, in the number of notifications of change of postal address being sent to the ITS Secretariat) has been extremely encouraging. For a more complete discussion and analysis of this and other factors contributing to the growth in our membership, I would direct your attention to the article that begins at page 7 of this issue of the newsletter.
In other news, I'm very pleased to report that 2013 promises to be another very strong year for ITS.
As discussed at greater length elsewhere in this issue of Interconnect, our 2013 conference line-up includes Regional Conferences in Perth, Australia (August 4-7) and Florence, Italy (October 20-23). In addition, we will convene our 5th Ph.D. Seminar for promising graduate students in Florence (October 23-24) immediately following the conclusion of the 24th European Regional Conference in that city.
This year's event in Australia marks the seventh ITS gathering and the 6th Africa-Asia-Australasia Regional Conference that Perth has hosted since 2001. Thanks to the prodigious organizational efforts and indefatigable energy of Perth-based ITS Director, Dr. Gary Madden, no other city in the world can lay claim to having convened as many ITS Conferences.
The theme of this year's Perth Conference is Meeting Increasing Telecommunications Demand - Technology, Networks, Business Models & Social Needs. The keynote address will be delivered by one of the world's leading economists, Professor Jerry Hausman, the John and Jennie S. MacDonald Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the current Director of the MIT Telecommunications Economics Research Program. A complete list of the many other distinguished speakers invited to address this Conference can be found at page 3 of this issue of Interconnect. The host organization for the Conference will be the Communications Economics & Electronic Markets Research Centre, Curtin University.
The theme of this year's European Regional Conference, meanwhile, is Technology, Investment and Uncertainty. The Conference will be hosted by the Florence School of Regulation and will convene at the European University Institute. The 5th ITS Ph.D. Seminar will be held at the same venue and will commence immediately following the closing ceremonies for the main Florence Conference. As in prior years, papers addressing a broad range of ICT-related topics will be accepted from approximately 10 to 15 Ph.D. students. A panel of leading academics and industry professionals from the broader ITS community will be invited to review these papers and then, based on their many years of research and industry experience, provide their personal insights on the ideas presented together with suggestions on how they may be developed further. Additional details on both events can be found in the separate article which starts at page XX of this issue of Interconnect.
Looking somewhat further over the horizon, I am pleased to report that the next ITS Biennial Conference will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 30 - December 3, 2014. This will be the first ITS Biennial to be held in South America since the 13th ITS Biennial convened in Buenos Aires in 2000. It will be hosted by ITS Global Corporate member, TIM Brasil. Further details on the 2014 Biennial are provided in this issue of Interconnect starting at page XX.
Plans are also coming together for a Regional Conference that will take place in Belgium in June 2014. It will be hosted by iMinds (formerly IBBT-SMIT). As always, once further details on this and other future conferences become available, they will be posted on the ITS web site and will be disseminated to ITS members via the ITS-L Listserv.
The second half of 2012 witnessed several changes to the composition of the ITS Board with the departure of five Directors and the election of three new Board members. Please join me in extending to our departing/retiring Board members -- Mr. Reinhard Wieck (Germany), Dr. Ting Jie Lu (China), Dr. Heikki Hämmäinen (Finland), Dr. Hidenori Fuke (Japan) and Dr. Jürgen Müller (Germany) -- our sincerest thanks for their many contributions to our organization and best wishes for continued success in their future endeavours. Each of these departing Directors was instrumental in organizing major conferences for ITS during their respective years of service on the ITS Board. Although we owe a debt of gratitude to each, special thanks are warranted in the case of Professor Müller who was among the founders of ITS and who has faithfully and energetically served on our Board since 1986. For a great many of those years Professor Müller's name was literally synonymous with ITS. Indeed, during the first two decades of our existence, he played a pivotal role in the organization of a great many ITS Conferences, especially those held in Europe. I also wish to single out the contributions of Professor Fuke, who has been one of our most active Board members over the past 14 years. Most recently, Professor Fuke served as Co-Chair of the very successful 2010 ITS Biennial Conference in Tokyo.
New Directors elected to the ITS Board between June and October of 2012 were Mr. Mario Girasole (Brazil), Dr. Jason Whalley (Britain) and Dr. Jan Krancke (Germany). Each of our new Directors brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as highly specialized skill sets to the ITS Board. I am as honoured as I am delighted to be able to formally welcome them to our organization and look forward with much anticipation to collaborating with them in advancing the goals and objectives of our Society in the years ahead.
The ITS Board met immediately prior to the commencement of proceedings at the 2012 Biennial Conference in Bangkok. Among the outcomes of that meeting were the following changes in the composition of the ITS Executive Committee (including ITS Officers and Committee Chairs). Stepping down from their positions as ITS Vice-Chair and ITS Secretary were Dr. Brigitte Preissl (Germany) and Dr. Ernst-Olav Ruhle (Germany), respectively. Mr. Stephen Schmidt (Canada) was elected as the new ITS Vice-Chair while Ms. Bronwyn Howell (New Zealand) was elected to the position of ITS Secretary. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks and gratitude to Dr. Preissl for her dedicated service and many contributions to ITS in the capacity of Vice-Chair over the past six years, including especially her work as the principal organizer all ITS Regional Conferences since 2005. In similar fashion, please allow me to extend to Dr. Ruhle my deepest appreciation for his faithful service to our organization in his official capacity as ITS Secretary for the past eight years, including the pivotal role he played as principal co-organizer of the 2012 European Regional Conference in Vienna. At the same time, I very much look forward to working even more closely with Mr. Schmidt in the years ahead now that he has added the position of ITS Vice Chair to his existing role as Chair of the ITS Web Development Committee. Likewise, I wish to extend to Ms. Howell my warmest greetings and best wishes for a successful tenure as the new ITS Secretary. Finally, I am very happy to report that Leland Schmidt was elected by the Board to serve another term as ITS Treasurer, an Officer position he has held and very ably served in for a great many years. Supporting Mr. Schmidt in his role as Treasurer will be Dr. Christian Dippon who was elected by the Board to the newly created position of ITS Assistant Treasurer. Dr. Dippon has served on the ITS Board for a number of years, including several as a member of the Finance Committee. He thus comes to his new position with no shortage of experience, not to mention a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. I heartily welcome him to his new role and responsibilities within our organization.
Other changes in the management of ITS arising from the November 18, 2012 Board meeting included the following Committee Chairs who stepped down from their positions after serving lengthy terms: Professor Teodosio Pérez Amaral (Spain) - Conference Committee Chair; Professor Patricia Longstaff (USA) - Marketing and Promotions Committee Chair; and Professor Xu Yan (Hong Kong, China) - Strategic Planning Committee Chair. ITS Board members appointed to fill these vacant Committee Chair positions included: Professor Hitoshi Mitomo (Japan) - Conference Committee; Professor Yu-li Liu (Taiwan) - Marketing and Promotions Committee; and Professor Andrea Renda (Belgium) - Strategic Planning Committee. To each of the outgoing ITS Committee Chairs I offer my sincerest thanks and hearty commendations for a job well done and to each of the incoming Committee Chairs please allow me to express my appreciation for accepting these new challenges and responsibilities while offering to you my commitment of support in all of your new official endeavours.
Finally, it is my very pleasant task to inform you that after being nominated by the ITS Membership and Nominations Committee, I was elected by the ITS Board of Directors at its November 2012 meeting in Bangkok to serve as ITS Chair for another term of four years. I am both humbled by, and deeply appreciative of, the support the Board has provided to, and the confidence it has shown in, me and affirm my full commitment to once again serving the interests of our membership to the best of my ability during my third term of office.
As always, I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the months ahead at one or more of our upcoming Conferences and to engaging you in discussions on the issues and subjects of greatest interest and concern to the telecommunications and broader ICT industry.
Erik Bohlin, Ph.D.
Chair, ITS Board of Directors