Members of IGCS may remember the platform on which I was elected was to internationalise the society as widely as possible. At that time, the countries present at the conception of IGCS remained the dominant membership groups, working hard and very effectively to unite this new society. But it was clear that IGCS was ready and mature enough to extend its global reach.
Happily, times have changed. We continue to engage the membership from high resource settings and recently received very helpful survey data on ways they would like to contribute to the IGCS regarding mentorship and education. Furthermore, we now have a global snapshot of the many educational liaisons between regions, allowing us to learn from existing successful partnerships and identify areas urgently in need of help.
Concurrently, we have been growing our member base significantly in South America, Central Asia, the East Asian region including China, and North Africa. Much of this change has emanated from our Strategic Alliance Partnership strategy, the brainchild of Mary Eiken, our CEO and Prof. Roberto Angioli, our President-Elect. The concept of enrolling local and regional societies has many attractive aspects. The partnerships improve communication between the society /network leaders and the IGCS enormously.
For Strategic Alliance Partners, a multiplicity of benefits accrues, including exposure via the IGCS website, communication directly with the IGCS leadership for strategic discussions, access to the members-only portal allowing exploration of our ever-increasing range of educational tools, opportunities to engage with our industry partners, and access to our Global Curriculum. Most importantly, IGCS is being viewed as the voice of the international gynaecologic cancer community and we have accomplished this by direct feedback on important issues from our regional partnerships.
This international outreach has allowed me to meet many of our colleagues around the world, listen to their needs and how they think IGCS might be of value to them locally. It is clear that many areas of the globe share the same concerns, not least their need to formalise gynaecological oncology training in their countries and build their local networks to enhance the care of women. IGCS is superbly placed with our outstanding people and resources to help build local societies and share experiences across the globe. This surely is what we are all about.
The job is still not yet finished. There are still many regions where IGCS has an inadequate presence and where I am sure we can make a difference to our colleagues and ultimately, their patients.
The IGCS of the future will look dramatically different, with true global representation. As we continue to mature, our leadership positions will justifiably reflect our membership and our committee members will be drawn from all continents and all countries.
See you all in Kyoto in September!
Michael Quinn, MA, MGO