Pulse of the IHSAI Community
News from the IHSAI Community from Network Builder Justin Hyatt
Having been designated the IHS Alumni International Community and Network Builder for the Alumni Board 2017-2020, I set out early to engage in network building on a recent trip of mine to India and Bangladesh.
This involved meeting IHS Alumni at prepared gatherings in three different locations: Bangalore and New Delhi in India and Dhaka in Bangladesh. While the flavor of all three meetings was different, the commonality was the opportunity to meet the “local gang” of our alumni in their home environments. This gave me a chance to find out more about what they are doing, as well as present some of the plans that we have for the next few years. Happily, all these meetings were well attended, and the alumni who came were eager to learn about IHS news, as well as to meet with fellow alumni – who in some cases had not met in years.
For their support in preparing local gatherings, I want to say a special word of thanks here to Nidhi Vinay in Bangalore, Rajiv Sharma & Akshaya Sen in New Delhi and Sonia Islam in Dhaka. And also Charmae Pyl in the Alumni Relations Office (ARO) at IHS, who facilitated our online communication and organising process.
What are the key takeaways? More cooperation and an increase in alumni activity is the order of the day! IHS alumni are involved in many interesting projects and activities – this naturally doesn’t come as a surprise! In some cases, such as in Delhi and Dhaka, there already existed Local Alumni Association (LAA) structures, yet these have not always stayed in frequent touch or have developed a routine program of activities and objectives.
The essence of the meetings was to re-orient the alumni groups to work towards common goals and to foster greater cooperation both amongst each other and with IHS in Rotterdam.
This fits also with the stated objectives of the alumni network for the current board 2017-2020: To encourage active alumni groups, to provide extra activity opportunities and content to those who are interested, and also to facilitate & create more ways that IHS alumni may cooperate professionally with IHS as an institution.
In another part of the world, the IHS Alumni Association Nigeria met in the city of Abuja, but also Lagos, where our IHS Alumni Relations Officer, Charmae Nercua was present. Incumbent President Barnabas Atiyaye shared the current plans for the association, which include a high priority on National Elections. Upcoming June 2018, the IHS Alumni Relations Office will help the association in implementing the national elections. There are also plans to come up with joint proposals with IHS for a refresher course and a tailor-made training to be submitted to Nuffic under the Orange Knowledge program. The association aimed to be more consolidated and strong after a new set of active and dynamic leaders will be installed in June 2018.
In order to be able to better serve IHS alumni around the world and also to find out how to best create synergies between LAAs, active alumni and IHS, we launched the IHS Alumni International Survey, which we are convinced will bring helpful insight into what you, as alumni, are thinking, what your wishes are, how you would like to see your local groups grow and how we can indeed create a whole lot of fun and action in connection with the IHS name.
Ultimately, the mission of IHS, to make cities work, is in hot demand here: to not give up on those stubborn and deep seated issues, inherent in so many cities, that just don’t want to go away, yet that need precisely the kind of professionals who have taken their seats in classrooms 1-4, have enjoyed the fun events hosted by Ruud and co., have engaged in group homework sessions and have come out of their IHS experience with a fine-tuned and highly informed understanding of how cities work and how we as practitioners may do much to usher cities through paradigm shifts, to better functioning and more sustainable and resilient human habitats!
We are open to the involvement and the ideas and participation of all alumni. If you haven’t filled out the survey, please fill it in now. But that is just to get going. All of your ideas, wishes and initiatives are always welcome.