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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Member interest groups and online communities

Thinking that you’d like to get more involved with your profession, but not sure how to go about it? The member interest groups (MIGs) or online communities offer the ideal opportunity to get involved, meet like-minded people, make your mark and develop your personal interests in a slightly less formal setting than traditional forums 
— such as committee meetings — provide.

MIGs are self-organising groups of members who share a common theme or interest, be it a chosen topic or simply a geographical location. Activities are many and varied, and might include organising social or professional networking events, developing research into a particular topic or setting up an online discussion forum. 
All MIGs have dedicated website pages and most produce newsletters. Members are welcome to join any MIG that is of interest to them — membership is open to all and all members can join as many MIGs as they wish. Details of existing MIGs can be found on the website at http://tinyurl.com/3ah4kkb

This summer has seen the formation of two new MIGs: one, led by Michael Owen, examining the role of sole practitioners, and another, led by Seamus Creedon, David Lamb and Ashok Gupta, for NEDs — people holding non-executive director roles. The two new MIGs held their first meetings over the summer and they both plan to meet again in the autumn.

Some MIGs also have online communities where members can discuss professional issues and experiences online, share documents and knowledge, and network with other members. Wherever you are in the world and whatever your interests, online communities offer an easy route to getting involved with your profession. An open online community for actuaries living and working in Scotland already exists — the Scottish Constituency Community. With the Profession’s overseas members particularly in mind, and as part of its commitment to an international strategy of proactive engagement, it has recently set up communities for actuaries living and/or working in Beijing, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Singapore.

The staff at the Profession will be using these to follow up issues and messages that arose during recent visits to countries in SE Asia. Further overseas communities will follow. Hopefully, all of these will develop into lively online meeting places where members can share news and develop thoughts, ideas 
and aspirations for their professional lives. 
All the overseas communities are open, which means anyone can join them. To view the list of open communities, log in to www.actuaries.org.uk and select the ‘Communities’ tab on the home page.

If you cannot find a group that interests you, or which reflects your own professional interests, and you would like to start one, let the Profession know and it will help you do so. All suggestions, comments and feedback are welcome and should be sent to webservices@actuaries.org.uk. The new strategy sets out a renewed commitment to member support, international engagement and thought leadership and we are committed to working with you on these things.

See column on page 14 for MIG events