This is my final column as president – I can’t believe the year has gone so quickly! It’s been a year of ups and downs, as COVID-19 has continued to be an influence, but I’d like to focus on the good things that will make it a year to remember for me.
During the past year or so I have spoken about how much the world, the actuarial profession and the IFoA have changed throughout my career. I’ve seen fax take over from telex, only to be displaced by email and the web. Instant messaging and video calls are normal, rather than sci-fi fantasies. Spreadsheets appeared, dominated, and now compete with more powerful data analytic tools. It really is a different world today, and yesterday’s skillset isn’t adequate to deal with it.
Fostering a vibrant global community is one of the three main themes of the IFoA’s 2020-24 strategy. Wherever we are and whatever our circumstances, we should be able to count on the IFoA’s support in our careers and professional development.
The IFoA is a member organisation, so it’s important that we find out what our membership wants from us – which is why we recently surveyed all members. Many thanks to everyone who participated. The feedback that you have given us will help to shape what the IFoA does for its members, for the industries in which they work, and for wider society.
One of the IFoA’s many roles is to help our members achieve their potential. In a changing world, we can support you as you develop the skills, competencies and mindsets you need for successful, fulfilling and sustainable careers.
At the beginning of next month, the United Nations will continue its custom of convening nearly every country for a global climate change summit. This year’s Conference of Parties – the UN’s 26th, and thus known as COP26 – gets underway in Glasgow, Scotland, on 1 November, and is where world leaders will strive to tackle the uniquely urgent challenges in sustainability today.
In our strategy debates, we discussed the importance of adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to problemsolving, in order to tackle the complex and systemic issues facing the profession and wider society.