Forum on the Future of Surveying enters its initial feedback phase.
This new column provides monthly coverage of the Forum on the Future of Surveying (FFOS)—a national initiative with representatives from 15 key surveying-related associations—to examine paths forward for the profession. See the first installment in our March issue.
Now the initial report of the Forum on the Future of Surveying (FFOS) has been released; you can read the full report here.
The next step is for the participants of the inaugural meeting (January 22, 2016 when the report was developed) to solicit feedback from the leadership and/or general membership of the associations they represent (e.g. NSPS, AAGS, ASPRS, SaGES, etc.). Different associations may be soliciting input and feedback by varied means: announcements via newsletters, at association meetings, or online questionnaires (as the NSPS has developed).
UPDATE: The NSPS questionnaire is now live online: questionnaire intro here.
The goal is to receive and compile as much feedback as possible and as widely representative of the respective associations before the next meeting of the FFOS (tentatively scheduled for June, 2016).
The report is not a definitive examination of the state of the profession, challenges and opportunities, nor conclusions with regards to actions or initiatives recommended to strengthen and grow the profession; the meeting was just the first step. The representatives sought, as best as they could, what kinds of ideas have been discussed among the membership of their respective associations on such subjects as the image of the profession, branding, outreach, changing markets, education, mentoring, and more. From the focus areas discussed, lists of options and ideas were compiled.
This next phase of feedback will further refine and prioritize these lists with an eye towards future phases: fleshing out these ideas and developing action items.
Does this sound like an exercise that your local association chapters may have done in the past? Perhaps, but this is the first time we have seen an initiative undertaken at this level and inclusive of so many national associations.
What You Can Do
If your association has not already announced the initiative and solicited feedback, begin the process proactively, from the grass roots. Start at your local chapter level: circulate the report, discuss the lists of ideas, add any you feel are missing, compile and pass these up through the leadership of your association, and make sure the representative on the FFOS has this feedback before the end of May, 2016—in hand for the June meeting.