As registration opens for the 2019 conference, I am reminded of the opening of a door. I’ve always liked doors as a metaphor for new beginnings. They imply new experiences, new learnings, new people coming into your life. I like to think of the conference as a door to opportunity for participants.
Confucius reportedly said that “the will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential…these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” My experience with SIETAR USA conferences (and SIETAR International before that) has been to bring my desire to succeed and to find the best in what the conference offers. I always left with something I could use on Monday, a new idea, a new way of thinking about an issue, and new people to contact when I needed advice. I truly believe that whatever personal excellence I achieved in my work was in part influenced by attending SIETAR conferences.
I hope you have been considering attending the conference because if you haven’t, I ask you to reflect on something Mehmet Murat Ildan said, “If you feel you have to open a particular door, open it, otherwise all your life that door will haunt your mind.” I don’t want you to be haunted by missing an opportunity to learn and grow, reconnecting with old friends, and making new friends and connections.
We have a full program with excellent invited speakers and presenters. We are in the process of populating the website with up-to-date information about the conference. I encourage you to check it out now and be sure to keep looking at it as we add additional updates! In this issue of the newsletter you will find an article introducing you to the Invited Speakers. They reflect the level of quality that this conference offers. On the website you will be intrigued by reading the list of concurrent sessions and presenters organized by the conference tracks: Business; Culture Specific; Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice; General.
As excited as I am about the conference program, I am very concerned about the current cultural climate in the United States. I look forward to opportunities at the conference to talk about the recent cultural and political situation in the United States with colleagues from across the country as well as those from other countries. There are several concurrent sessions that will engage participants with the concerns of our government and institutions, we hope to provide a safe environment in which to discuss discrimination and bias.
We’ll provide the open door. We invite you to walk in!
Sandra M. Fowler