In the first meeting of the 2021/22 session, trustees discussed topics including the ICE strategy, the President’s Terms of Reference, and ICE’s finances.
The ICE Trustee Board met on 23 November welcoming a number of new trustees – Richard Bayfield (trustee for Professional Conduct and Ethics), Julie Bregulla (trustee for Member Engagement and Relationship with Council), Paula McMahon (trustee for UK regions) and Jonathan Spruce (trustee for Policy and External Affairs).
The global pandemic has made the institution rethink the way it delivers our services, noting the enthusiasm with which our move to remote reviews has been received.
I was particularly pleased to see how our members have, in general, adapted well to new digital ways of working.
We have seen a significant increase in the number of people who have been able to attend our events. In the case of my inauguration alone, what might have been a 200-person event at One Great George Street was a virtual event attended by almost 10 times as many around the world.
Trustees are keen to take advantage of this increased accessibility by accelerating some of our existing plans, looking at how we can support members through the engineering knowledge programmes, and driving government policy by drawing on our members’ expertise to engage with decision makers.
Improving digital capabilities
The challenge now is for the ICE staff team to deliver a really high-quality digital knowledge offer and, importantly, to enable members to meet, and network, with their friends and colleagues to discuss those engineering challenges and experiences that interest us.
The institution has made great strides in its digital capabilities, but more needs to be done. Trustees recognise the importance of investing in technologies that allow members to draw on the ICE how, where and when it suits them.
The Trustee Board approved the Budget for 2022, noting the forecast for 2021 and acknowledging that forecasting remained challenging with uncertainty continuing around Covid-19.
As with many other similar charitable organisations, the institution has built up a higher than predicted surplus owing to the restrictive effects of the pandemic on travel and meetings. Trustees discussed the merits of using the surplus to advance some of ICE’s projects and plans. Trustees agreed to create a fund for enhancing our digital capabilities.
Shaping the world
I am also pleased to say that Trustees agreed to resource a key role at the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI) for 24 months from ICE’s Shaping the World fund.
ICSI is working to identify and address the biggest barriers to action that have prevented us from working together to achieve sustainable infrastructure. ICE is well placed to lend its expertise and leadership to this important coalition whose goals align closely with ours.
President's Terms of Reference
Trustees have consulted extensively with the membership over the President’s Terms of Reference and debated the issue at Council at length. After hearing and accepting Council’s advice they have now agreed the Terms of Reference.
Chartered Infrastructure Engineer ballot
Finally, we will be asking you to vote to approve the introduction of a new Chartered Infrastructure Engineer title in a ballot taking place from February 2022.
Can I unreservedly encourage you to vote in favour of this proposal? Trustees firmly believe that as we face up to the infrastructure challenges of the 21st century, we need to broaden our community of engineers to include those with the skill sets that are needed, many of whom do not have an institutional home.
This is not about growth for growth’s sake; it is about putting together the qualified community we need to meet the challenges that we face. Trustees believe that this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity which we should embrace whole-heartedly. Please encourage your colleagues to support the proposal.