I am pleased to have been appointed the Program Chairman for SubOptic 2019. We are making great strides in preparing an exciting program for the event next year.
The first task of the committee was to choose a theme – a topic of current interest to the industry, selected two years before the conference takes place. Our theme for the conference is To the Beach and Beyond – Rethinking Global Networks. This was carefully selected to represent the massive changes that have occurred in our industry even in the short space of time since Dubai in 2016.
We have already appointed the Vice Chairs of the Papers Committee, two well-known and respected professionals in our industry, Marc-Richard Fortin and Stephen Dawe.
In addition, we have selected six challenging topics for the Master Class sessions on Day 1 of the Conference. To enhance these further, Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc. will be awarding accredited Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to qualifying attendees. This will address some of the key progressive issues identified by the SubOptic Executive Committee and the Program Committee. We see education as a differentiator to other conferences in our industry and along with the more technical emphasis in the oral and posters sessions we will continue along this path.
Three other challenges that we will address in 2019 are diversity, globalization and demographics. You will see from the Master Classes that we aim to tackle the diversity and globalization issues head on. There have been many changes in the interim years since the inception of SubOptic from an industry that catered for telephonic links between the economic hubs in Japan, Western Europe and North America to a data-centric business that touches nearly every countries’ shores. In order to continue to prosper we must reflect this in the attendance in New Orleans as well as the 2022 event, which is already in planning for the Far East.
Finally, a word on demographics. We are essentially an ageing congregation (myself included). The industry will continue to thrive, as there is no better medium than optical fibre. We have to bring in young blood and the CE scheme will hopefully encourage employees to send some graduates to the event as well as support them to present either papers or equally important poster.