In my speech I said, “Please step forward to do for the profession, what you expect the profession to do for you.” This was inspired by John F Kennedy’s presidential address in 1961, “Ask not what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for the country.”
The quality of leadership and performance of IFoA in the long run is determined by the Council. In turn, the quality and composition of the Council is determined by our membership. The best way to ensure that the IFoA remains faithful to our wishes and aspirations, is for us step up, be involved and stay engaged.
This means volunteering, taking an interest, encouraging, speaking up and voting in (IFoA) elections. Our greatest enemy is apathy. The voters turn out of less than 14 % in the last three years of Council elections in IFoA is a cause of concern.
I know in some respects this is a circular argument. Members are engaged if the IFoA, the Council and the leadership are engaging and have meaning and interesting programs. This circular argument can become a virtuous circle. We can begin to make creative and imaginative interventions into the system. This means encouraging right behaviours, calling out wrong ones in respectful ways, and leading by examples.
This is the essence of democracy of a members led organisation.