Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Dec 21, 2020
Dear ASPAC Family,
We did not see each other this year but we experienced each other in ways that we never have before. While 2020 saw an avalanche of sorrow across the planet, including our region, we also witnessed new ways of not just staying alive but most of all, of keeping each other alive. This is how we kept our families and friends “close” while being apart.
It also applies to the work that we all do in the field of science engagement. We really do not consider what we do a “job” but rather, a chance for us to forge “purpose and meaning” in the unrepeatable days and nights of our individual lifetimes. So we really did keep each other ‘alive” by activating new connections and new ways of acknowledging each other’s presence.
GOOGLE spent millions of dollars a few years ago to find out what makes for a perfect team. They found out that it was when the group was made up of diverse members and that the members are given chances to have their voices heard and the members feel welcome to do so.
Somehow, the diversity of voices, the willingness to listen, the sincerity and commitment to work together, make up the abracadabra that conjures the “perfect” team. That is what the ASPAC family has been wanting to do and against (and equally, we think, because of) the enormous weight of the pandemic 2020, we pressed on and achieved our first significant steps.
In our first masterclass for emerging leaders, we have gathered across generations because ASPAC cultures share that in common – a deep respect for time – past, present and future. The spirit was so rich, creative and vibrant as it was between seasoned leaders and emerging leaders in different aspects of science engagement organisations. It was top university leadership seminar meets Kung-fu Panda :), as we all discovered and expressed together, the common joys and struggles along the road of leadership in our field.
We also now have a new Executive Council that represents shared leadership among the senior and next generation of leaders. We are very excited to work together to see the new ways we can craft so that we can be a better network for our members and most of all, do our bit as a collective, for a better world.
ASPAC, as a network, is only as good as the diversity of the voices that can be heard. It is only as good as the follow-throughs after the initial “hellos” and excitement of “firsts”. But we believe that ASPAC is a family network – that it is not just another membership commitment, but another “lifeline” that we can hold on to, to make meaning and contribute to, to make life better for each other and our one and only planet.
Thank you for being a part of the ASPAC family. May unmistakable joy follow you around in (and most of all, despite of) everything you encounter for the rest of strange 2020 and the coming year!