October 2020 From the IFAC President

First President’s Column from Hajime Asama

I was elected as the IFAC president of the new triennium 2020-2023 at the IFAC General Assembly, which was held in July. It is a great honor for me. Following the custom of established by the immediate IFAC Past President, Frank Allgöwer (DE) during his IFAC presidency, I decided to continue to write this “President’s Column” over the course of this triennium.

I really hope that you, your family, and your friends are all in good health while Covid-19 spreads and many people are infected and dying. Due to COVID-19, most of the IFAC technical events are now being held online, as was the IFAC World Congress 2020. The IFAC World Congress was very successful, and all in thanks to the tremendous efforts of the German team, including Frank Allgöwer, Klaus Janschek, Sandra Hirche, and Rolf Findeisen. I express my deepest appreciation for them and their efforts. I hope all the par-ticipants enjoyed the virtual Congress with the new, unusual arrangements.

Although many IFAC technical events are planned for the next year, most of them must unfortunately be online too, or hybrid. It may be not possible for you to meet, talk, have a good meal together, or drink wine in person. But there are many other benefits, and we should make the most of them. For example, it will facilitate the participation of diverse people. Diversity and inclusion is one of the important topics to be promoted in this trien-nium in IFAC.

It is difficult to predict what will happen in the future and what post-coronavirus society holds for us all. The IFAC World Congress 2023, which is planned to be held in Yokohama, Japan, might be held in hybrid or hyflex format. But I really wish to meet many of you, discuss, and drink together in Yokohama in 2023.

Even though IFAC technical events are restricted from being held physically, other IFAC activities are proceeding as usual, as well as the nomination of TC members (from NMOs). The IFAC Executive Officers are also working to start many items such as the Activity Fund, studying the quality of IFAC technical events, as well as clarifying and unifying the procedures for co-sponsored technical events.

Additionally the IFAC Executive Officers will meet virtually in November 2020. By the end of 2020 we hope to be able to announce information concerning the 2021 IFAC Council- and Related Meetings. The new opportunities will be announced on the IFAC webpage.

So, please pay attention to the news on the web.

All the best, and stay safe.

Hajime Asama (JP)
IFAC President 2020-2023