President's Column

2023 – A Time for Renewing Friendships

20 January 2023
2023 – a time for renewing friendships

The New Year is a time for getting together with friends and family and reflecting on the past and planning the future. Often we make resolutions for the coming year about what we want to do – and what we need to do.

Statistical societies are no exception to this, in the sense that they offer the opportunity for friends to come together – virtually and in person – to discuss the future directions in statistics, and hopefully also provide a means for us all to make some resolutions.

Virtual opportunities are through our website where you will see our forthcoming webinars and our on-line courses. The website also provides links to statistical events, run by the ISI and Associations as well as by other organisations. Soon this will expand, as our new website – due to be launched in the next few weeks – will provide a platform for members to message friends and colleagues, have networked discussions etc, in our Associations, Interest Groups or Committees, providing a valuable addition to our on-line communications. Look out for the launch date.

But the real excitement of 2023 as we gingerly move into a post-COVID world, is the ability to meet up again in person, and I wanted to say a bit more about our Regional Conferences. I think these are important opportunities to build statistical communities in regions of the world, and to contribute to global capacity building.

We are very excited about the Regional Statistical Conference in Zambia. The conference will be held at the AVANI hotel in Livingstone, by the Victoria Falls, on 4-6 April, with training sessions on Monday 3rd. Held jointly with the IAOS, the theme of ‘Better Lives 2030: Mobilising the power of data for Africa and the world’ will be of interest to academic statisticians and those from business, as well as to official statisticians, in Africa and from further afield.

This conference has of course been delayed twice since 2020, due to the pandemic. Pauline and I were excited at the prospect of visiting Africa again, seeing the Victoria Falls for the first time, and appreciating the wildlife. We booked a short holiday there for after the conference, which has also been postponed twice! So I’m really looking forward to finally making the trip.

Following on from this, plans are advancing for Regional Conferences in Latin America, and in East Asia, so do look out for these. If your country has the capability to host such a conference, please let us know. The requirements are set out here.

Whatever your statistical plans are over the next few months, do take some time to collaborate with your statistical friends and colleagues, and help build the community of statisticians, that ISI aspires to.


Stephen Penneck
President, ISI