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December 2016

Reaching Out To The National Societies

Patricia A.O. BunyeBy Patricia A.O. Bunye, President, LES International

As an umbrella organization, LESI interacts with its individual members through our 33 national and regional societies. It is therefore imperative to make available all the necessary tools and best practices to enable them to deliver value to their respective individual members.

With this in mind, I spent the months of July and August on separate conference calls with the National Presidents of Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Time differences and other professional obligations made scheduling and actually holding the calls challenging. Nevertheless, these calls were valuable opportunities to hear the views of our National Presidents on three issues:

1. The main goals and challenges identified by the Long Range Planning Committee. All National Presidents were requested for their input on the main goals and challenges faced by LESI for consideration and inclusion in the 3-5 Year Strategic Plan being drafted by the Long Range Planning Committee for possible approval by the LESI Board in Vancouver. The approved 3-5 Year Strategic Plan will be presented at the next International Delegates’ Meeting in Paris. A similar consultation process will likewise be conducted with the various LESI committees.

2. Proposed National Presidents’ Meeting/Workshop at the Winter Planning Meeting in Bangkok. This will be expanded to include other national leaders such as Secretaries and Treasurers and will focus on best practices that may be adopted by each national society. Arrangements will be made for those who cannot participate in person to join the call via Skype or other electronic means. Regional leadership meetings are also being considered.

3. Call for representation of national societies in LESI committees.

The month of August kicked off with my first visit to a national society: LES India, which held a two day workshop on “Intellectual Property Management for Start-ups and New Ventures” on 04-05 August 2016 in Bengaluru (Bangalore). The workshop themewas very timely and appropriate considering that their Prime Minister, Shri NarendraModi, had just announced at the beginning of 2016 the “Start-up India” initiative,which aims to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation by creating anecosystem conducive to the growth of start-ups.

India is touted as the world’s youngest start-up nation with 72 percent ofstart-up founders being below 35 years of age. Close to 4,400 technology startupsexist in India and the number is expected to reach over 12,000 by 2020.This should be an interesting development that our Young Members Congresscan take a look at.

More than the substantial content of the workshop (which covered topicssuch as IP protection, risk and compliance, emerging trends in IP in India,and issues and challenges faced by Indian start-ups), I welcomed the opportunityto sit down with the leadership of LES India. It was also encouragingto meet local participants who were attending an LES event for the first time.A clear indicator that the event was a resounding success was that, even beforeit was over, many of them were asking when the next one would be.Kudos to LES India President Raj Hirwani, Secretary Sunil Krishna and InternationalDelegate Santosh Mohanty!

PresidentMessageDec16

Traditional Indian lighting ceremony opened the two-day LES India workshop at the ABB GISPL’s premises. From left: Dr. Santosh Mohanty, LES India International Delegate and a champion of the LES IT and Software Industry Advisory Board; Dr. Raj Hirwani, President of LES India; Patricia Bunye, LESI President; and Mr. GNV Subba Rao, Managing Director of ABB GISPL.