Being Part of the IEEE Sections Congress 2023

By Kayoum Djedidi - IEEE ComSoc Tunisia Chapter

SC2023: A World of Insights and Connections

The anticipation was palpable as I embarked on a journey to the prestigious IEEE Sections Congress 2023. From August 11th to 13th, Ottawa, Canada, played host to this remarkable event that brought together passionate minds from around the globe to celebrate innovation, unity, and the power of collaboration. The Congress offered an array of enlightening sessions that expanded my horizons on a range of subjects. Engaging with thought leaders and industry experts, I delved into topics that resonated with my passion for technology and innovation. What struck me most was the unity that pervaded the atmosphere – a reminder that despite our diverse backgrounds, we all share the same goal of advancing technology for the betterment of society.

A highlight of the Congress was the chance to interact with esteemed IEEE ComSoc leaders. Engaging with figures like Dr. Shashank Gaur and Dr. Celia Desmond, former IEEE ComSoc president, was an enlightening experience. These interactions underscored the importance of ComSoc’s impact in our region and the value of engaging graduate student members.

Encountering Mrs. Susan Brooks, the former ComSoc executive director, was an honor. Her warmth and appreciation for ComSoc’s student volunteers showcased the society’s dedication to nurturing the next generation of technology leaders.

Among the many memorable encounters was a conversation with Mr. José Roberto de Marca, Chair of the Governance Committee of IEEE Communications Society and former IEEE president. His inspiring words resonated deeply, emphasizing the role of the newer generation in shaping the future of technology. Despite the event’s bustling atmosphere, I seized the opportunity to connect with Mr. Raed Abdulah, the ComSoc North America Region Board secretary. These interactions provided me with valuable insights into ComSoc initiatives and introduced me to a network of dedicated ComSoc volunteers.

While Dr. Ashutosh Dutta’s schedule prevented a direct meeting, we connected later via LinkedIn and scheduled a discussion on various ComSoc initiatives, as he is the founding Co-Chair for the IEEE Future Networks Initiative that focuses on 5G.

This experience illuminated the expansive scale at which our society operates and the diversity of our members from regions, fields, and age groups. IEEE truly embodies a global family, a realization that empowers me to excel in my field, with unwavering support from fellow members.

A Bright Future Ahead

Throughout the Congress, diverse topics took center stage, ranging from groundbreaking technological advancements to strategies aimed at invigorating member engagement and fostering the growth of emerging professionals. As a dedicated student eager to carve a career within ComSoc’s dynamic realm, these discussions resonated deeply, infusing me with a sense of purpose and enthusiasm. Among these discussions, one theme emerged as a focal point — the convergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) within communication systems. The discourse around AI-driven optimization and IoT’s potential for unprecedented connectivity was captivating. As an engineering student in the field of IoT, the realization that AI and IoT are set to reshape communication networks profoundly excited me. Notably, the revelation of ComSoc’s commitment to this through its Emerging Technologies Initiative, introduced to me during these discussions, indicates a promising avenue for innovation. Sharing this initiative with fellow members can undoubtedly ignite enthusiasm and engagement.

Shifting towards the student perspective, the dialogue addressed the unique needs of aspiring communication professionals within ComSoc’s vibrant community. Exploring the challenges student members face — accessing crucial resources, securing mentorship, and guidance for a successful career — underscored ComSoc’s dedication to nurturing the next generation of communication trailblazers. In response, discussions circled around pivotal initiatives bolstering student support. Notable concepts included comprehensive mentorship programs, pairing students with seasoned experts to exchange knowledge and cultivate career pathways. Student-centric technical webinars and workshops emerged as potent tools for bridging theoretical education and practical applications. Elevating ComSoc’s commitment to student support will undoubtedly strengthen its capacity to attract and retain young talents. Offering accessible resources, networking platforms, and mentorship will empower students to navigate their careers with resilience.

Some promising potential initiatives emerged:

  • The “ComSoc Student Hall of Fame” award, recognizing outstanding student contributions. This award could foster a culture of excellence within the ComSoc community.

  • The “ComSoc Call for Student Initiatives” proposition garnered interest. This platform could empower students to propose projects aligned with the society’s goals, fostering hands-on experience in project management, event organization, and technical innovation.

  • Encouraging academic prowess and research emerged through “ComSoc Student Paper of the Year” and “ComSoc Project of the Year” notions.

  • ComSoc meetup event featuring sessions and engaging activities to foster connections and share experiences.

  • Thought-provoking discussions surrounded another collaboration with IEEE HTB and SIGHT, aiming to bring the “Internet for All” program closer to student members, and involving SB and section SIGHT groups, By pooling resources, ComSoc, HTB, and SIGHT could bridge the digital divide, fostering connectivity and empowerment, all while empowering students and YPs.

It’s important to mention that Enthusiasm surrounding the ongoing ComSoc student competition was palpable. A suggestion of implementing such a program at the Student Branch or Section Chapter level resonated well, fostering local innovation, knowledge exchange, and camaraderie.

These insights from the IEEE Sections Congress 2023 underscore ComSoc’s potential to redefine budding professionals’ trajectories. By tailoring discussions, orchestrating skill-building events, and fostering intergenerational exchange, ComSoc can sculpt an ecosystem that empowers students to thrive. The potential for ComSoc to guide young professionals is tangible, and I’m excited to contribute actively to this vision. The congress indeed shed light on the transformative path ahead, inspiring a shared commitment to enhancing IEEE’s impact on the next generation of leaders.

SC23 was undoubtedly an exhilarating experience, where the booths, sessions, and activities were captivating. But what truly stood out was the incredible community – one that’s welcoming, collaborative, and open to new ideas. At IEEE, every member’s voice matters, making it a thriving ecosystem to nurture professional growth and innovation. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the IEEE Communications Society for enabling me to attend the IEEE Sections Congress 2023. Their support not only enriched my experience but also continues to empower countless volunteers and members within IEEE to shape their careers.