Since arriving back in Switzerland last weekend from the IPCC scoping meeting for the sixth assessment report, and in my commute between Zurich and Bern this week, I have noticed the unmissable arrival of spring with its noticeable landscape transformation, marking a new season for a fresh start, change and possibilities. In much the same way, I also find myself starting my new role here at MRI as Executive Director, with much anticipation and energy to build on successes and steer change towards a new focused direction for our network.
It is fair to say and expect that with new change comes the imperative for stocktaking and review of the recent past and present situation to better understand our context and plan for the future. Several activities and projects fall under this review category, including how we engage and communicate with our diverse membership across all continents via our newsletters and various social media and communication channels, as well as implementation progress on the many existing initiatives and projects. However, this period of stocktaking also coincides with many other structural changes at MRI, for instance the need for new staff at our office in Bern, with preparations for a new recruitment process to get underway very soon. Whilst we will continue to inform you of important and relevant updates on MRI and other mountain related news and events via our newsletters and social media, we anticipate that the volume of emails and information will be condensed and much more streamlined, given the reduced human capacity to respond. We expect this arrangement to last for the foreseeable months, until we can have our new recruits and a new strategic direction redefined by end of September 2017. Therefore, we thank you very much for your patience and understanding during this time.
On the flip side, change signals the opportunity to think big and create a new context for MRI. There are many exciting ideas under consideration for future development and embedment into the MRI fold as a service to this research community, for example concerted efforts to better support innovative research ideas and broker consortia for research proposals, as well as providing skills and capacity building opportunities to support our next generation of mountain scientists, our early career researchers. There is also encouraging potential to tap into and better leverage the many networks and institutions that MRI has managed to link and engage with over the years across the globe, with a view towards providing prospects for science and scientists for the benefit of mountains and its people.
A fruitful review and diligent mapping of opportunities depend on numerous consultations with diverse stakeholders and groups important for the work that MRI promotes for mountain regions, including you! And like any consultation effort, time and the space to listen effectively are very important. More information on the opportunity for you to provide us with your comments and feedback will be forthcoming, and we certainly look forward to making sure we take your views into consideration.
In closing, I would like to thank my predecessor Greg Greenwood and team for initiating and building MRI to the recognised platform and network that it is known for today. I would also like to reiterate my commitment and strong motivation to see MRI continue to be of service to you as a multi-disciplinary community of practice and further our prospects in dealing with pressing issues of global change for our mountain regions and people. I sincerely look forward to working with you in that shared conviction and see that research initiatives bloom into fruition.