Hi ISTT members!
What a year we have had! A year ago, no one knew what would be ahead of us with Covid 19 which influenced many of our activities. We did not have our annual conference, and we had the first International Council meeting by Zoom. Before the council meeting, we had the first Trustees meeting by Zoom also. We have used virtual meetings with the Board of Directors (formerly the ESC) for quite a long time now, and that works well for the montly meetings. I was pleased with how well we succeeded with Zoom, too. Thanks to our staff–Kyoko Kondo and Peter Smeallie–and especially for Lynn Maclachlan from UKSTT who hosted the complex International Council meeting.
With the discontinuation of Trenchless International, we have invited media companies to propose continuing with our magazine and other information channels we will use in the future. The ISTT Outreach and Marketing Committee chair Trevor Gosatti has done a great job on this, and we can now introduce our new media partner: Trenchless Works! The board made the selection at its January 2021 meeting. There were other candidates as well; the decision was not easy. I welcome Trenchless Works to join the ISTT community.
We are living in very uncertain times because of the pandemic, although the vaccinations have started in many countries. I hope we can get back to normal this spring. As soon as possible, I will be at your service, attending your conferences if desired. We plan to have our 38th International No-Dig in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in November 2021 (this meeting was rescheduled from November 2020). We will also hold the International Council meeting the day before No-Dig begins. Our 39th International No-Dig will be held in Helsinki City, Finland in October 2022; the 40th will be in Panama City in 2023.
Our Technical and Education Committee, led by Albert Shou, has been very active in preparing the series of ISTT webinars. Two have been held so far, and this third is scheduled for 29 January. You can register on the ISTT website (www.istt.com). You can also review past recorded webinars. We are now also on LinkedIn. Please follow us there too. There is a lot of information on LinkedIn about trenchless.
We are all trying to get back to normal again. NASTT will have their No Dig show in Orlando, Florida at the end of March. In April we should have conferences the in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in Suzhou, China, and in Krakow, Poland. I hope there is a possibility for me to pay a visit to many of these as I can. Please let me know your thoughts about if you would like me to say some words at your conference.
As you can tell, ISTT has worked quite actively throughout this difficult pandemic period. I think we are on our way to better times. I am happy our society is more active and more transparent. We have received a number of inquiries from new societies about joining ISTT. I think that is one good sign that we are on the right way in our activity.
I have suffered when we have not had a possibility to meet from face to face and eager to meet you all again!
with best regards, Jari Kaukonen, Chair, ISTT