APOS: Our Vision, Hearts, Hopes, and Aims Are One!
We reach the end of our leadership journey at APOS in Boracay, Philippines, early March this year. It has been a very exciting journey for the current group of office bearers and all of us have been privileged to share experiences that only the APOS could offer. As this chapter draws to a close, we must ask ourselves, what next? What is our vision and wish list for APOS in future? A vision has to be rooted in one’s past, address the future, and deal with today’s realities. It represents who we are and what we stand for – one voice and one family!
As the society matures, the workings of the APOS must be like a well-oiled machine. With progress, the cogs of this machine need to work seamlessly and in tandem with each other. We foresee protocols being tightened up, being made more professional, progressive, and well established.
We also foresee the executive committee concentrating on the development of the society instead of being bogged down by the day-to-day issues of running a society. As a result, we would like to see the setup of a secretariat with permanent staff taking care of the daily running of the society.
This, like many of our ambitions will only be possible after the coffers increase to a sizeable amount which leads us to our second wish – an improvement in our financial health.
Having a financial setup that can have a self-generating income would be number one on our wish list here. Financial independence requires financial governance and checks (this needs to be established before the former). The establishment of an independent finance committee headed by the Treasurer would be the next hurdle we have to overcome.
We would like to also see our projects, that is, APOS Trends, Residents Forum, Newsletters as well as APFORE mature enough to generate their own income instead of burdening the income of the parent society.
The more of such projects we undertake, the greater the need for more helping hands. We have many able and talented affiliates and fellows who can aid us. We just need to tap into this potential source of resources with a dedicated drive.
Growth in All Spheres
We would like to see the APOS expand in two ways:
First, the increases in the number of affiliated societies. The region is the fastest growing in the world. Why shouldn’t our society grow just as much? However, we sincerely hope that new and existing affiliates add newer ideas and perspectives to the growth of APOS. At this point, an important phenomenon that we do wish to see is affiliated societies nominate fellows to serve on the EC who wish to serve and contribute, and not aspire for this position as a “feather in the cap,” or a photo opportunity. Continuity in these nominations for a considerable time period, aids in policy-making and governance undoubtedly
The second way of expansion is growth in terms of “fellow” memberships. Or, in other words, the redefinition of our fellows. We would like to eventually see individual memberships. There is certainly more ownership when individuals become direct fellows. There will also be a more personal and proactive interaction involved when a direct membership is established.
A Voice in the Region and Globally
The APOS should aim to be the “go to” orthodontic society in the region and contribute positively to global orthodontics and the WFO as an important voice in the region. Our Journal-APOS Trends has made strides in the past decade and we dream of a tomorrow where it is established as the leading orthodontic journal globally!
A Word of Caution…
We do not pretend to be wise sages that can predict the future – including that of the APOS. This is our wish list. We must also recognize that through hard work of fellows, past and present, what we have accomplished thus far can be extinguished by the antithesis of what we have been advocating. Neglect and apathy will lead our society to stagnation. Although we always aim for progress, we must never allow the society to slide into status quo through management apathy and indifference.
A compelling story of the future is engaging; it captures the heart, forces one to pay attention.
Those who hear it want to be a part of it somehow. And they are moved. The story of the future should be a stretch, but it must be achievable, too. If it were not achievable, you would have little motivation to even bother trying. Finally, future simply means out there – sometime from this moment forward, but not so far away that’s it’s out of reach. Our wish for the APOS would be by the year 2030, to be the premier orthodontic society in the region and beyond.
The present OBs and ECs may not be involved with the organization in 2030, but at least, if we start the ball rolling, we can say that we had a hand in the establishment of the APOS of our dreams! That would be a great accomplishment for all of us in this family of ours!
The best as they say – “is always yet to be!”