It feels like the world is a very different place, with the impact of technology and social media on people's lives – we might not be riding around in jet-cars, but the changes are still profound.
My own personal journey was not as a founding member of ICAEW Members in Scotland (IMS), but I have been with the group for most of the time as committee member, then business representative and now Director for ICAEW Scotland. The timeline also fits with the life of my daughter Megan, born 2002, and apart from anything else, that provides a clear indicator of change! Less so, my hairline which started from a low (or should this be ‘high’?) base.
The pace of change
Another good measure of change is politics – from prime minister Tony Blair through the financial crash with Gordon Brown then into the David Cameron years which took us down the Brexit road. It’s not been uneventful and all of that has required ICAEW members to retain their balance, continue to develop and be able to add value.
Indeed, looking at the pace of change, at the use of mobile technology, and at software developments it’s easy to forget how quickly things have changed. Tax and accounting software, digital connectivity, and the cloud are all an everyday part of the toolkit.
Within ICAEW Scotland we have seen changes in committee, and it’s a big thanks to all those members who have been (and continue to be) involved – those on the Strategy Board, and the various sub-groups – business / sustainability / tax / technology / charities, etc.
Clearly COP26 and its outcome are critical, and it’s important not to become disillusioned by the nature of sound-bite politics and targets decades down the road (when those politicians will no longer be responsible for achievement). As a group and an organisation with a strong social conscience, there’s certainly a role we can all play, no matter what stage of career we are at.
We have been delighted at the broader engagement from members across Scotland through the use of virtual platforms – looking forward, it does mean that it’s going to be difficult to return to physical events alone – some kind of mix is important, to maintain the best of both. We are always open to feedback and it’s always great to get input on the kind of event we are running; whether it’s the content or format.
For all of us, it’s about balance – the world is 24/7 – so the need to look after ourselves is important. So, take care (remember that CABA are a useful support and resource if needed) and we will hopefully see you (digitally or even in person) at an event soon.