Meeting of the Generations – Panelists Needed

Meeting of the Generations – Perspectives on fisheries from those got us here to those will take us forward

A proposal for the AFS 150th Anniversary

 The Concept:

A discussion group representing the full spectrum of fisheries professionals will engage in key conversations about the development of the current state of the profession and looking into the future based on lessons from the past.  The group will include 12-15 people and will consist of AFS members from the generations defined by the Pew Research Center in  2019:  Silent (born 1928-1945); Boomers (born 1946-1964); Gen X (born 1965-1980); Millennials (born 1981-1996) and Gen Z (born 1997 to present).

The Products:

  1. Ultimate product will be an article in Fisheries magazine as part of the 2020 volume on AFS 150th Target will be the November or December issue.
  2. Panel discussion at Columbus AFS meeting – The group will develop and participate in a session in Columbus to share their thoughts with the registrants. This should include a panel discussion with as many of the group as possible.  Other activities could include selected speakers from the panel or invitees to address the challenge of learning from the past to consider the future (future-casting), how do we realize these lessons of history?

Key Questions as Starting Points for the Group

  1. Introspective: Looking back on my career, how did my career path expectations reflect the reality?  What could I have done differently to prepare for the course that I ended up taking?  What did I do well that allowed me to succeed or at least survive?  What was the greatest surprise?
  2. You’ve seen an immense amount of change during your career, what do you see as the greatest opportunities and challenges in the future?
  3. Who, if anyone, most influenced your career and how? What lessons can be learned from your experience of passing on lessons-learned from one generation to the next?
  4. Looking externally: What were the most significant events that impacted my career and fisheries?  Could I have anticipated them (or not)?  How do you prepare for things that you cannot anticipate?
  5. Change will happen, like it or not, and you can expect as much or more change than the generation heading towards retirement. What do you see as the biggest changes in the years ahead?  How will you prepare for them?  Based on what the veterans said about their career paths, how does this make you consider your own plans and dreams?
  6. What differences do you see across generations with regard to your career pathway, challenges and opportunities? How does this influence how you will look at your career and prepare for or impact the future?
  7. What role should the professional societies play in helping to prepare fisheries professionals for the challenges, changes, and career opportunities that they will experience?
  8. How have the fundamentals of the profession changed over the years and will it change in the future?
  9. What can we all do to make the career development and professional transition easier and more effective?

How will this work?

  1. Panelists will be selected through nominations submitted by members of the Governing Board and general membership and will by design and to the greatest degree possible reflect the geographic, discipline, gender and ethnic diversity of the profession. Call for nominees will go out by June 1, 2019, with deadline of September 15.  Selections complete by September 28.  Final selection made by Jesse Trushenski, Scott Bonar, Steve Lochmann and Doug Austen
  2. Depending upon attendance, we may try to get the group together at the Reno meeting. However, an initial call of the group will be held in October.  This will be mainly introductions, general discussion of goals and products, and rough timeline establishment.
  3. Group will establish timeline for subsequent gathering.

General Notes

  • While the group could certainly use the questions provided above, they have full authorization to use questions and discussion topics of their own selection.
  • This is not a mentoring of veterans to younger professionals but an exchange of equals sharing their perspectives and learning from each other.
  • The group can reach out as far and wide as they feel appropriate to gain additional insight and perspectives.
  • The group can engage the larger fisheries community through social media, webinars, blogs or whatever tools they feel would be helpful to expand the conversation, share thoughts, or get comments.

How to Apply?

Simply send a statement of your interest in this group to AFS Executive Director Doug Austen at [email protected]

This statement should be no more than one page and should include a description about you as a fisheries professional and possibly include links to a web site or social media (e.g. LinkedIn) that describes some of your work.  Most importantly, you should convey how you would contribute to this discussion.  As a young fisheries professional, have you been thinking about the challenges ahead?  What can the older generation do (or not do) to help transition the leadership?  As a more experienced fisheries professional, what do you want to share with those coming after you?  Are there mistakes you’ve made, lessons learned, or concerns that you have?  Tell us how you will contribute to this fun and fascinating discussion.