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For those of you who were unable to attend the E-ATP conference this year in Madrid in late September, we would like to share the opening speech made by Cicek Svensson, the Comms Multilingual Senior Vice-President, who is the ATP Board Chair for this year.

Cicek focused on humanity and how this enhances both your interactions with other people and the working environment, and also how important this is in the world of testing.

E-ATP Conference, Madrid 2019 Opening Speech

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to E-ATP! We are very excited to have you here in Madrid.

The last time I saw many of you was at the Innovations conference in Orlando earlier this year. At that conference, I shared a few of my thoughts about my goal as Board Chair. Since then, the Board has been working on those initiatives to enhance the brand of ATP.

Before I give you an update, there’s something else I’d like to talk about. Today I want to talk about humanity.

In the world of testing, we can all agree that we’re living in very exciting times with mind-bending technology which in the not so distant future will feel less and less mind-bending.

Within all of this excitement and disruption, it is important that from time to time we take a step back to reflect about the space that we’re working in, the environment where we’re most creative. It has a huge impact on us; whether it’s in our classrooms, our test centers, office spaces, board rooms, conferences or even when we’re working remotely.

All of these environments affect our professional and personal growth and we want that growth to be sustainable and purposeful. In order for our industry to become more purposeful, we need to bring more humanity into our working environment as growth exists in environments that celebrate humanity.

So what does it mean to include humanity? To me it means building an environment that includes diversity, transparency, connectivity and acceptance. To introduce the concept of psychological safety, authenticity and empathy. Rather than seeing diversity as a problem, we should define it as an asset. It’s about leveraging our equity the right way.

One of the greatest challenges our industry faces today is changing the culture of our working environment so that people feel more inclusive, so that they feel respected for their individuality and are seen for their distinctive personalities and unique talents. By influencing the way we view diversity, we can create those inclusive environments so that people feel comfortable in taking risks and become more motivated and engaged, which in turn creates more growth.

Those of you who know me know that both ATP and E-ATP have a special place in my heart. ATP and E-ATP are perfect examples of environments that celebrate humanity because we recognize and value our volunteers. Volunteerism only exists in environments that celebrate humanity and this organization is a perfect example of that concept. Specifically, the ATP Board is an example of that. Within the Board, diversity is an asset, transparency is a given and authenticity is a skill. Within the Board you’re given the opportunity to do something that is meaningful to you and to others.

We focus on all of these things so that we can grow together, with our people, our members, our volunteers and our community. The Board encourages and recognizes talented followers and volunteers. Our aim is to make each person feel included and welcome and feel that they can drive a cause that speaks to them. Our goal is to groom people to become the best version of themselves. That’s how we include humanity and that’s how we enhance growth for the testing industry.

So take care of your people, include humanity and do not consciously exclude this.

Moving on to Board initiatives.  I want to take the opportunity to thank the Board for all their support and patience as we work through our strategic planning initiatives. We wouldn’t be able to accomplish all these great things if we didn’t have the support from these individuals. I am proud and grateful for the opportunity to lead such a high-class group of individuals.

Here’s is just a brief update on those initiatives:

  • Strategic planning initiatives
    • Advocacy where we have worked on clarifying the path of communication and our responsiveness regarding any scandals or news that concern our industry
    • Membership offerings where we want to upscale our value proposition that will separate us from the rest
    • Guidance documents so that we can offer our members the latest guidelines and documentation within the testing industry
    • Educational resources where our members have access to various learning channels
    • Infrastructure where we work towards a global presence and help emerging markets understand the value of testing
  • Regional conferences
    • India
    • Asia
    • Middle East & Africa