YPG Congress 2007

The YPG is a positive example of distributed teams working together. The annual YPG Congress offers branch representatives the chance to meet face-to-face to strengthen existing relationships as well as to kick start new networks.

YPG Congress This year's congress, held at the BCS London Office, saw an exceptional turnout of representatives from more than 12 branches around the UK on August 4. Portia Tung reports.

The event opened with a welcome breakfast speech from Acting Chair, Jen Hewitt. Jen began by thanking the participants for giving up their Saturdays to participate in an event designed to empower branches and the National Committee through knowledge sharing, ideas generation and building networks that matter.

BCS supporting representatives of IT now and the future

The BCS demonstrated their support for the YPG at the Congress with the presence of David Clarke, BCS Chief Executive, Richard French, branches & YPG manager and Pam Fegan, YPG executive.

As key guest speaker, David was pleased to announce the average age of new BCS joiners is now 28 after a re-launch of the BCS in 2004. He said that the BCS is actively changing the IT profession and is constantly seeking to provide qualifications that meet the evolving needs of the industry.

David also emphasised that the trustee board wants to make its council membership more representative of the 60,000 BCS members, in particular, its younger members. One of the board's key objectives is to promote active collaboration between the BCS and the YPG. To that end, he strongly encouraged YPG branch members to get involved and comment on local and national IT profession-related issues.

YPG strategy for 2007

Next, Chris Moxon, Chair of the YPG, presented the YPG's 2007 strategy, compiled by the national committee. The strategy is made up of twelve elements, including students, professionalism and collaboration and partnerships. Congress attendees were then invited to participate in three back-to-back 15-minute workshops of their choice to share their experiences and contacts on common interests.

Many felt the workshops gave them an invaluable insight into the open and inclusive way in which the YPG engages its members. Most importantly, it offered promises of future conversations and opportunities for collaboration.

Branch rep presentations from Belfast and South Wales

Two branch reps Karen Flanagan from the Belfast branch, and Max Davis, from the South Wales branch, shared their stories and experiences with good humour and even more enthusiasm. Karen described the BCS as 'a professional body that helps you work towards your career goals'. She went on to explain how becoming a rep has helped her develop the confidence to meet new people as well as essential networking skills.

Max began by commending all those who choose to take part in the YPG, working as volunteers, giving up both their effort and time to work as part of a great team.  Max and his team are planning a road show of events around South Wales in recognition of the importance of making YPG events as far reaching as possible.

YPG rep of the year 2007

This year's congress saw the launch of a new award, Branch Rep of the Year. Vicky Sadler from the Nottingham and Derby Branch was selected as the winner for her ongoing dedication and innovative efforts to run a variety of YPG events as well as mentor new reps.

As an example of Vicky's effective and fun style of events, the congress audience found themselves practicing speed networking by forming two human concentric circles, an exercise which proved to be a most effective way of turning strangers into friendly, smiling faces after only a couple of minutes. Read more about Vicky.

Generating new ideas and the Da Vinci challenge

The congress finished with two more group exercises, the first of which transformed the audience into 'tiger teams', temporary teams that each came up with ideas and committed to taking action on one of four aspects of the YPG:

  1. Contact with members;
  2. Regional groups;
  3. Future of YPG reps;
  4. BCS HQ tiger teams.

The last exercise proved to be the most challenging of all, to some more than to others: it was to decrypt an encoded message related to the YPG. Coincidentally and happily, the winning team was led by Acting YPG Chair, Jen Hewitt. 

In summary

The event was deemed a resounding success having achieved its key aim of putting YPG reps in touch with one another and helping them develop new and existing skills through building professional and social networks.

Acting Chair, Jen Hewitt, said: 'It's been a fantastic day. We are extremely grateful of David Clarke's presence today and would like to thank him for his support and encouragement of YPG activities. This is the third year congress has been run and we've seen a large increase in the number of YPG reps attending.

From the feedback and discussions we've had today, we are brimming with excellent ideas and are planning to organise more regular face-to-face meetings for branches and the national committee on a regional basis.'

Want to know more about the YPG?

One of the best ways to find out more about the YPG is by attending events. Places are limited and fill up quickly, so sign up early to avoid disappointment: YPG Events.

August 2007