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Crucial Votes Passed At IGS General Assembly

Proposals to improve the operation and financial stability of the IGS were supported at the recent IGS General Assembly in Rome.

IGS members at the meeting, held on September 20 during the 12th International Conference on Geosynthetics, were asked to vote on three key proposals. These were:

  1. Updating the bylaws which would remove the membership sign-up fee to encourage growth, give the General Assembly powers to set variable (lower) membership rates in countries where costs were challenging, and allow the IGS Council to increase or freeze membership fees to ensure financial sustainability.
  2. Change annual Corporate Membership fees to $2,500, and for the IGS Council to have discretion to increase these annually up to a maximum of 5%.
  3. Change Individual Membership fees to $40 (or $60 if joining direct despite there being a Chapter in the member country). There would be a 40% discount for members in ‘Non-High-Income Countries’ with a minimum of $30 (which keeps the fee as before), and discretion for the IGS Council to increase fees annually up to a maximum of 3%.

All votes passed by a majority and the vote for bylaws updates was passed by the required two-thirds. The new fees were the first rise in 40 years and will come into effect on January 1, 2024.

During the meeting, President Sam Allen outlined the IGS’s recently released Strategy Report 2022-2026 ‘Building on Firm Foundations, summarising the Society’s strategic aims of being Influential, Trusted, Representative, and Sustainable. This was complemented by a short video sharing the IGS’s focus for the next few years.

Mr Allen also reiterated four key initiatives being worked on – the IGS Sustainability Benefits Calculator, IGS Curriculum Series, the IGS Handbook, and IGS Certification.

A financial update by IGS Treasure Jie Han was shared outlining IGS up-to-date funding levels and income and expense trajectories.

Members also observed a one-minute silence for IGS members who had died since the last ICG in 2018. Finally, upcoming events were shared and the IGS Awards were presented.

The next General Assembly will take place at the 13th ICG in Montreal, Canada, in 2026.