As the fear and frenzy surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic rages on around the world, it is very difficult to imagine things ever returning to the comfortable normal that we knew. 2020 has brought much change, and with it the opportunity to revisit how we approach the world of business, socialising and family life. For many of us, the old familiar ways have been consigned to history, whether through necessity, choice or otherwise. If anything has ever required us to adapt to change surely the past months have opened our eyes to the risks of complacency.

I am now almost six months into my CABE presidency and I’ve been reflecting on my aspirations for this year. The picture seemed very different back in 2017 when I was elected by my peers to the presidential team, but – despite the shock of Covid-19 – the same challenges remain. Climate change, global instability, the fragility of the human condition... These are all very big issues requiring our attention. Whatever your circumstances, there is no denying that we must reassess, change our ways and adapt to our new world, while not taking our eye off the ball. 

I am disappointed that I have not been able to travel to the regions and chapters around the globe. I wanted to meet our members in person and to share knowledge, experience, hopes and ambitions. As the programme of CABE events had to be called off and rescheduled, realisation soon hit home that unprecedented measures were required to keep the membership connected. We held our very first online buildeng conference last month, and my fears that we would not be able to reach out to our members has been swiftly allayed. The online meeting platform has enabled more people than ever to join and access an event that would have likely been prohibitive to attend in person through cost, time or distance.

I am proud to have been involved at board level, with my fellow directors, bringing the voice of the membership to the table and ensuring that CABE remains ahead of the game when looking forward to the fourth industrial revolution. Without the foresight and investment into the transformation in the digital arena, CABE – as a professional association – would have been far less able to respond positively to the challenges of this year.

The launch of the corporate branding, the improvements to the website and the new-look Building Engineer journal, many of you might have thought was a frivolous waste of money at the time, but without a doubt these changes have taken CABE to a new level of recognition within the construction and building engineering industry. It is not cosmetic change alone, but the combined efforts of every one of us involved in shaping the Association, from the CEO and the whole team at HQ to the Regional Committees and Chapters around the globe and individual members with vision and aspirations for a better future.

It is the whole CABE community that allows us to stand tall and support each other through times of crisis. Whatever your unique personal experience of the difficulties brought about by the current uncertainties, the CABE community is here for you. It is a fantastic opportunity for members to connect around the world, sharing their knowledge and having discussions about the industry.

Why don’t you join the conversation and have your say at cbuilde.com/cabecommunity 

Jayne Hall BSc (Hons) PCABE C.Build E FCABE CABE President



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