Re: What is it all about?
- Subject: Re: What is it all about?
- From: Albert Huntington <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 10:52:22 -0700
I hear a certain amount of frustration behind your questions, for which I am sorry. There are a *lot* of ideas out there about what the society *should* do, but fundamentally what the society *does* is to publish Aroideana.
The gap between what the society does and what people want the society to do can only be filled in one way - by volunteers. It is not so much a deficit of ideas as a deficit of resources. The board does is come with ideas of what the society *should* do, but often fails to find someone actually willing to *do* it. Another thing the board does is try to protect the financial interests of the society so that we can keep publishing Aroideana.
That gap between what people think we should do and what people are willing to actually do is apparent in the conference organization - someone thought it would be nice to have the society more involved in the conference, and I don't think anyone would disagree, so they put us on the program from day one. We've done what we can - we voted on the location when asked, we put it on our website. But that's different from identifying someone to fly out to Hanoi and make a presentation on their day off work, which is what we are currently struggling with.
We are similarly struggling to find someone to drive down to where things for the show are stored in South Florida and schelp a bunch of shirts and posters and such in their luggage halfway across the world, spend the conference selling it rather than hobnobbing with the other attendees. and then schlep all the extra back to Florida with whatever money they might have collected. If any such person exists, we'd all be more than happy to have some merchandise at the conference. It's not that we are intentionally US-centric, but there are certain things that still need a physical location in this day and age, and most of them are still in South Florida, though our membership down there is on the wane.
Speaking of membership - historically, it's always been a few hundred. This despite enthusiastic campaigns, advertising and educational material surrounding things like A. titanum flowerings. A few hundred is on the lower edge of a viable population for a plant society. In a time when many other niche plant societies are often sputtering out, we are surprisingly holding reasonably steady ... but by the same token, growth is a difficult problem when you are a secondary or tertiary interest for most growers.
Finally - and this is for all you Aroiders out there - please do look at your society not as a monolithic entity, or a bunch of faceless folks in an ivory tower handing down edicts about what they *won't* allow, but as a handful of people who are taking time they cannot really spare in order to try to make something wonderful happen for the community at large. And if what you wonder why something isn't getting done ... talk to Zach or Peter or myself, or whoever succeeds us about volunteering to do it. There are often hidden reasons and difficulties, but beyond that, the only way anything *will* happen is if someone steps up to do it.
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