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I wanted to make everyone aware of the fact that the call for proposals for sessions for the SCIP 2009 conference has been posted to the SCIP web site:

Proposals are due at midnight on September 01, 2008.

As much as I can I am willing to offer advice or guidance about proposals in this forum of via e-mail at

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WIth all due respect, I was talking about the separately billed events. In my expereince with US associations, these are typically done on the basis of a fee plus percent of the gross, with admission to the event and one hotel night.
Ealen - I have no idea who you are, why you feel the need to communicate under a pseudonym or ask that others declare their "earnings" from SCIP. The fact is that nobody "makes" money from SCIP, rather SCIP makes considerable profit from the willingness of others to work for them at far less than a commercial rate and give an incredible number of hours for free. If you are a consultant, that translates into opportunity cost. If you are salaried, then your employer subsidises SCIP. If you are an academic, you have to either obtain permission to be absent or take some of your annual holiday to attend events, but in either case, most likely you have to pay any uncovered travel and accommodation costs out of your own pocket. That is fine if you are happy with that situation but it is clear from the discussion that such a radical reduction in the terms and conditions of engagement will affect this.

Similarly, if I attend a Workshop, and am paying a commercial price for the privilege, I expect to see an experienced, expert presenter, not somebody who is using the event for personal development purposes.

One also needs to look at the definition of non profit. All organisations need revenue whether that is achieved though member dues, workshop fees, conference fees, book sales etc. It is all revenue. The fact that any surplus is not returned to shareholders is what makes it non profit. In all other respects SCIP is a commercial operation and it belongs to the members who are not only the major stakeholders, but the major revenue generators. If members become aware of decisions which they feel are detrimental to the organisation's future then there is no acceptable reason why those views should not be aired in any forum.

The change in compensation is not restricted to the annual meeting either. The travel allowance for Workshop presenters for the European Meeting is now the grand sum of Euro 250. That means that anybody who needs to travel from anywhere other than within Italy or its close neighbouring countries would have to subsidise their own travel.

I am quite sure that there are some who would not like this aired for public debate but as these compensation terms are a matter of public knowledge I see nothing wrong in so doing, especially as these are presented as a fait accompli with no opportunity for debate.

As far as I am aware, this is an independent site which encourages the frank and honest exchange of views. It is not owned, or moderated, by SCIP. To that end, let’s see more calls for papers and details of conferences which will give all concerned a clearer view of the wider market for CI, including, but not limited to, SCIP events. SCIP has its own website for publicity and an e-mail machine which seems to work overtime. Surely that is enough.
Hi Sheila - indeed you are correct, this site is independent of any sponsoring body (other than Ning itself and the ad revenue it generates from the Google ads on the left side of the homepage) and its members, and, as such, is open to anyone with an interest in CI.

Further, I've received messages by a few of you that, the specific absence of any such formal organizational allegiances is a key feature of and attraction for this forum. It is dedicated to CI enthusiasts regardless of national origin, language, level of experience, specific emphasis within the field or ability (or lack thereof) to pay a membership fee (as there is no cost structure to support).

This includes those friends and colleagues I know so well personally currently engaged here in a debate on an issue of importance to SCIP and its members. I would respectfully submit that, this sort of debate could indeed act as focus group for policy decisions, not only for SCIP, but for other interest groups and organizations with an orientation toward CI enthusiasts.

All the best,

- Arik
Hear, hear!! An independent forum is truly welcome and it has been a long, long time coming. Like other member organisations, it would be good to see SCIP members being consulted, and asked to vote on proposals before they become irreversible decisions. Ask first, then act.
Perhaps we need to explore the definition of the word "volunteer" and to look at models of other nonprofits regarding speaker benefits. Also, I encourage full disclosure from those expressing their distress about the changes in "compensation" re. what they exactly have made from SCIP in years past. It's disquieting to think that any individual or entity would seek to singularly benefit from the work of a nonprofit.
I have a big favor to ask of everyone: could discussions of presenter compensation move to another discussion, medium or venue? I would really like to have an on-line interactive space where veteran presenters and program committee members can provide guidance and feedback on prospective presenters for SCIP09. The compensation discussion is off topic and belongs, at the very least, in another discussion forum.
To agree with you August, I think SCIP would be an appropriate audience for that subject matter, only in terms of the spirit of your original post being content oriented, not logistics. That said, some of these self-same topics are of serious import to SCIP if they might affect the rest of the meeting. I am most interested in hearing about the ideas people have for compelling content - the more I learn about CI, the more I realize how little I really know...
Although the focus of this discussion has been presenter compensation - i think in fact that this is a red-herring. Cuts in speaker compensation packages are just another example of how SCIP is giving less and less value to members.

When I first joined over 10 years ago, there was a regular magazine / newsletter; active chapter meetings; a professional journal (CI Review) and well attended conferences. Other than the CI Magazine, there is no longer a professional journal - and the SCIP UK chapter has only recently restarted under the admirable leadership of Andrew Beurschgens. It closed for a period of 2 years - primarily due to SCIP board incompetence in not understanding the needs of UK based members, resulting in a substantial loss in membership in what was at the time, SCIP's largest non-North American chapter.

When I first joined SCIP there were around 6-7k members. There's now well under half that. The shareholders of any commercial organization that lost 50% of its customers - and continued to lose customers would soon demand strategy changes at board level to revitalize the organization. We are not seeing any such revitalizing effort in SCIP - in fact, with the recent changes, the exact opposite. John said he knew of 4 popular speakers who have said they won't be submitting. I'll make it another. That's probably over 100k being lost to SCIP from professional workshops. (And if you look at my feedback for my workshops, you get 95%+ saying very good or excellent).

I'm a member of 3 other professional associations, and SCIP is the most expensive and gives me the least.

As for Colleen's point about speakers in other associations not getting remuneration. Put up and name them. We are not talking about speakers at the conference itself (in which case I'd agree with you) but people preparing professional quality pre-conference workshops. SCIP appears not to want or recognize professionalism - whether at the conference or by including a professional refereed journal as a member benefit.

In my case, each time I've delivered a workshop I've spent a few days making sure it is up-to-date, and relevant. I'm not going to do that for what SCIP is now offering - an amount I view as an insult.

If SCIP wants amateurs who do things just for the love of it, they are going the right way to get them. The trouble is that amateurs don't deliver the quality that professionals are paid to give, and that attendees - paying hefty conference fees - have the right to expect. Of course, you will get newcomers willing to do workshops for nearly nowt! However, as the old saying goes, if you pay peanuts, you'll get monkeys. As anybody with sufficient knowledge to lead a full-day workshop, or even half-day, will know their own worth, and be unwilling to put in the preparation time required for only $750 (plus the chance of travel costs, which will be at the whim of some committee, and if not granted could make that $750 shrink to zero if the flights are from outside the US.
Arthur has hit the nail on the head. SCIP must cultivate the intellectual vitality of the group every way possible to take advantage of coming opportunities (and looming threats.) Instead, the theme offered by the 2009 call for proposals is cost-cutting and de-valuation. It makes no sense. Hopefully, we can encourage people to lead in another direction.

First, the compensation issue: Of its $2 million annual budget, $1.3 million comes from educational revenue. It completely escapes me why the national organization would assert that it has been overcompensating its most experienced members who provide that training. These training courses - according to SCIP in its last annual report - account for 66% of the whole operation. I would think you'd want to incentivize professionals to do even more training - so I don't get this move.

There's a bigger strategic trend at play, however. The need for professional analysis in all organizations, public and private, is going to supernova in the coming years. Between globalization of markets, climate change and general technological advance, strategic challenges are getting radically more complex for organizations. Traditional education (MBA, MPA, Econ, Org Devel.) typically does not cover the broad thinking, rational, intelligence-driven leadership that the 21st century leader must have to navigate complex organizations to success.

Competitive intelligence has one of the best methodologies to offer the next generation leader - bottom-up data leading to strategic options and thus better decision making. Much of the last generation of leadership focused on process efficiency, cost cutting, and growth of the existing business model. That mindset is proving to be disastrous - ask General Motors how much it costs to stick with your 20th century model. (Answer: about $15 billion a quarter.)

Add the fundamental need for professional intelligence systems to the looming talent crunch that will come from an unprecedented wave of retirements as the Boom generation begins to head for part-time work or full-time leisure. A whole world of organizations will need a center of excellence for professional intelligence analysis - and SCIP is ideally suited, with decades of history and great professional members.

Instead of cost cutting, SCIP National needs to be aggressive and positive about meeting these needs - with more publications, more professional training, more online venues - a more vital intellectual environment in every sense.

That said, if SCIP is not willing to take advantage of these tremendous opportunities, then I see a whole world of intelligence analysts in this Ning group who just might - somehow, somewhere. What started as Arik Johnson's great idea is organically (read: no budget) blossoming into a global, energetic group of professionals.

The vitality is there. The leadership must rise to meet it.

So let's keep the dialogue going!

Clearly this is the wrong direction unless you want to alienate your experienced workshop presenters. Let me add another note for comment - the elimination of the Academic track. In one month SCIP has stopped JCIM and now eliminated academic track (and I don't buy an argument on entrepreneurial CI covering scholarly) - professional associations rely on academe for field development - what gives with SCIP? ?
Point of repetition from my expansion on the description of the tracks:

>"Intelligence R&D" is a slight modification on the legacy "Scholarly &
>Innovation" track to explore new topics from the world of academia
>and research.
Thanks for the clarification but it still by title and description is not that friendly especially following the description of entrepreneurial CI which actually uses the word real world application and not academic.


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