By Steve Harvey.
New York (October 25, 2011)—AES president-elect Jan Abildgaard Pedersen, senior manager at Bang & Olufsen in Denmark and a specialist in DSP and acoustic technology, takes the reins at a time of uncertainty, both in the world economy and the society itself. But with AES membership at an all-time high, Pedersen is very optimistic about the future.
In Europe, the annual convention has lost exhibitors to other, more narrowly focused events over recent years though attendance to the technical program has more than justified the annual convention.
“I think there were more shows in Europe that were really targeting what we were doing,” he considers. Next year’s 132nd AES Convention, in Hungary, will focus on the technical program, he announces, while universities, small startup companies and major companies’ R&D departments will be encouraged to show tabletop and room demonstrations, “at a very low price,” he says.
Here in the United States, Pedersen is very actively seeking the support of members and exhibitors to help reinvigorate the organization, starting with an exhibitor meeting prior to this convention. The group meeting “was very productive,” he reports. “They clearly care about us.”
After the convention, the board of governors stayed for an extra day of future planning meetings, too. “It’s important to me that everybody sees the new opportunities and works towards the same goal.”
Collaboration is key to Pedersen’s plans, including working with other, related organizations. “I would like to initiate some kind of program where it becomes easier to show the presence of the AES at institutions and universities,” he shares.
Confidence in the AES leadership was shaken a little this year following talk of impropriety. “So I want to push transparency and trust among people as hard as I can,” vows Pedersen. ”A crisis can lead to something better if you manage it right.”
While it may no longer be business as usual, he concludes, “We have something nobody else has; it’s just a matter of utilizing it. I’m confident we can do it.”