NESSE News: Executive Elections!

As members of our mailing list have heard, NESSE is electing a new executive board! The NESSE Executive Board is responsible for setting out the vision and priorities of the organization, developing new projects, and working closely with our partners to help all of our members. With the NESSE Board elections coming up, we asked the current Executive Director, Jennie Dodson, about setting up NESSE, the experience of being involved over the past year, and what’s in store for the Executive Board in 2015-2016.

Apply to stand for one of the NESSE Board positions by 10th July. Voting will be open for all early-career NESSE  members from 7th-14th August.

Laura and Jennie

Jennie and Exec Board member Laura at the International Symposium on Green Chemistry

Why did you set up NESSE?

NESSE started from a spark of an idea at the ACS Green Chemistry & Engineering Summer School in 2013. All of us attending shared a similar ethos and aim, developing green science & technology, but we were dispersed across the world. We wanted to stay in touch and continue to learn from each other and exchange ideas. NESSE formed and expanded from that initial vision. What drives me is the desire to see the rapid move towards a prosperous, sustainable future for all. By spreading positive examples, enabling early-career scientists to develop new ideas and connections across disciplines and gain the knowledge and skills to build sustainable science into their research and careers I hope that NESSE will play a role in getting to that future.

What have you gained from being involved with NESSE over the past two years?

Building a global organisation from scratch has been a challenging but incredible experience. I work with a wonderful, diverse group of young scientists from across the world developing innovative solutions to sustainability challenges. Through NESSE, I’ve developed skills in budgeting, marketing, events co-ordination, writing and organisation management. It’s also been a great way to network and make connections in professional societies and companies. Two years ago I couldn’t imagine I would be co-ordinating with other organisations to influence how the International Council for Science supports early-career scientists. These connections, skills and knowledge will be useful whatever my future career.

What would you say to people interested in standing for the NESSE Board?

Do it! We have a critical but exciting year ahead. Over the past year we’ve laid the foundations, but the next year will be vital for getting more funding, promoting the organisation and engaging new partners. If you have a passion for building a sustainable future and for connecting early-career scientists this is an ideal opportunity to have an impact. NESSE is entirely dependent on the energy and vision of the volunteers involved, so if you have an idea you can make that happen through NESSE. We want to get a wider mix of people on the Board from different disciplines, countries and backgrounds so if you’re interested get in touch, find out more and apply!

If a Board level commitment is a bit too much but someone wants to get more involved with NESSE what can they do?

There are many ways to be involved with NESSE. Sharing information, jobs and ideas on our Facebook group is a great way to connect with other members. Each of the Board members also co-ordinates a team of people who help to make NESSE vibrant and successful, from writing for the blog to helping run events. These are much more flexible in terms of time and length of commitment so if you want to get involved with NESSE and develop your skills, this is a great opportunity. Check out the volunteers page for more details. You could also set-up your own local NESSE group, you can join our online course later in the year to share ideas with other people starting groups.

Apply to stand for one of the NESSE Board positions by 10th July. Voting will be open for all early-career NESSE  members from 7th-14th August.