About [a month and a half ago](/posts/2017/06/22/ACM-Future-of-Computing-Academy), I was on a plane to San Francisco to attend the 50th ACM Turing Awards and join the inaugural class of the ACM FCA — the Future of Computing Association. Since then I have been invited to join the leadership of group, serving as the member-at-large.
Again, I find myself on a plane with some time to write as I’m flying across Canada from Vancouver to Montreal to Halifax to Happy Valley Goose Bay to our final destination of Rigolet where I’ll be collaborating with [Prof. Dan Gillis](https://danielgillis.wordpress.com/) from the University of Guelph, [Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo](https://www.mun.ca/labradorinstitute/people/DrAshleeCunsolo.php) who is the director of the Labrador Institute at Memorial University, [Sherilee L. Harper](https://sherileeharper.com/) and [Alexandra Sawatzky](https://ovc.uoguelph.ca/population-medicine/graduate-student/alexandra-sawatzky) from the Department of Population Medicine at University of Guelph, Inez Shiwak from My Word: Storytelling and Digital Media Lab, [Charlie Flowers](https://twitter.com/Piguttuit), and the Rigolet Inuit Community Government. We’re collaborating to build a community-led health and environment monitoring system (which will make use of mesh technology from Left due to the challenging connectivity issues in the community). [I’ll likely post more about the Rigolet project in the coming days](/posts/2017/08/15/The-State-of-Connectivity-in-Canada’s-Remote-Communities).
<center> ![file](/uploads/image-1599618990271.png) <br/> The approach into the Remote community of Rigolet, Labrador in Nunatsiavut, Northern Canada.</center>
The last month and a half has been quite busy with the ACM-FCA. While the company I work for ([Left.io](http://www.left.io)) allows unlimited volunteer hours during work time, they like to track the number of hours we do so that we can set company-wide goals. Our goal this year is 600 hours, of which I have over 110 hours. In the last month my total has gone up at least 20–30 just from ACM activities.
We’ve spent the last month encouraging the early working groups we’ve established to continue making progress, while simultaneously doing high-level strategy and tactic planning for the group as a whole. We also organized calls with everyone in the group in order to relay the vision created during this planning process and collect input from the rest of the members. We organized the call in three different time zones to respect the diversity of our members (one in North & South American time, one in European / African time, and one in Asian / Oceania time).
The four objectives we’ve established are (paraphrasing) 1) Have some really high impact, high visibility wins. 2) At the same time, encourage things that may be smaller but bring us constant forward progress towards goals of the working groups. 3) Have a kickass, fun culture (really exciting to me since I work in a company that has won best workplace in British Columbia two years in a row + I really love working there). 4) Substantially grow the prominance of the FCA.
<center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just ended the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/acmfca?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#acmfca</a> Summer Conference Call (European edition) <a href="https://t.co/fYvsc7TmSU">pic.twitter.com/fYvsc7TmSU</a></p>— Luigi De Russis (@luigidr) <a href="https://twitter.com/luigidr/status/892396365791318017?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 1, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center>
Each of these high level objectives has a set of strategies and tactics that will allow individual working groups to execute and achieve progress on all of the objectives. The leadership so far from Brent and the other executive members has been really great and inspriing to work with, as well as the enthusiastic support and feedback we received from the members during the calls. The most encouraging part of the meetings is that everyone is excited to start making real progress and not be a typical academic group that talks alot and acomplishes little. There’s already been some progress in areas like trying to get kids (particularly under-represented groups) encouraged to become more involved in CS by partnering with some popular teen magazines (although not official yet, so I won’t mention which one). We’ve got the social media accounts coming up (checkout [@ACM_FCA](https://twitter.com/ACM_FCA) and the hashtag [#acmfca](https://twitter.com/search?q=%23acmfca&src=typd) on twitter).
<center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/aquigley?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@aquigley</a> kicking off the ACM Future of Computing Academy. This is us <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/acmfca?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#acmfca</a> <a href="https://t.co/LbzwowQdKg">pic.twitter.com/LbzwowQdKg</a></p>— Rogue P. Bigham (@jeffbigham) <a href="https://twitter.com/jeffbigham/status/879001710106034176?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 25, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center>
At the actual meeting itself, we formed some really quick and rough working groups around issues we identified as important and interesting. The ones I’m most excited about are: “The future of work”, “The future of CS education”, “equitable computing”, and “the future of publishing”. In the coming weeks, each of these groups (plus a few more I’ve probably accidentally left out) will be solidified and each will work towards our major strageic objectives. It sounds like we will also be continually forming new working groups, and some I’d particularly like to see may be centred around connecting the next billion people and the impact of decentralization.
So, after the first month and a half — I’m still very excited and encouraged and we’re already making progress. It will be exciting to see what happens in the next year and a half.
[Originally posted on medium on August 8, 2017](https://medium.com/@compscidr/acm-fca-progress-rigolet-project-a00a49c5dc8f).