Feb 2, 2022

By Susanne Seitinger

Susanne Seitinger
Susanne Seitinger, IES President (2021-2022)

Reconnecting and reigniting! As we embark on a New Year, these sentiments have been on my mind. How do we come to terms with the “new normal” and reconnect with our personal and professional networks? How do we reignite activities around light and health? The IES connects the global lighting community and provides countless opportunities for designers, engineers, innovators, researchers, educators and more to come together to share experiences, support one another—and ultimately—to improve life through the quality of light. In 2022, let’s all individually focus on reconnection. Let’s reach out to known connections. Let’s make new connections. Let’s restart important conversations around vital issues.

LIGHTFAIR 2021 EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS. It was encouraging to see so many leaders in-person at LightFair in New York City. How exciting to be back at the Javits Center and have meaningful face-to-face (or mask-to-mask) conversations! Though smaller than usual—as we all expected—participation was strong. I heard from many participants that the quality of their meetings exceeded their expectations. As we head into the New Year, I look forward to the upcoming LightFair in Las Vegas, which is sure to be equally as exciting and dynamic as the 2021 edition.

Karim Rashid, our keynote speaker at last year’s LightFair, was so inspiring. He challenged us to think about what it means to be digital. He also reinforced the importance of light and lighting both as a subject and as a creative medium. He stressed that while digital tools reshape and expand what is possible, designers and engineers still make the crucial decisions on human factors and needs.

One of the most important lessons I took from LightFair was the need to reconnect with people. My good friend and mentor, Jason Levin, just completed a timely book—Relationships to Infinity—which is on my holiday reading list. In it, Levin says that staying in touch is an intentional and active process. Technologies can assist us, but fundamentally it’s about people taking interest in others and forming long-term connections. Thus, one of my 2022 resolutions is to focus on meaningful connections with people. Working as president, I want to connect with as many individual IES Members and Sections as possible through in-person and virtual outreach.

IN 2022, IT’S CRUCIAL that we all take a leadership role at the IES in recharging conversations around light and health, among other key topics. As more members and non-members leverage the online Lighting Library®, let’s use this powerful tool to share discussion topics and propose new ideas. Along with our learning management system, the Library has been acknowledged by a LightFair Innovation Award. For two years running our advanced digital platforms have been recognized as leading our industry. On behalf of our tireless staff and volunteers, these recognitions are encouraging and will drive us to do more great things and make more connections in the New Year.

THE GOAL? FIND THE SPARK in 2022. Start the year off strong. Reconnect with people in your personal and professional networks. Do it systematically and intentionally. Pick some key lighting topics and carve out time to reignite conversations, so the IES can continue to lead the way on the most influential issues and challenges currently facing our industry.