Building Communities with Cameron

27-03-20 Carianne Buurmeijer


FEMS’ strength is our ability to focus solely in addressing the needs of our ‘stakeholders’. As a not-for-profit organisation, we are able to develop our activities to meet their needs. In the time that I’ve been here, we have seen a refocusing on this: in addition to the traditional needs that member societies and the microbiology community have with regards to grants, events and publications, we are developing to address the needs of particular groups or individuals within the community. To this end we are building in processes whereby FEMS grows based on the intel that we get from our societies – via surveys and Council – in order to reflect that within FEMS long term strategy. Policy work is an example, whereby smaller member societies say it’s difficult to connect in EU level. It’s ongoing work, but we are starting to make connections in EU groups. We also try to expand the information we get, for instance via surveys we send out to the subscribers of our newsletters and by setting up a new CRM system. The more feedback we can get, the better we can tailor to the needs our community.

I come from a policy and project management background, focusing on organisational reporting as well as supporting making FEMS activities more joined up and interlinked. I see that work as a virtuous cycle: the input that we get from the community should be reflected in all the activities we do and what we report on should show the impact of those activities. Our end user is the microbiology community – whether that’s member societies or individuals.

I like FEMS because we’re a small organisation but we’re trying to do massive things on a daily basis. I can see value in the reporting that I do as it provides clarity; I often think of it as providing a space to let the good news sing so to speak. I would like to call out to microbiologists to, as we say, ‘get involved’. Whether you sign up to a newsletter or apply for a grant, it starts a connection with us. Do respond to the surveys we send out, your response will be listened to. My wish in a year or two’s time is that in all of our activities we are responsive and we can clearly demonstrate ‘you said – we did’.”

Cameron Wright, Project Manager

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