SGroup 2020 Annual Meetings to go online: President’s message

As a group we had been planning to hold our LO and GA meetings at the University of Minho on 28th – 30th October. For a long time we hoped that the SARS-Covid 19 pandemic, which not only wrecked our spring semester but took a substantial death toll across the globe, would be gone or effectively contained by the summer months. Unfortunately, as we can all see, this is not the case and in a number of places in Europe, including the Iberian Peninsula, the health situation has been worsening by the day. Because keeping healthy and virus free is our priority and chief concern, we have decided at the EC meeting held on July 20th that the circumstances force us to envisage our yearly gathering as a digital affair.

We hope that you will accept this mode of operation as the only sensible solution which does not endanger any of us, our families, as well as the local organisers in Braga and Guimaraes.

We will keep to the dates advertised before and offer on-line events and workshops instead, with a detailed programme following at a later date. We will also hold the Business Meeting as planned, complete with a secure voting procedure. Technically, we will be using the Zoom platform, which has the functionality we need and which many of you have already used. Practically we will hold the Think Tank Sessions on Tue 27 October, the LO sessions on Wed 28 October and the meeting for the General Assembly representatives on Thu 29 October (including the Business Meeting). So please save the dates. You will be able to register separately for each day from early September onwards. 

It is the first time in its history that SGroup is about to resort to such extreme measures but I presume that as soon as the pandemic is over we will be able to meet live at any of the numerous workshops and Think Tank sessions that SGroup organises,  and, of course, the 2021 General Assembly.

Prof. Jacek Witkoś

SGroup President