November marks several significant events both globally and for the IQ, reflecting the challenges we are facing as a society and highlighting some of the actions we are taking as an industry to drive better outcomes for the future.
Over the last few months this column has highlighted the importance of our sector supporting the wider society. There are many challenges and opportunities, driven by technology and the sustainability agenda, that we face but few outside of our industry recognise the contribution that our sector can make. Through our engagement with stakeholders across a range of sectors, there is often a preconceived idea of our industry and profession, which frequently is at odds with reality.
Over the last few weeks you may have seen the announcement regarding the merger of the Institute of Quarrying with the National Stone Centre (NSC) at Wirksworth in Derbyshire. We have set out our vision and purpose for the project and our aspirations for the future in our communications to members.
At the time of writing, we are at the point in the year where we are beginning to see the signs of spring with warmer and brighter weather on its way. It also marks the one-year anniversary since the full impact of the pandemic first hit us all. Whilst there is still some way to go, for most of us there is now a sense of real hope for a pathway out of the pandemic.
Undoubtedly, 2020 will be a year that we all remember as we address the challenges presented by the pandemic. It continues to have an impact on our health, wellbeing and economy.
It gives me great pleasure to be writing my first Presidents column for our magazine as our industry is one I am incredibly proud of. As members of the Institute, our industry and our profession are critical in supporting our country, our economy and our communities.
As we progress through the year, we are all finding our ‘new normal’ both personally and professionally. From a global perspective we can see how Covid-19 has been moving through different countries: from the initial spread of the virus to containment and reduction of cases; through to, sadly, increased peaks and further surges of infection.
It is hard to believe we have already entered the second half of the year. The first six months of 2020 has been an extraordinary period that will continue to affect how we live our lives well beyond the next few months and years.
We start the month of June with a stark reminder of just how much has changed for everyone over the last few months. Under normal circumstances this column would have been looking forward to Hillhead and the opportunity to meet up with colleagues past and present. We would also have been welcoming around 20,000 people from around the world to share in the latest developments in equipment and technology.
As this issue of QMJ lands on your desk, we mark another step in our journey through the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month we were preparing ourselves for the early effects of the virus; now we are seeing the full extent of its short-term impact.