Separate from these long term fantasies, let us speak of here-and-now realities.
Our little club has become a substantial business, with 51,000 customers (members) and a bunch of great employees.
Our customers (you) have come to expect certain services, and your board and your employees sweat to deliver them for you, on time and under budget.
Mensa is truly a customer driven enterprise. Gatherings, local groups, web sites and many other things we take for granted today, were pioneered by members who came up with ideas, deployed them in the real world, then fine tuned them. In the process they made these good ideas part of American Mensa Culture. Some of these ideas are now delivered by paid staff, but most are still the works of our member / volunteers.
As we go towards the future, we hope to find more ways to deliver established ideas "faster, cheaper, better." We will select, test and tune new ideas as well. It will never be perfect, and the best ideas will be controversial, but Mensa will always be great good fun.
Fine tuning what we now do, and integrating new services into our complex structure is the goal of your board of directors: the AMC.
I've survived two terms on the board, and want to apply that learning curve to a new job next term. As I write these words, I'm running for election to a new post.
An online Mensa publication asked me the following question. It was fun to articulate things that I'd like to see, so I've included it here and in some local newsletters as bald electioneering.
So, for more than you wanted to know about how my mind works, on to the fantasies:
Question: If you had a magic wand that you could wave and change anything about Mensa, what would you change?
Answer: And you want me to keep this under 500 words? Ah..... OK.....
I wish American Mensa (AML) had:
Ten times as many members (500,000 vs 50,000).
Membership growing at over 8% per year
Over half of new members are between 18 and 45 years of age.
Multiple well funded programs for gifted children.
A Mensa Bulletin that is 10 times thicker.
A Mensa Bulletin that includes a "Bright Reader's Digest" with regular abstracts of articles from general interest publications like Scientific American, Nature, Psychology Today, American History etc. There are also rotating abstracts from more specialized academic journals like JAMA, etc.
A Mensa Bulletin that includes special emphasis on articles about various aspects of human intelligence, and the special needs and gifts of the highly intelligent.
An annual Colloquium on matters pertaining to Gifted Children in each of the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the USA. These would be held under joint sponsorship of American Mensa and organizations wishing to be associated with Mensa and bright kids. Rather than diluting the volunteer and attendee base of the Local Groups regular RG, the Gifted Children's colloquiums provide a synergistic enhancement and recruitment platform.
A Website that includes a gateway into expensive subscription Information Databases (Lexus, University sites, etc.).
A free "special youth membership" for anyone under 18 who qualifies funded by a corporate sponsor.
The AML website hosts threaded discussions on the wide variety of topics that enthuse our members.
Members of Mensa are surveyed for their opinions on important issues of the day. These results are regularly re-published as "What Do Mensans Think?" in mainstream publications like Parade and Newsweek as a part of our Global PR strategy.
American Mensa Members are surveyed regularly on matters regarding the choices and directions of the society.
October 1 (six months after April Fools Day and Mensa's Birthday) becomes October Smart Day, through clever machinations of our PR machine. Normal people take a moment to do something smart, like get their blood pressure checked, and the media comes to Mensa for inspirational words and images.
Regular Dues reduced to $30 / year.
Renewing your membership will make you five years younger, 10 pounds lighter and 10 I.Q. points smarter, till you hit 29 years old, 6% body fat, and an IQ of 185, where you'll linger so long as you keep on paying your dues.
These fantasies don't really require the help of a magic wand, except perhaps that last one.;-)
Otherwise they are all possible without a magic wand. How? By leveraging our existing "Mind Share" with appropriate sponsorships and alliances, and creating synergy with publications and organizations that want to be associated with us.
Good ideas are not rare in Mensa. What counts more, is the willingness to work to make them happen. Time will tell.
This Is The Long Version. For the Short Version Click Here.
All the best,
There are three candidates for 2nd Vice Chair this time.
My worthy opponents are RVC-10 Elissa Rudolph of Florida, and RVC-7 Anthony (Tony) Jackowski of Kansas.
Elissa's web page is here. Tony didn't have time to put one up so I will
presumptively google him for you "Tony Jackowski" +Mensa