When Worlds Will Collide at AUTM in 2023 – Make Your Mark on the World Map in Austin

Telpriore Gregory Tucker
University of Louisville

Narjes Achach
IRICoR - University of Montreal

Judit Csere
Queen Mary University of London

Left: EDI committee members hosting the World Map at the 2022 AUTM Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

There is an evident need to still further increase equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) compounded throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic and now in our post pandemic world. At the past AUTM conference in New Orleans, LA, we finally had a chance to reunite which strongly felt long overdue, and some of us joined in-person for the first time. When confined at our respective homes we made the world smaller by connecting virtually with each other either nearby or across the globe. Now, the EDI Committee is working to expand our world again by celebrating the AUTM community’s diverse international membership.

Our EDI Committee has made it a mission to be more inclusive of our fellow Members from around the world. Along with a focus of fostering more insight from diverse sources within our TT field. Which has been utilized to offer better strategies, hence leading to more effective solutions in similarly related professional sectors as shared in our latest AUTM EDI Toolkit. With that said, let’s get to know one another, from our professional experiences to our personal heritages, cultural traditions, diverse backgrounds, origin stories and much more.  

At the 2022 AUTM Annual Meeting in New Orleans, the EDI Committee collaborated with Casmir Jones law firm to sponsor and display a world map at the firm’s booth in the exhibit hall. Attendees passing by were invited to place a push pin into the country their home TTO.  This intentionally sparked new conversations among AUTM Members who usually would not have crossed paths while at the Meeting, and the booth buzzed with excited descriptions of different countries and traditions.

This concept was so successful that AUTM will be scaling it up for the upcoming 2023 Annual Meeting in Austin, to highlight global membership representation. For an "icebreaker" activity, the EDI Committee again will encourage guests and attendees to mark their home TTO countries on a map, but this time the push pins will be color coded to represent different levels of professional TT experience. The map will also display pins for current and new board members, and others instrumental to the AUTM community, including guests from the new AUTM on the Air podcast series. The podcasts have been invaluable for showcasing the professional journeys and personal stories of how TT professionals from around the world have separately arrived in this unique intersection of innovation, commercialization and law.  

We hope that this will be a stimulating, yet fun opportunity to expand your worldwide network and acquire new skill sets from the international perspective of fellow AUTM Members and attendees. There will be games and competitions, discovery of TTOs, cultural celebration, and prizes for those making the most networking connections.  You will definitely enjoy a global TT atmosphere around the world map. We encourage all of you to showcase your own heritage, strike up chats with fellow members, and provide input toward AUTM’s overall mission. It should be emphasized that AUTM members are a rich trove of untapped potential from various regions of the globe, that will continue to increase AUTM’s global impact.

Looking ahead, our EDI committee would like to see this concept replicated on the AUTM website through an interactive digital map of TTOs around the world.  Therefore, a permanent online map would supplement the existing Member directory, adding dimension to the concept of global technology transfer.  

An important goal of the EDI Committee is for our Members to feel welcome and supported, and this initiative is a great opportunity for us to meet other members from different backgrounds, especially international, and learn about their needs and challenges. Even if you can’t make it to Austin, we would like to hear your voice. We are gathering additional information about how international AUTM Members experience their membership and how the EDI committee can support them, so please click this link and have your say.

We can’t wait to see you there in Austin this 2023!