The ICPHSO Executive Committee, as is its custom, met with CPSC Commissioner Peter Feldman on August 21, 2019, for an orientation session. Of course, the Commissioner already knew about ICPHSO, having participated in previous conferences while he was Majority Staff Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and also joining us at our 2019 Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C on a plenary panel discussing evolving approaches for innovation and technology with three representatives from other federal agencies.
Our meeting with the Commissioner also provided us another opportunity to talk about the long-time collaboration between CPSC and ICPHSO, where our attendees are able to hear from and talk to global regulators through training, education and networking. We also were able to discuss our Inclusion Initiative, which we had not yet been able to discuss with him during our 2018 Commissioner visits because he hadn’t yet been confirmed as a Commissioner, notwithstanding the Commissioner’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion. We were able to report on ICPHSO’s recent efforts to further ensure “diversity and inclusion” are more than words when it comes to our organization and that we put into practice what we post on our website and in notices to members through inclusive and diverse participation at our conferences.
We also discussed our latest efforts to bring in additional consumer representatives as a complement to our Inclusion initiative. We reported that we had made great progress in reaching out to more than 40 individuals and organizations. We discussed that we were not only inviting them to our conferences, but also asking them to consider submitting a proposal for a session during our 2020 Annual Symposium so that all voices in the product safety community continue to be well represented at our conferences.
Product safety has no boundaries and is non-partisan from the human perspective. Our stakeholders and conference participants broadly reflect the product safety community from this human perspective, and we continue to reach out to all stakeholders to be a part of the product safety conversation. Commissioner Feldman fully supports our inclusion and diversity efforts and reiterated his long-time support for such efforts in all organizations.
As a reminder you still have time to submit a Proposal for consideration for our 2020 Annual Symposium in Orlando, Florida – February 18-21, 2020. The deadline for submissions is September 9, 2019.
We also recently announced a Call for Speakers and encouraged interested product safety professionals to give us their contact information so in the event we need speakers at future conferences, we have a resource list to provide to the planning committees. The Call for Speakers is a great way for people who haven’t previously spoken at an ICPHSO conference to let our planning committee know of the expertise you may have in product safety and hopefully is another way we can reach people who haven’t previously been featured at ICPHSO.
Finally, we are still on track for our 2019 International Symposium in Dublin, Ireland, October 24-25, 2019. Registration is open, sponsorships are available, and the agenda is almost finalized and should be posted on our website shortly.
We look forward to continuing to talk with you about product safety in the months to come. For updated information on these and other events, check our website frequently.
Marc J. Schoem