Organisation - April 28, 2010



''Dozens of staff stranded due to ash', reads the headline on the intranet.

All very tedious of course, but what strikes me is how people look for creative solutions. Meetings conducted through Skype, for example, or perhaps through teleconferencing. So it seems that there are enough alternatives for consulting each other across great distances without having to fly.
Of course it can sometimes be important to look your counterparts in the eye and shake their hands. And there are meetings and conferences that you really need to attend yourself. But I think we could cut the number of flights taken by members of our organization considerably. But to do so the real alternatives should be easily available.
Why does everyone get an email address when they start here, but not a Skype address? Skype should automatically be installed on every computer, along with the headset you need to use it. That at least removes the practical obstacles to making use of the countless possibilities offered by the digital highway. On top of that, it would be really great if videoconferencing facilities were familiar to everyone and, more importantly, were easily accessible.
By doing this we would take another small step towards being the progressive, international, green organization that we claim to be, making a real contribution in terms of the environment and saving ourselves a fair amount of money and time. What - or who - is stopping us?
Petra Schlooz, Wageningen International