This week I have been recapping the success of RAG London 2018, the biggest conference run by the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG) so far. Particular attention was given to the launch of new services and tools that can be used by anyone worldwide: the RAG Learning online training service, the RAG Jobs recruitment service, and the first release of the RAG Revenue and Cost Risk Catalog, which can also be downloaded with free risk modeling software from A1 Telekom Austria. But whilst RAG can assist many more professionals via tools and services supplied using the cloud, the organization of physical get-togethers will remain crucial to its success. This is because human beings need to connect with each other as much as they need to connect with ideas and resources. Thanks to the enthusiasm of new hosts, the list of future RAG events keeps growing.
RAG’s Foundation sponsors for 2018-19 have agreed to support four international conferences, each lasting two days. RAG London, hosted by BT, was the first of those events. The remaining three will be:
- RAG Nairobi, to be hosted by leading Kenyan telco Safaricom at their offices on 11th and 12th September;
- RAG Kansas, which Sprint will host at their impressive campus outside Kansas City on 17th and 18th October; and
- RAG Bahrain, to be hosted by Bahrain’s principal telco on 23rd and 24th January 2019.
Whilst the Kansas and Bahrain conferences will see RAG travel to the USA and Middle East for the first time, there is already plenty of anticipation for RAG Nairobi, which will come one year after RAG’s previous conference in Africa. Contrary to the expectations of associations that focus on telcos in Western countries, RAG is finding the African market to be amongst the most vibrant for risk and assurance professionals, and will soon announce a string of speakers who have already agreed to appear at RAG Nairobi.
If international conferences offer a banquet of presentations, ideas and networking opportunities then sometimes telcos also need to arrange a light lunch to be shared with close neighbors. RAG’s federated model means support is offered to any telco seeking to arrange a one-day meeting which will be open to other telcos in their country. MTN has taken up the offer on behalf of South African telcos, and so will be holding a meeting in Johannesburg on 22nd May. The agenda is nearing completion; there have already been many requests attend. To manage the numbers, attendance is by invitation only, though anyone can request an invite by using the form on this page.
RAG is not just spreading geographically, but also looking to provide focused events that cater to allied disciplines. Though the dates have yet to be set, the audience of RAG London 2018 expressed interest in holding one-day UK-based meetings for professionals who have to manage the operational risks associated with data protection, and also for assurance staff working in utilities.
Everybody has been surprised at RAG’s rate of growth, but the interest from many parties – hosts, sponsors, telco staff, and experts in related fields – confirms there is plenty of demand for professional networking and knowledge-sharing events. After many years working on the margins, we have an opportunity to link our people and resources in ways that will benefit us all globally. RAG is putting telecoms risk and assurance on the center of the stage. With no admission charges for telcos and regulators, and larger audiences than any comparable event, why would you choose to go elsewhere?