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WSPOS prepares to connect the world

Ken Nischal David Granet

Dear WSPOS Family,

With registrations open for “WSPOS Connect 2 The World” taking place on 25th and 26th September 2021, WSPOS are looking forward to a programme that will encompass a truly global perspective on paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus.

“We are planning a truly remarkable online experience for all our attendees. This is an opportunity for new voices to be heard, new expertise to shine and a truly global perspective to be appreciated,” said Ken Nischal, co-director and co-founder of the World Society of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (WSPOS).

Rather than bemoan the cancellation of in-person meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WSPOS has opted to fully embrace the possibilities of the virtual format for its annual meeting.

“One thing we have learned at WSPOS since the pandemic began, is that we as a society are very lucky to have such an adaptable community that has embraced the virtual space, from our inaugural Connect meeting last year to our ongoing World Wide Webinar series”, he said.

With a jam-packed programme covering all the latest hot topics in paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, one of the key messages the meeting hopes to promote is that expertise is not centred in any one part of the world.

“Delegates can look forward to a truly global celebration of our field with knowledge shared and questions answered,” believes David Granet, co-founder and co-director of WSPOS. “The interaction amongst specialists worldwide means the attendee learns more new things than a regional meeting can provide,” he said.

When prompted for particular highlights to watch for, Dr Granet said that the programme will offer something for everyone.

“The keynotes will be special. Watch the glaucoma session for fireworks, the myopia session for a closeup world view and the several strabismus sessions. Being exposed to colleagues from around the world means true learning,” he said.

In keeping with the WSPOS philosophy of global outreach, the online format will be adapted to cater for participants in different time zones around the world.

“The sessions span the world – Saturday 25th September will cater to delegates watching from North American, South American and Central European time zones, while Sunday 26th September will suit delegates in Australian and Asian time zones. However, like last year, all Connect 2 the World content will be available to registered delegates and can be viewed in its entirety live and also, through playback after the meeting until 31st December,” explained Dr Granet.

Although the online format has its advantages, the ultimate goal is a return to in-person meetings as soon as the sanitary situation allows delegates to gather safely and without constraint, said Dr Granet.

“In some ways the virtual format has made it easier to get the top educators worldwide together. However, there is no substitute for real interaction face to face, so we certainly hope to be able to host an in person meeting the next time,” he said.

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