When summing up 2020, it’s hard not to start with Covid-19 and Brexit. This week marks the symbolic beginning of the end of the pandemic with the vaccinations being rolled out in the UK, although many experts point to the fact that the eradication of the virus will be more of a marathon rather than a sprint. Less certain is a Brexit ‘deal'. At the time of writing we simply don’t know. All we can hope for is the smoothest possible way of doing business between Poland and the UK from 2021 onwards.
In March this year, many of us suddenly faced one of the toughest challenges in our lives – adapting overnight to the new realities of lockdown. As a Chamber, we quickly transformed our work to enable us to serve our members digitally. Several concepts that largely originated during the pandemic will stay with us – hybrid events (on-site and on-line), digital meetings and remote work. We gave further thought to technology and new investments are planned at the start of the new year – the hardware and software that we operate on, computers, smartphones, as well as the CRM system and technical support provider, will all change. Into 2021, we want to refresh the website and re-launch the BPCC app. Our social media channels have reached record numbers of users and we will continue to match the quality of the content with the growing number of users and posts.
As much as we want to master the technology, it’s the ‘human touch’ that makes the difference to many of us. Here are some plans for 2021 – starting on 22 April, we will invite all members to our Nice to See You series of four networking events in Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań and Warsaw. We want to see you, talk with you, shake hands and discuss business opportunities. With the arrival of our new ambassador, HMA Anna Clunes, we will address the concept of female leadership at a gender equality event, to which we want to invite our female members (this issue of Contact Magazine Online has far more female authors than males). On 10 September, the International Oktoberfest will be back in Wrocław and we have booked 21 October for the BPCC Gala Dinner, with a keynote guest from the UK. Stay tuned to media announcements about details of listed events and others that will appear as we go. It will be nice to see you in person once again.
On the policy side, we are working on a calendar of meetings and issues for the policy groups. Each group will meet once per quarter, and we have tasked ourselves to share the most important sectoral developments in each group. BPCC academies and training sessions will gradually return from February in digital and then hybrid mode. All events will be listed each Wednesday in our regular Events Newsletter, so please make sure you’re signed up – and ensure that the newsletter doesn't end up in your spam folder!
Our head office on ul. Zielna 37 in Warsaw has moved from the 9th floor to the 4th floor – our address and post code remains exactly the same. We welcome everyone to stop by for a coffee when remote work ends.
Historically, each December we have met for Christmas events, but of course, this year is different. We both miss the cheerful crowds and communal singing of carols with the aroma of mulled wine and mince pies. This Christmas will be emotional, but we hope no one will be alone. If you can, please support the Sue Ryder Foundation, which is opening the Intergenerational Activity Centre in Warsaw – for many elderly folk, the time of the pandemic is extremely difficult, especially at Christmas.
Dziękuję and 'thank you' are three words that express our gratitude to all members that have stayed with us during this difficult time. A warm welcome goes to our new members who have put the trust in our activities and cooperation.
We wish everyone a happy, peaceful and healthy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you soon in 2021.