AO Trustees Meeting returns to Vancouver after 22 years

The AO Trustees Meeting 2022 taking place this week in Vancouver, Canada, marks a return to the city on the Canadian west coast after 22 years. In June 2000, then-President Joe Schatzker hosted the 16th AO Trustees Meeting in his native country, where he handed over the AO presidency to Peter Matter. 

The AO Trustees Meeting program hasn't changed much over the years; why change a tried- -and-true format? The meeting still opens with a welcome session by the AO president, followed by updates from various AO entities. In 2000, one item on the agenda caught the eye: a course for trustees on how to navigate in the digital world.

The course was aimed at improving participants’ ability to communicate with one another and included instructions on how to create PowerPoint presentations. To make this session a success, the AO provided 24 computers for use by participants with various levels of experience. Eric Johnson, AO Honorary Trustee, and Raymond White each moderated a group and, together with their teams, provided an engaging learning experience for the trustees. 

While the need for such a course may evoke a smile today, PowerPoint at that time was the state-of-the-art in presentation technology and the participating trustees were primarily midcareer baby boomers facing a digital revolution. The trustees and the AO recognized the need to adapt to new technology to keep pace in a changing world.

Digitalization remains a much-discussed topic at AO events, so it is no surprise that the agenda of this year's AO Trustees Meeting includes a breakout session titled "Are you ready to start digital surgery tomorrow?"; this session will be moderated by Technology Transfer Board Chairperson Michael Schütz. AO President Florian Gebhard is eager to welcome the Trustees to Vancouver for a meeting dedicated to topics to which he is particularly devoted: new technologies, digitalization, simulation, and artificial intelligence.