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Help Wanted to Remake Amateur Radio for the 21st Century

Are you a “young” ham? Want to help remake Amateur Radio for the 21st century? Frustrated that there are so few of your friends and age group that are interested in ham radio? Frustrated that amateur radio is in a rut, not doing more or different things with technology? Concerned that an aging demographic means ham radio is dying? And that our frequencies will be sold out to the highest bidder because there aren’t enough hams to show that we use them?

So are we. And we want to do more than talk – we want to do something about it.

IARU Region 2 is looking for a few volunteers to work together to brainstorm ideas and possible actions to increase ham radio’s attractiveness. We’re not looking for a single magic approach. After all, amateur radio means many things to many people. Rather we’re looking for possible ways to target specific interests that are either part of ham radio today or could be part of ham radio in the future to recruit and retain new amateurs.

Are you interested? Are you:
• A radio amateur who has been licensed for more than a year?
• Between 18 and 35 years of age?
• Are a self-starter, willing to take initiative?
• Willing to volunteer your time and exercise creativity?
If so, send an email to secretary@​iaru-​r2.​org telling us why you are interested in volunteering to be part of this group, your current interests (in ham radio, what you do: job, student, etc) and your thoughts on what may be done. Ideally we would like to have as many parts of the Americas represented as possible*.
With the exception of a liaison person sitting in, the formalities of committees won’t apply: the group will figure out how it wants to work (Facebook, WhatsApp, video meetings, etc), and develop ideas of what it thinks will be worth trying out.

This is more than a think tank. We’re prepared to provide funding to try out some of the proposed ideas to see how well they work. We expect that some ideas will work, others won’t, and different things will work in different parts of the Americas – one size will not fit all. As part of the work, IARU R2 would propose to send one person to the IARU R1 YOTA youth camp to experience the camp, meet with the R1 youth coordinators to learn about what they are doing in Europe and Africa, to exchange ideas, and explore what joint activities might be done.

Who are we:
IARU Region 2 is the Americas part of the International Amateur Radio Union. Like ITU, IARU has 3 regions: Region 1 Europe/Africa, and Region 3 Asia/Pacific. IARU is best known for being the international representative of ham radio at the ITU, defending our spectrum. IARU does more than that, working through the national societies in each member country, coordinating WINlink networks, band planning, satellite frequency coordination, and training among many others. And of course, IARU is very concerned about the future of amateur radio, especially in attracting new amateurs. R2 has an Executive Committee made up of representatives of each of the 7 areas, a President and a Secretary. All are volunteers, dedicated to seeing that our hobby not only survives but prospers with new ideas and ways to do ham radio.

*IARU Region 2 is divided into 7 areas:
Area “A” — Northern part of North America including Canada and Bermuda.
Area “B” — Central part of North America including the United States of America: also including Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands, and also Hawaii and all of the Pacific Ocean islands administered by the United States of America within the boundaries of IARU Region 2.
Area “C” – Mexico and the Caribbean Islands of Antigua-Barbuda, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Turks and Caicos.
Area “D” — Central America including Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
Area “E” — Northern part of South America including Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and the Caribbean Islands of Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Grenada and Dominica.
Area “F” — Central part of South America including Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.
Area “G” — Southern part of South America including Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

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