Member Communications Update

June 8, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past months, EBRC has been considering ways to improve communication with the membership and find ways to have meaningful engagements in the absence of in person interactions. Along with this, we’ve been considering ways to make it easier to engage in conversations with colleagues in EBRC, especially within our four focus areas.

The BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front)

Trello: We will discontinue using Trello w/ the membership. Those of you on current boards will be removed in the coming days. Please note that some previously sent calendar invites may contain links that may be inactive. 

Slack: All EBRC members are invited to join our Slack workspace. Colleagues from industry and government can join Slack at this link using your institutional email address. Individual members are automatically invited. If the email address you primarily use is not listed or you have any other issues, please contact [email protected].  

Key elements of the EBRC Slack workspace:

  • The EBRC Slack is open to EBRC Individual Members (not students / postdocs) and employees from EBRC Member Companies & Government agencies. EBRC Student & Postdoc Association leadership (SPA Board) are the only lab members on Slack. 
  • EBRC Council & Working Group members are strongly encouraged to join. Discussion and links around working topics will be included in relevant channels.
  • Interact with colleagues across the engineering biology ecosystem between events.
  • For further details see our EBRC Slack one-pager

Google: We will continue to use G Suite (Drive, Docs, Sheets) as we have been. 

Email Newsletter: We’re starting a regular monthly newsletter. 

More Detail:

Trello: We currently use Trello extensively with the EBRC staff, but it’s seen mixed use with the working groups and committees. The EBRC Slack workspace is intended to replace Trello’s functionality as a platform for discussion, some working group announcements, and links to pertinent documents.

G Suite: EBRC pays for G Suite services (at ebrc.org) and we use it extensively. We plan to keep using it with the working groups and committees and moving some of the positive aspects of Trello to it. For example, dynamic meeting agendas can be captured in a Google Doc vs. Trello card. These documents will be linked in Slack. See next. 

Slack: Engagement across the membership, and with the EBRC staff, is important. We would like to try to enable more dialog across the membership on relevant topics. We tried to use Trello cards for this, but it hasn’t worked as robustly as we’d like. With an increasing number of labs / companies using Slack, we will use this platform for discussions in each of the four program areas, and could use it for discussion with (for example) the EBRC Council. 

Email Newsletter: We will be putting out a monthly newsletter, starting mid-June. The newsletter will provide useful updates and announcements from EBRC and will supplement information provided through other ways. We realize that some companies won’t be able to use various technology solutions (e.g., Slack or Google), and this will always be accessible. 

We look forward to continued engagement and dialogue with you. 

Best,
Doug