Stefan Schneeberger, ESOT President

When I got nominated I was thrilled, when I got elected I was ecstatic for a few moments. Then of course, reality started to sink in and I began to reflect: 2% privilege, 98% commitment. 

The prime obligation for the organization is to serve and support and the reality of that is that the production and distribution of knowledge and education in transplantation remains the core objective and a global aspiration.

A second principle that I find important is to never let success guide your decisions. Which sounds strange but makes more sense if we consider success as something blurring ones vision. For example, if we take the congress and look at the next one, the common error we could make is do more of what worked well at #ESOT2017 at the next one. That may sound logical, but it really isn’t. It isn’t because the only real question in preparing for the next ESOT event – is: “does this really make sense”. Does this find the nerve of the audience, that this engage and excite, does this help people advance, does it help them in treating their patients, does it help them to advance in their professional life, does it help them to advance in their private life? …and, was this fun? And that is not enough.

I am privileged to lead this organization in times that could not be more difficult. The rapid advancement in the field has decelerated if not come to a halt. The outcomes in transplantation have not improved significantly over the last decade and it is unlikely, that we will witness a major scientific advancements in geographic regions where transplant has grown to its reach. The fact of the matter is that the potential for improvement and the potential for growth are the major driving economic forces and if the margins for improvement get all too slim, investments are going somewhere else. That leaves the field with less momentum to work with and medical associations with substance to help distributing knowledge and connecting the professionals in the field.

As ESOT we had the privilege to grow continuously over the past decade as an association. Both the notion of constant growth mixed with the rapidly changing environment pose a great challenge. I am arguing the greatest challenge this organization has ever had. Maybe the greatest challenge the field has ever had. If we want to advance further in our mission, we will have to more effectively focus on the cause, define the cause, be brave to enter new paths, be brave to not continue some others, take nothing for granted and get outside the comfort zone.

I learn from the Organisation with the Organisation, together we grow as an entity.

Stefan Schneeberger, ESOT President