The 17th International Congress of Dietetics (ICD) Granada, Spain is over, but not done! On behalf of ICDA colleagues, I am expressing congratulations to the Congress President, Giuseppe Russolillo and his Team, for a high quality, fun, and authentic ICD on the theme “Going to Sustainable Eating”. For more than 1300 who enjoyed this rewarding experience, we extend thank-you for the commitment, hard work and endless enthusiasm of dozens of volunteers of the Spanish Foundation Dietitians-Nutritionists (FEDN) and its partner the General Council of Dietitians-Nutritionists (Spain). The documentary film SustainablEating, supported by FEDN, ICDA and Fundación MAPFRE and directed by Carlos Sabater Calafat, artfully brought together expert guidance and film stars from the profession with expert guidance and film stars from among food producers provided food for thought from the first to the final moments of this Congress. We will post information on the ICDA website as soon as it is available describing how to access the film and its use as a resource to help keep the conversation about SustainablEating going. The authenticity of the Congress was experienced in many ways from Twinning international guests with dietitians-nutritionists of Spain and events for Twins to meet and greet, trialing a paperless Congress and offering food and beverages oriented toward a vegetarian eating pattern emphasized the sustainability theme, and by promoting the 18th ICD to be held in Cape Town, South Africa September 15 – 18, 2020 with complementary registrations for authors of three top abstracts, as announced by Manuel Moñino, Chair of the Scientific Program Committee. Although ICD2016 is over, its contributions will go on as those in attendance continue to share stories in Dietetics Around the World and continue to foster the new relationships formed over the days in Granada.
The International Congress of Dietetics provided a venue for the forty-nine (49) Member national dietetic associations of ICDA to meet, to build stronger relationships, to review ICDA progress, and to give direction for the way forward. Representatives met on two days before the Congress. In a Workshop, we considered key achievements 2012 to 2016 on priorities for progressing international standards of the profession and studying advances in the work and education of Dietitians-Nutritionists around the world since the last ICDA report in 2012, adoption of Dietitian(s)-Nutritionist(s) for use by ICDA, adoption of International Competency Standards for Dietitians-Nutritionists describing what dietitians-nutritionists are all able to do, progress on international accreditation of education programs for Dietitians-Nutritionists, and for advancing ICDA through new operating procedures for election of directors and for selecting the host association for ICD, and we discussed the benefits ICDA ought to produce over the next four years.
At the annual meeting of members (the business meeting) Sandra Capra, Chair of the Board of Directors, recapped the progress on ICDA’s strategic plan adding in efforts to raise awareness of the international standards through conferences, supporting letters, and ICDA publications and to align the profession with others around issues of importance society using key messages linking dietitians-nutritionists with World Food Day, World Water Day and International Year of Pulses. The 2012 – 2016 Board of Directors Sylvia Escott-Stump (USA), Carole Middleton (UK), Giuseppe Russolillo (Spain), Rekha Sharma (India), Niva Shapira (Israel), and Marsha Sharp (Canada) were thanked for their contributions.
A deserving tribute was made to SandraCapra by the Members for outstanding leadership and commitment to ICDA and advancement of the profession as Chair of the ICDA Board of Directors (2004 – 2016).
Representatives made key decisions: 1) Amendment to the By-law for membership eligibility; 2) Annual Member fee; 3) Host for ICD 2024; 4) Election of the Directors; and 5) Appointment of SF Partnership (Toronto, Canada) as the Auditor. Details are highlighted in figure below.
During the Congress the 2016 study on “Dietitians Around the World: their education and their work” was presented by the author Carole Middleton (UK). The Report will be made available on the ICDA web site as it is finalized for publication. In addition, ICDA Board members hosted five (5) Symposia to further explore International Competency Standards for Dietitians-Nutritionists, International Accreditation for Education Programs for Dietitians-Nutritionists, Increasing Dietitian-Nutritionist Autonomy for Professional Expansion and Leadership, Blurring the Boundaries of Dietitian-Nutritionist Practice, Inter-Professional Education, and a workshop “Have Your Say”. Over the days of the Congress, ICDA leadership arrived at an updated understanding about the common ground that defines our profession, its aspirations, and the value we can provide to society.
The newly elected Board of Directors will use its new and deeper understanding to enhance the benefits to be realized from ICDA through a new strategic plan 2016 – 2020 across two broad priorities: 1) a Stronger Leadership Profile, in the form of increased recognition of the international standards, a future vision for continuous advancement of the standards, increased capacity for sharing good practices in marketing the profession, raising nutrition on the “agenda” of more decisions makers, and greater understanding of the role and contributions of dietitians-nutritionists to sustainable healthy eating, and 2) a Stronger Network in the form of increased capacity for ICDA leadership and progress, increased Member engagement, and reduction of barriers to national dietetic association participation.
Chair, Board of Directors