Another aspect that has really struck me is the internationalisation of FIRST. It is not just that you have people in your industry who have similar challenges to yourself but you also have industries in OTHER COUNTRIES who face those same problems. Every time I’ve been out I am immediately immersed in a group of people from all over the world.
For example, whilst talking with Kenneth Van Wyk who is currently on the FIRST steering committee and has been with FIRST almost since its inception, you can tell that there is a strong belief that FIRST should be about community in the WORLD sense and that the whole point of FIRST is to create an international community of like-minded security professionals. Personally I would say that every time a new country is represented there is a party at FIRST. In addition I am privileged to actually work inside the FIRST make shift office so I cannot but overhear many of the conversations.
Some of these conversations have been tinged with a certain amount of sadness of how no-one from part of XYZ country is attending and then what they can do to encourage participation and help that country benefit from the practices and knowledge that FIRST members have.
Indeed if I look at the steering committee, the Steering Committee itself try to self-regulate themselves so that they have a sample representation of different countries represented on their board.