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An Exciting Outlook for 2023

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April 30th, 2023

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We look forward to an exciting 2023. We have co-created a strong base and a wealth of practical learnings on localizing emerging technologies and scaling proximate leadership. We have come far with the Flying Labs Network and the 250+ local experts in nearly 40 countries. 

In 2023, we will embark on the fourth chapter of our organizational (hi)story by transitioning our organization to even more proximate leadership within WeRobotics. Doing so will allow us to build out further and strengthen both our and the Flying Labs Network's sustainability and positive social impact. 

Here is what we have in store for 2023:

New Leadership for Our US Legal Entity

We are delighted to share that Renee Welch, Ph.D., is joining WeRobotics on May 1, 2023, as the new Administrator of our US legal entity. Sharing and shifting power and building on collective intelligence is central to our work, the reason why our organization never had and never will have just one CEO or Executive Director. Renee will join the Executive Management team and co-pilot our operational work and path forward with Sonja Betschart, Co-Founder and Administrator of the Swiss legal entity.

Renee Welch, Ph.D., is an experienced drone professional and a digital equity advocate concerned about the digital divide. As a learning architect with 20 years of professional experience, she draws on her doctorate in educational policy, master's in education, and bachelor's in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She will provide comprehensive support and leadership on many levels of our work at WeRobotics. She is also an active member of several organizations that share her passion for UAS/AAM and drone technology, including the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), Women and Drones, Drone Responders, and AUVSI. Look out for an interview with our new Co-pilot, Renee Welch, Ph.D., in the coming weeks.

Organization & Strategy

We look forward to implementing the first step of our "Transition" strateg" in close collaboration with the Flying Council, Flying Labs, and our Board of Directors. To support the transition, we will reorganize and outsource our back office and strengthen our decentralized setup through our Holacracy-inspired approach. 

Flying Labs Network

The year's key focus will be implementing the decisions and needs validated by Flying Labs and WeRobotics at the 2022 in-person Flying Labs retreat. This will allow us to create new dynamics as the Network grows. We will expand our support for drone data-driven decision-making and continue learning how to most impactfully support drone regulations and policies. Building on existing partnerships and collaborations with like-minded organizations will be critical.

Sector Programs

We plan to implement new ways of expanding our sector programs by creating our first sector expertise hubs in collaboration with Flying Labs and external partners. We also plan on expanding our STEM/youth programs to support the workforce of the future with the first implementations of the newly co-designed STEM Sheroes program.

Knowledge Sharing & Storytelling

We know how central storytelling and wide, open sharing are to changing mindsets. We also want to inspire new partners and other organizations to join us on our journey, both to keep on growing and expanding the Flying Labs Network in size, strength and expertise, and to adopt parts, or all, of our Inclusive Networks model. And we plan to discover new ways of measuring how our and the Flying Labs work creates positive social impact. 

As in the past, our key success factors for 2023 and this fourth chapter will be to take both a co-creative and an iterative approach to implementing the new strategies, programs, and initiatives. We will also make room for intentional "Pause & Adapt" moments throughout the journey to reflect on learnings within our team and with Flying Labs. Finally, we will keep documenting our work to share the path, learnings, successes, and failings along our journey as best practices and learning cases.

Join us in wishing Renee a warm welcome to WeRobotics. Keep up to date on how our work and the Flying Labs' work progresses throughout the year by regularly checking the WeRobotics and Flying Labs blogs and signing up for our monthly newsletter here.

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