Inflating APE

Sadly, the convenors of APE are old enough to have lived through many types of inflation including the dreaded stagflation. The 1980s, arguably our prime years, practically invented stagflation. Stagflation sounds kind of fun until you figure out that the “stag” bit did not refer to Triumph sports cars, deers with huge antlers or other memes for youthful lustiness. What stagflation did mean was significant unemployment and inflation, mitigated by punk music.

Back in the day, we got pretty good at gaming the stagflating economy by not having cash (easy at that age), delaying fixed payments for as long as possible and trying (but usually failing) to negotiate pay that would match the future declining value of a dollar.

Lots of pundits today are suggesting we are heading into a similar period. If they are right, we need to get our lives and businesses tuned to anticipate this. At APE we are moving proactively by:

  1. Opening registrations for 2023 now thereby allowing you to lock in rates before inflation takes hold, and in this financial year to accelerate any available deductions
  2. Offering early bird discounts to recognise that future payments will be of lesser value in real money terms than current payments
  3. Trying to lock in our costs, such as flights and venue hire, well ahead of January.

I’d encourage you to do the same. None of us want to be run over by raging stagflation…

2023 : Après Recovery?

2023: Après Recovery?

SilverStar Après! (photo credit SilverStar Mountain)

2022 was supposed to be the “Recovery” conference. In the end it was an Omicron washout. But it is “game-on!” for 2023. Tentative dates are 10 to 13 January, 2023 for an “Après Recovery” themed conference.

Of course anything is possible in this terrifying new world. But as we wait to see what the next catastrophe brings, why not make plans for a flourishing future?!

Making plans at least helps to organise thoughts, establish priorities, and acknowledge good fortune (where it exists!). So please build APE 2023 into your calendars. No promises, but maybe it will be a turning point for the world, or at least we can make a little bit of it better…


APE Again!

Optimistically, we have booked travel to Canada for January 2022. Can’t wait to get there and I know a lot of others are thinking the same way. We NEED to gather and process what has happened over the last two years and start to plan for the next. So we are planning to hold a conference- details are:

Place: SilverStar British Columbia
Dates: 10- 14 January, 2022

Contact us if you want to discuss participation as a speaker or delegate or to discuss logistics

Jab Jab Hook

A few months ago we were buoyed by airlines announcing they were getting international flights going by October 2021. It’s pretty clear that that is not going to happen. The Australian Budget is predicated on international travel not resuming until June 2022. Accordingly, odds are that we won’t be running a conference in January 2022. We’ll keep you updated if things change.

Back in the ’90s we went to a “boxercise” class . We had to practice going “Jab Jab Hook”. There was something wonderfully frustration-relieving about smacking the pads of the instructor, big Terry.

The analogy, obviously, is with our vaccination program. If we all get in our two jabs, we should be able to hook back into international travel and relieve the frustration of being incarcerated in Australia.

Admittedly we are “cooped up” in a pretty fantastic location. Many of us have taken advantage of learning about what our backyard can offer up. We are also probably more aware of how much inattentive travel we used to do. I think it is fair to say that when the gates are finally opened we will travel with a greater consciousness of our impacts and appreciation of the features of distant locations. We’re certainly planning to travel less often but for longer and with greater intensity of focus. We hope that you will share this intensity and focus with us in future APE meetings, even if we have to wait until January 2023.

Evolution, extinction or hibernation for APE?

The world has certainly moved a long way since our last post on 14th of March. Then, we anticipated still holding a meeting in SilverStar in January 2021. We struggled to conceive of a pandemic that might disrupt minor aspects of our lives for a short period. Now, there are so many “known-unknowns and unknown-unknowns” that we are adjusting to a completely different set of expectations for at least a couple of years.

International travel to a conference is outside our expectation set for the first half of 2021. Even if travel to Canada were possible, things that make APE special (face-to-face discussions, indoor and outdoor activities, buffets …) are not flavour of the month under COVID19.

This leaves three options; we can evolve to a COVID19 friendly model, we can give up and accept extinction, or we can hibernate.

Option 1: An evolved APE to meet COVID19 social distancing notions would probably mean Zoom hosted discussions. This does not have the same appeal as face-to-face meetings where the snow is falling outside and your legs are feeling the effect of recent adrenaline-laced adventures. One of the main features of APE is that we take ourselves away from the day-to-day, we get fresh perspective and free ourselves of a few of our limiting beliefs. In my experience, this is not really a possibility in a Zoom meeting…

Option 2: Extinction of APE – something we are not ready to contemplate.

Option 3: It is the third option that seems most sensible at the moment. Hibernation is equivalent to what is happening with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and many other events. If we poke our heads up in 2021 and find that we are still in “iso”, we will re-evaluate.

Please let us know if this makes sense to you, have other ideas, or just want to say “hi”.

Recovery: Not so far off?

Recovery seemed like an appropriate theme for 2021 as we participated in the APE 2020 SilverStar conference in January and watched the fires wreaking havoc in Australia. Recovery now seems like an even more apt theme as we have gone through a biblical series of disasters since.

Ziggy surveys
Ziggy surveys fire damage on South Coast

The latest concern is of course the COVID 19 epidemic that is terrifying many and affecting pretty much everyone. Even as an inveterate optimist, it is difficult to find too much upside just now. Paradoxically, that means that we may have reached some sort of bottom from which a path to recovery is possible. We are certainly having a crisis and we all know that these should not be wasted! The question is whether we have the wisdom to make, and the courage to embrace, some difficult choices.

In any event we will be convening in SilverStar in January 2021 to a very different world. Some possibilities are:

  • We have new leadership in the USA. Institutions that are responsible for responding to crises will have started a rebuilding process.
  • Short term market shocks, like the dispute between the Russians and the Saudis on oil production and pricing, will have resolved themselves.
  • There will be a recognition that technology and market mechanisms need to be established to attempt to deal with climate issues.

You’ve got to hope and dream! In the meantime I’m dreaming of SilverStar in 2021. Hope you are too!

For a summary of proceedings from 2020 click here.

APE 2020 Flexibility Done

Thanks to all the delegates, presenters and staff who made APE 2020 a great success. Physical and mental stretching was evident throughout the week in keeping with the theme. A copy of the final program is here. The summary proceedings will be published in the first half of the year.

We’ve already started planning for 2021 with provisional dates of 6 January to 12 January , 2021. Mark your diaries!

In recognition of the impact of the ongoing horror of Australia’s fires, we are proposing the theme of Recovery for 2021. Resilience and recovery will be needed over the next year and we believe APE can help a little bit.

Surmounting a wall

The January SilverStar conference got us off to a running start. March saw a small APE contingent discovering Antarctica and in May we ran the SLAM conference associated with the Great Wall Marathon (see summary here). It is fair to say that this year has been extraordinary and 2020 looks like it will be equally eventful.

We set Flexibility as the theme for SilverStar 2020 and now we see examples everywhere. Now is the time to start making your plans and thinking about a presentation ;-). Obviously, the sooner you register for SilverStar (here) the better. A reminder, we are doing a great deal on registration to celebrate 20 years of APE.

Let us know if you have an interest in a Japan conference in late February or early March 2020. We are investigating venues within Shinkansen range of Tokyo…

Is time accelerating?

Maybe it is just me, but the year seems to be proceeding very fast. We’re still only in February but it seems like a long way back that we were enjoying APE SilverStar 2019.

Have a look here if you need to take a breath and remind yourself of the fantastic presentations in January. Also useful if you are thinking about attending APE for the first time in 2020 and wanting a flavour of the quality and diversity of the presentations you can expect. Many people are already organising their travel so a reminder that the dates proposed are 8-14 January, 2020 (draft program here)

Other news is the successful completion of the Anaesthetic Exam Performance Boot Camp over the past weekend. This is a unique opportunity for Anaesthetic Part 2 candidates to project themselves into exam day and learn directly from examiners about what gets you over the line, or a medal…

Let’s be flexible!

While many of our supposed “thought leaders” are heading off to Davos, we are just back to the 40 degree heat of Canberra in a super heated January – a big prompt to get planning for 2020.

The theme of “Bonds” worked well in 2019 to ensure a mix of topics and some truly reflective moments.  A summary of presentations will be put together for delegates, and for the information of those who missed out on SilverStar this year.

The APE education machine will continue to be busy in the first half of 2019 with meetings on the Polar Explorer out of Patagonia in March and a Chinese fact finding mission in May, associated with the Great Wall Marathon. Get in touch if you want to be involved!

In addition, APE is handling the logistics for a Boot Camp in early February  for Anaesthetic trainees seeking to improve their performance in Part 2 exams.

This range of activities speaks to the flexibility required for any educational organisation in the current climate. Indeed, “flexibility” is so important that we are considering it as the conference theme for our meeting in January 2020.

As an example of flexibility, we have taken on board feedback from 2019 delegates about preferred dates. We had originally suggested the week of 13 January, 2020, but understand that there is a strong preference for the conference to incorporate the previous week so we have decided to start the conference on 8 January and finish up on 14 January. Mark your diaries, book your tickets and reserve your accommodation!

Thanks again for supporting APE and ensuring that it is a fun and challenging learning experience. We’ll continue to look at options for professionals to learn in different contexts, including Japan, and keep you updated.