What is the INCOSE NC-GLRC?
The INCOSE Americas Sector North (North-Central and Great Lakes) Regional Conference (NC-GLRC) is an annual regional-level INCOSE conference celebrating its fourteenth consecutive occurrence. The conference has previously been named Great Lakes Regional Conference (GLRC), however, with the expansion of the territories of the chapters in the region, including the consolidation of the Eastern and Western Canadian Chapters into a national chapter, and growth of the Great Plains Chapter into Oklahoma, it was agreed that a broader and more included name was needed.
With a reputation as a high quality source of education and networking among and beyond INCOSE membership, the NC-GLRC has grown steadily since 2007. It has been hailed as an excellent model for INCOSE chapter co-operative conferencing efforts by INCOSE leadership at the international level. The NC-GLRC is put on by the chapters of the North (North-Central and Great Lakes) Region of the Americas Sector (Sector I) of INCOSE.
The conference is organized by INCOSE volunteers. This keeps expenses (and ticket prices!) low, but also enable volunteers to develop leadership and meetings and event planning skills which can be utilized at the chapter level. Typically, one INCOSE Chapter serves as the host chapter, while several others join in to support the planning and implementation. However, all of the chapters generally support in some way. The twelve (12) Chapters of the INCOSE Americas Sector North (North-Central and Great Lakes) Region are shown below.
Traditionally held in September/October each year, but moved to the Spring in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NC-GLRC is strategically set in-between INCOSE’s two main international events, the INCOSE International Symposium (IS) held in July and the INCOSE International Workshop (IW) held in the late January. Lower cost and closer to the region’s members, the GLRC is a more intimate conference than the annual INCOSE International Symposium. Traditionally, many attendees have been from the Great Lakes area, but a significant percentage have been from other US regions and other countries.
The NC-GLRC usually four days in length, including two days of pre and post-event workshops, INCOSE training and business meetings, and other activities, including tours and outings. However, with the all-virtual structure in 2021, a "stretched" schedule has been adopted to better suit the schedules of presenters, sponsors and attendees, who must all participate virtually, most from their home office,
The core technical program (peer-reviewed presentations) is typically 2 days long, preceded and/or followed by optional tutorials and workshops. The technical program, for which proof of Continuing Education Units (CEUs or PDUs) are provided, typically includes technical presentations, keynote speakers, INCOSE Working Group and chapter leader meetings, workshops, INCOSE Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP/ASEP) exams, sponsors, exhibitors, banquet, networking, tours, social activities, etc. In 2016 the GLRC, with the support of a $1000 from the INCOSE Foundation to develop virtual conferencing capability in the region, began conducting an INCOSE Systems Engineering Professional Development Day (SE-PDD) track as part of the GLRC. The SE-PDD is offered "live" on-site at the GLRC location as a full on-day "track" within the conference and can be attended at no extra cost to the GLRC on-site attendees. However, the SE-PDD track is additionally "livestreamed" via internet to an unlimited number satellite sites which are hosted by participating INCOSE Chapters and INCOSE CAB member organization around the region. The livestreamed SE-PDD is interactive with the on-site presenters and attendees, and offers the "virtual" attendees the same full 8 CEUs at a fraction of the expense and time of traveling to the physical site of the GLRC event. In 2019 the SE-PDD became an international production with sites in Mexico and Europe being added. This resulted in the SE-PDD (virtual) attendance exceeding the in-person attendance for the first time.
In 2021 (NC-GLRC14) the virtual component of the conference is being expanded as part of contingency planning intended to address the risk that the COVID-19 pandemic will adversely affect in-person attendance.