At the Society’s AGM on December 4th, it was agreed that we will change our name from the Society of Business Economists to the Society of Professional Economists.
The Council had proposed this change for three main reasons:
1. We feel that the change from Business to Professional Economists will more accurately reflect the membership of the Society. Our membership is drawn from economists employed in government, universities, the BoE, consultants, as well as from businesses. One of the challenges we face in recruiting new members to the Society is that its existing name leads many economists to believe that it is not ‘for them’.
2. As the Society expands its activities in the area of professional development, it will become increasingly important for the name of the Society to reflect the ‘professional’ aspect of its activities.
3. The term ‘Business Economist’ is now used less frequently. While there are many economists who are employed in businesses, fewer economists now describe themselves as ‘Business Economists’.
Given the importance of this change, we engaged in a consultation of members’ views prior to making the final decision. The response to this consultation was overwhelmingly in favour of the change. Separately, we also flagged the name change in the AGM papers, providing all members with proxy votes for the first time, which were also in favour of the change. Our monthly newsletters highlighted the proposed change and it was also discussed prominently at the Annual Dinner.
Council did consider and discuss alternatives and concluded that none reflected the current and future membership profile as well as ‘Professional Economists’.
This is the second time in the Society’s history that it has changed its name: in 1969, the Society changed its name from the ‘Business Economists Group’ to the ‘Society of Business Economists’.
The change will be formally implemented at the start of 2018 – although some of the re-branding may be phased in over a longer period – and it requires no action from members. If you have any questions/comments regarding the switch, please contact the SBE office.