Cox challenges international IT leaders

General André Cox
General André Cox

Biennial gathering promotes innovation in technology

By Allen Satterlee, Lt. Colonel – 

General André Cox challenged The Salvation Army’s senior information technology (IT) personnel from around the world to seek ways to “bridge the gap” in capacity between developed and developing countries when he addressed the International Technology eXchange (ITX) 10 conference in Orlando this week. He is the first international leader to attend the biennial gathering.

The purpose of the conference, which takes place under the guidance of Commissioner John Wainwright, international secretary for business administration, is to bring together the senior IT staff to explore innovation using technology for mission, and to hear strategic direction for communication and collaboration.

“It shows how important technology has become to The Salvation Army that the General now takes time out of his busy schedule to meet with the international technology leaders,” said Tim Schaal, territorial information technology director in the West. “It also underscores the critical role that technology plays in helping The Salvation Army to effectively and efficiently accomplish its mission.”

Cox spoke in the keynote session about the importance of IT to the ongoing work of The Salvation Army’s mission not only in the developed world but in the developing world. Acknowledging the difficulty in bringing representatives from the developing world together, the General challenged: “There is a huge divide in capacity between the developed and developing countries. We need to find ways to bridge that gap. In all our discussions we must have a higher viewpoint of a global Salvation Army. We simply must work as ‘One Army’ with decisions not made unilaterally that may have implications for others around the world.”

The General then took time to answer questions from the highly engaged delegates.

“The West has long done whatever it can to help the rest of The Salvation Army world in the use of technology, including sending staff to assist in various locations internationally,” Schaal said. “We will continue to offer support in this way.”

Both the General and Commissioner Silvia Cox, world president of women’s ministries, stayed for the remainder of the day to listen to other presentations, sharing with delegates and listening to their ideas, before departing for engagements in Brazil.

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