The International Ergonomics Association plays a leadership role in shaping the future of ergonomics. Having formed nearly 50 years ago for researchers to meet and exchange their findings, it still provides a wide range of opportunities for promoting research and teaching. In 2006, the IEA is also an outward looking organisation with linkages to governments, international agencies and other professional associations. We have many opportunities to extend our engagement with industry and the community through the IEA communication strategy and Technical Committees. Whilst the IEA now has 20 Technical Committees that demonstrate the diversity of ergonomics research there is a growing trend towards integration of specialist areas. The emergence of a holistic approach to research and application of ergonomics is making a new direction for the ergonomics profession. Apart from the role of a technical specialist, the Ergonomist is also a team member with a range of other stakeholders. To be effective in practice, the Ergonomist needs to be a good communicator and "agent of change" who can mentor others to develop simple cost effective interventions. Research is fundamental to the science of ergonomics. Evaluation of interventions remains a major component of future ergonomics research. Sustainable positive outcomes based on a holistic approach will result in a broad uptake of ergonomics findings. In industry future challenges relating to psychological health in developed countries and the informal sector in developing countries are emerging as new areas for research and application of ergonomics.