NWM in Santander – (B)rainStorm in the Cantabrian Sea

Once again, here I am telling the world how wonderful our last Autumn Network Meeting (NWM) was because I love it when all members try to learn from other – improving their own skills as well as their antennae’s way of working. Sharing best practices between antennae, discussing common problems and different ways to solve them was the link between the main topics dealt with in Loredo, Cantabria.

AEGEE-Santander was in charge of organising this great meeting for all of us and they definitely succeeded in making everyone very happy with their management, dedication and help during its preparation and during the event itself. The event started on Friday with some games and an opening ceremony. We had a Gastronomic European Night where we could taste amazing products from many places of Spain, France and Brussels. We missed Portugese participants this time.

A pretty full schedule was organised by La Tripulación (The team of Network Commissioner Pauline Létard) and some external helpers that are active members in different aspects of our association. We were all a bit tired and disoriented at the end of the day because of the intense programme but luckily the participants’ motivation did not disappear and people kept giving their best to contribute till the end.

Every antenna shared a lot and got plenty of feedback and ideas in the session about the state of the region. They presented their own internal and external assets and problems. Everyone was happy to share their ideas and propose alternatives during this session which became longer than expected due to high involvement of participants. Everyone agreed to keep working on cooperation, teamwork and support between antennae (sharing useful documents, mentoring an antenna when needed, encouraging regular collaboration between boards, ease Knowledge Transfer (KT))

One of the related topics were the new identity, visual identity and HR cycle that was used to help members activate and motivate others and to understand the standard evolution of members.

On Saturday night we had the “S” costume party honouring the organising antenna, Santander, where we could verify that imagination is a unique human power seeing great costumes around. The mood was great!

This time, we had two participants from BEST who spent most of the NWM with us. They were incredibly integrated with the group. We compared similarities (NWM = Regional Meeting, NetCommie = Regional Adviser, Comité Direceteur = International Board) and differences between both associations (no fee in BEST, no trying to change members after enrolling), they shared their practices and solutions to similar actions. The BESTies enjoyed the AEGEE spirit getting along with everyone which created a great connection. We were glad they joined!

Of course, there was an explanation about European Level (EL). Information about how to get involved and the different possibilities to do it. Plus further explanations about what is going on in AEGEE-Europe. There was a parallel session for more experienced members, Agora workshop, used to discuss results of ZarAgora, to propose ways to prepare delegates in next Agorae and to explain consequences on changes and how to increase participation before and during the Agora.

Pauline – The new Network Commissioner

The current Strategic Plan and Action Agenda (AA) was dealt to check and share what are we doing to fulfill it and how.

To finish this pretty complete NWM, nothing better as open session to give feedback to the NetCom team (our “Tripulación”) evaluating the work of the former team and valuing the programme of the new one. This session could be wrapped up by saying that there was a general feeling to encourage members to ask for assistance whenever they are needed and also to the NetCommie and SubCommies to be more proactive if they see an antenna in need.

There is not much left to say but thanks to organisers for their dedication and great work for the NetCom team necessities and for the participants comfort. Thanks to trainers for their intention to spread knowledge and improve members’ profiles. Thanks to participants for attending, paying attention to different topics and sharing their thoughts and willingness to cooperate and keep improving their antennae; that is equal to cultivating the Network and keeping up the development of AEGEE.

Written by Carmen María López Banegas, AEGEE-Alicante

Pictures courtesy of Paco Gordillo from BEST