ITES 2014 – “Stop reinventing the wheel!”

During AEGEE’s European Schools (ES) everyone gets inspired and even more motivated. These trainings have a unique, empowering atmosphere, yet the value of the experience can only be understood after attending one. The Information Technology Committee (ITC) in cooperation with AEGEE-León is organizing an Information Technology European School (ITES) in May, 25-30. The AEGEEan interviewed Giuseppe Colicchia (Peppe), speaker of the ITC as well as Nuria Viñuela Rodríguez, coordinator of the event.

The AEGEEan: The ITC rocks. You all are very dedicated to creating a new OMS (Online Membership System) as well as organizing the next ITES where IT knowledge will be shared and discussed among the participants and trainers. Tell us what this ITES will be about?

Peppe: Taking into account the needs of our association, we’ll try to determine which are common situations where IT resources – in terms of collaboration tools and well known software – could be useful, and how. I guess there’s a common thread within these kind of activities made by IT responsibles (and board members in general) across the network, and sometimes the availability of working examples could help a lot. So, stop reinventing the wheel and let’s share best practices! Teambuilding and knowledge sharing need to be keywords in the Committee: OMS for instance is possible just if we make it sustainable, with proper development and support teams.

The AEGEEan: You became a member of the ITC after ITES 2013. What motivated you in joining and why do you think it was a good decision?
Peppe: Last year’s ITES was organized by AEGEE-Debrecen, where trainers gave a global overview of AEGEE technological infrastructure followed up by global needs (with a set of possible solutions) and topics of general interest. My aim was to know more about the AEGEE world – it was my second event after EBM (European Boards’ Meeting) in Valletta – especially from a point of view that fits with my personal interests. It has been definitely a good decision! That general overview and the concepts learned were the kick start to be active on the European Level, and I still get much more of what I give: this keeps up my motivation!

The AEGEEan: European Schools are always exceptionally intense events of our association. What would you tell to potential applicants why participating is highly recommended?
Peppe: We’ll have not less than 25 hours of lessons, where the curiosity of participants will be satisfied by an open space full of resources. It’s not our intention to further explore a single tool or scripting language, it would be in contrast with the idea behind the event: propose a solutions-oriented approach to help board members solving weekly issues using common instruments. The nature of the event is open, some sessions (a 20%) will be filled on demand and participants will be invited to show ideas and solutions as well: sharing is caring, see you in León!

The AEGEEan: AEGEE-León was selected to host the training event. What should we know about the organising antenna?

Nuria: AEGEE-León is a pretty big antenna, with approximately 100 members, our Summer Universities have been among the highest rated ten for several years now, and we work a lot into the already finished Youth in Action Program and now Erasmus+ (we already had 2 European Volunteers, and we will host an Erasmus placement with us). At the next Agora, Spring Agora Patra, we also will sign a Twin Contract with AEGEE-Catania.
Last year we celebrated our 10th anniversary, and this year, with all our new and motivated members, we are in the best moment to host an event as the ITES is. Last months we hosted an RTC and we are working hard preparing and exchange with more locals and our SU.

The AEGEEan: What can participants expect from the city and the social programme?
Nuria: León was founded as Roman settlement and since that time we have a very rich culture and history that you can feel in all the city, with monuments, the old town, our cathedral, the ancient streets…

León has a good atmosphere since it is a students’ city: during almost all week you can find open places to have fun with your friends, drink a beer or even better, a great wine,  and taste our famous and delicious tapas.

In the social program our participants will see by themselves all these aspects: the cultural side, but also the student nightlife.

The AEGEEan: Tell us, why our readers should not second guess themselves but apply instantly to this great event.
Peppe: Take a look at our webpage: would you say it was made in 15 minutes without any deep knowledge? There are no tricks, just resources to use properly and to adapt to your needs. After the event I’m quite sure you’ll be able to create a page much better than this.

Nuria: Because the ITES is not only going to be a European Training School, it will be an event for sharing, sharing of knowledge, best practices and experiences. It will be a good training for all the participants to be ready, to become more active AEGEEans. Also, the end of May is the most beautiful season to enjoy León and its spirit. :)

Thank you for your answers. It surely is an excellent opportunity to broaden our horizon on IT matters. Grab the chance, check out the event’s website HERE and apply HERE.

Written by Balázs Kovács, AEGEE-Debrecen