The Ins and Outs of the SHARE Meetings with… Anna Gumbau

By | May 7, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Agora, European Events | Tags: , , , ,

Who’s excited for the Spring Agora? As May has started, so has the countdown for the great statutory event in Bergamo. As great as the Agora is, the opportunity is limited to freely discuss matters which concern AEGEE members. Therefore, a platform to speak your mind about all pressing problems was developed a few years ago: the SHARE Meeting. Looking back at our article history, we discovered there has never been a piece dedicated to the SHARE Meeting. Time to change that. To get to know a bit more about the SHARE Meeting, we spoke with Anna Gumbau, Communication Director.

The AEGEEan: Firstly, could you tell us what exactly a SHARE Meeting is?

Anna: The SHARE Meeting is a gathering that takes place usually after an Agora, where members of AEGEE locals and European bodies meet up and discuss some of the current challenges of the organisation in order to find solutions and work on them afterwards. These meetings take place often in a rather informal way, in order to give a cozy and familiar atmosphere, and gather usually around 20-30 motivated AEGEEans.

And with what purpose was the SHARE Meeting first organised? When and where was this?

The SHARE Meeting was first organised at Autumn Agora Cagliari 2014. Previously it was called “European Level Meeting”, but the concept was switched in order to include the Network as a whole and not only the members working in European projects, commissions, committees, etc. and as a way to bridge the gap that sometimes exists between them, as we need to tackle these challenges from the Network as one!

What subjects or themes has it had over the years?

I have browsed the ideas and topics of previous SHARE Meetings and I find quite a common pattern. We have discussed a few times topics such as Human Resources management and activation of members, internal communications, how to improve event management in our organisation, the Strategic Plan/Action Agenda. In general, it is mostly any organisational topic that we encounter. A very interesting one that we discussed at Autumn Agora Kyïv, for instance, was the inclusion of people with fewer opportunities in AEGEE, which gave a lot of food for thought!

What value does it have for the CD, and for the Network?

For us it is especially important in order to evaluate the main problems and difficulties that the organisation is facing, as well as the topics that our members are most interested in. For the Network, it fosters cooperation among different antennae and bodies in AEGEE, it brings different perspectives within the organisation together and there are always many interesting ideas coming up!

What were the results of last year’s SHARE meeting?

Well, the previous SHARE Meeting took place at Autumn Agora Kyïv, and the topics discussed were Agora reform, event management, content and evaluation, inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities, lack of HR and participation in AEGEE, and the structure of our Strategic Plan in AEGEE (since we will draft this year the Strategic Plan for 2017-2020). The minutes were sent to the Network the month after, with some conclusions and recommendations in each topic.

In the end, what is done with the things that are discussed at the SHARE Meetings? Can you give us an example?

It is true that the follow-up is the most difficult part in most of the cases, and some of the members attending the SHARE Meeting have pushed for some reform or idea that might have not happened. However, I know that for the event management topic, some of the things discussed in the meeting were afterwards included by, for instance, the Summer University Coordination Team, when it comes to showcasing and promoting the events. In any case, we will do our best to ensure an adequate follow-up of these topics after the SHARE Meeting!

What themes will be discussed at the Bergamo SHARE Meeting?

This is not settled yet, since the members have proposed their own topics in the application form,  and the participants will decide in the next few days. Some topics even pop up during the SHARE Meeting itself, at the beginning, just because of the fact that the Agora is still so recent that there are many topics that participants would like to discuss. However, I see many members who want to follow up on the topics discussed in Kyïv, so we will see!

What is the exact schedule of the meeting?

It will take place on Sunday 22nd. Before, there will be the TEDx style session, from 11 to 1pm. The SHARE Meeting will start at 2pm, and even if we can only be in the building only until 4pm, we will make sure to continue the sessions and discussions somewhere else. Sometimes it has happened that there were so many ideas to share, that the discussions on certain topics were still happening even after dinner!

Unfortunately it is not possible to apply for the SHARE meeting in Bergamo anymore. Hopefully you already did, and otherwise, the minutes of the meeting will be shared with the network shortly after it takes place.

Written by Mireille Voorendt, AEGEE-Utrecht

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