As a professional developer, Fabrizio Bellicano from AEGEE-Genova has been very active on all IT-related aspects of AEGEE-Europe since 2014. But his commitment does not end there: he was among the organisers of EPM Zagreb and is a member of the newly revived Human Resources Committee. Now he is candidating as member of the Comité Directeur, and we interviewed him about his candidature and his programme.
The AEGEEan: What is the thing that over time you find most motivating in AEGEE?
Fabrizio: I am impressed about the potential that this organisation could reach, and the impact that has on its members (only on its members.. for now).
If you had to summarise why you are candidating in two sentences, what would you say?
To empower people, and to shape the future of European youth.
You are a professional developer. What do you think your professional experience can give AEGEE and what do you think a year in the CD could give you?
The main contribution I can give is of course technical: knowing what tools but also what methodology is best for a specific task. However, I am also a listener and a thinker, and I notice many things: for instance that people are hiding too much under the “oh, but I am a volunteer” shield even though they decided to take responsibility. I am planning to make it clear that there is a line between volunteering and having a work ethic, and the way to do that is to make work more fun and enjoyable. After all, we all claim that we join AEGEE not only for the fun, but also to get useful real-life experience for our future. Well it is time to demonstrate it! Since that is going to be my non-technical contribution, I expect to hone my soft skills in the meanwhile: while I am comfortable in speaking in front of an Agora, speaking now to the whole Network is a different scale!
Your programme is really ambitious. If you had to pick just one main goal, what would it be and why?
The creation of an AEGEE working culture, where work actually means fulfilling one’s responsibility (possibly in a fun environment). Work does not mean seriousness, work means achieving the objectives set: why not have fun during it?
In your mind map you ideally indicate no more than seven hours of work per day. Do you think that is achievable, considering that one of the main struggles of CD is the work-life balance?
I believe the CD has become too central in AEGEE: the CD should only coordinate the real workers, the Committees (the supporting bodies by definition). Unfortunately this is not happening: the IT Committee is 30% functional ever since I joined; the Human Resources Committee (HRC) is just being revamped (Andrea, Ana, Svenja – love), the Public Relations Committee (PRC) is not handling all it could/should (locals are still not Visual Identity (VI) compliant, so they are spending so much time on it). The result is that the CD needs to do it itself. My idea certainly cannot be implemented within one year only, but by promoting a culture in which people actually want to join Committees (to do real things, not for their public image), this will become more affordable. That said, it is also psychological: a happy worker is a productive worker, but a busy worker does not mean s/he does things.
You mention that you want to achieve “healthy habits (…) to make us willing to follow them”. How would you pursue that?
This has so many aspects that I do not know where to actually start. Probably the most clear is the “recognition culture” that we don’t have. When was last time that somebody thanked a specific local or person for something they have done? When was last Agora that you’ve heard “the next Agora will be hosted by AEGEE-X but thanks to AEGEE-Y and AEGEE-Z who put themselves in play and applied to host our most important event”? I just read an email thanking “all the locals who participated to the AEGEE Day”: who are they? I know that starting with the habit of saying “Thank you”, the motivation can increase greatly. What happens instead is that at Agorae, you can only see people getting on stage to throw excrements at each other, or stating their opinion instead of leading by example. This has to change.
Knowledge transfer is a well-known struggle in AEGEE. Can you elaborate on how you would envision it?
An important role into that will be taken by a new IT system (O RLY?), but before having it ready (we are almost there, by the way. Thanks to Nico, Flaviu, Sergey, Derk – but really, only four people who joined in the last two years?) I will take care of some “quick wins” both in IT perspective and on the HR side. IT-wise, new services popping out every time (thanks to cheap/free/NGO discounts for always-more-common technology and services) will make it possible to “renew” the IT infrastructure, where tools can be installed and maintained more easily. HR-wise, it is about fostering cooperation between locals for real – not just pretending to exchange best practices at Network Meetings with only a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) session. Exchanges between antennae should not be just “A goes to B to party, then B goes to A to party”, but have some content: and not by statute or by regulations or whatever, but simply because it is NICE to do so.
Questions from the Network
We know that the final task division will be done only during the Knowledge Transfer, but what is the position you would like to cover?
‘Classic’ positions are a myth; responsibilities shift between positions all the time. That is why I talked about things I want to tackle, so to apply my transversal skills; that is why I have put forth questions I want to solve, instead of just a “named position”. I believe my tasks are mainly focused towards human resources, though not necessarily stay in that field and instead expand to communications (I want to be involved in everything we do as a team and act as its motivator) or into IT, undoubtedly the most neglected part of the organisation in the last three/nine years.
What is your experience in writing grants?
I don’t have any. I believe this question comes from my (probably unclear) point in the mind map about applying to as many grants as possible: what I was thinking of in particular is simply that we should promote the culture of fundraising – as in, it does *not* mean begging (as some cultures perceive it). Thus, again, my focus is into changing the mindset (for the locals), not really into applying for grants (for AEGEE-Europe).
You can read his full candidature here.
Written by Federica Soro, AEGEE-Cagliari