Strategic Planning Meeting Köln 2019 – Setting the course for Eurotopia

Every three years, AEGEE drafts its new course, new focus areas and new opportunities to try new things and to try to improve different fields of the organisation. 

This year was the year! We made it happen between the 19th and 23rd of June in Köln, Germany. Five members from the planning team, worked hard for months, working on the preparations for the most efficient event possible, in order to get the best strategic plan. Fifteen local organisers took care of the logistical preparations. Preparations began in March, though the time was tight, the organisers worked hard to offer the best event possible: great logistics, amazing vegetarian food, and great people. Also they were always friendly and willing to give everything for the participants.

There were 66 participants present during the event, in addition we had a lot more online participation, i.e. around 1000 visits on the online voting, as well as the possibility to follow the plenaries and discussions through a YouTube stream. 

However, after all this, what did this event actually mean? Inspiration, motivation, drafting a new path, the possibility to make something completely different, to discuss ideas, projects, to create something new and that we are willing to follow for three years. 

This Strategic Planning Meeting also meant a huge opportunity for an antenna to organise their first statutory event and it meant a possibility for a whole organisation to develop in the right direction with the right tools. AEGEE-Köln was founded in 1986, since then, it was never downgraded or at risk of that.  That’s also a reason why this was a big thing for them, their visibility within the network and the evidence that they can do it and they could achieve everything they wanted. 

Many topics were discussed, how important is it for AEGEE to have a secretariat strategy? Or, how much do we want to work on climate change? Do we care about digitalisation or communications? Is it our goal to work on a proper knowledge management system? Or do we want to work more on policy making? And what about inclusivity? Is it enough, should we keep working on that? And what if we include mental health in our agenda? 

All of this was raised and discussed, different conclusions and comments were made and then everything was online for the whole network to be able to comment and discuss. 

And the process is still not over. Feedback is needed, your input is a must, and we want you to keep helping AEGEE to find the new path for the upcoming three years. You can still contribute, as nothing is decided yet and you can make the difference, you can drive the change and be a part of something new. 

To conclude, the strategic plan is still not finished, although it is going in the right direction. AEGEE needs your input and participation, in order to have a good plan for the upcoming three years in our organisation and the best ideas always happen when we work together. There is a place for new ideas, for you to add your own contribution to the future of AEGEE and for the forum of discussion we are once again!