“I consider that our organization has a great impact in society” ~ Borja Torres, CD candidate

An Agora is the biggest statutory event of AEGEE, and it is time to vote for the new Comité Directeur members among many other positions. Today we are going to take a glance at Borja Torres Fuentes’ application, a strategy-lover and active AEGEEan.

Borja joined AEGEE-Bilbao in 2015, where he has assumed the roles of Human Resources, IT and President over the years, and currently he is a member and advisor of AEGEE-Madrid. When it comes to European commitment, he has shown his passion for strategy by being a Member of Action Agenda Coordination Committee (2016-2018), Member of Planning Team (2019) and a Sub-Commissioner of La Nave’s Network Commission for four years in a row. Read on to get a better insight into person behind the name.

Hi, Borja. In the CD there are different portfolios you can take up as a member. You already mentioned Strategy as your preferred one, but which other areas are also suitable for you?

As I mentioned in my candidature, I am mainly interested in strategy. However, due to my academic and professional experience I also believe that I can contribute a lot to this team as Projects Director.

As a consultant, I have had the opportunity to participate in many types of projects, leading deliverables, developing roadmaps, and even managing meetings with clients.

In addition to this, I have presented numerous proposals to different clients, which allows me to have previous professional experience to apply to different calls that would be available to develop new projects.

On the other hand, I am also very interested in internal education, due to my experience as a trainer in AEGEE, and in collaboration with other organizations. However, everything will depend on my colleagues and the different preferences that we all have.

You have mentioned to have a deep experience as a business consultant. How do you consider this can help inside the CD?

I consider that having almost 3 years of experience as a consultant can help me in the following ways:

1. Knowing how to work in a multidisciplinary team.

2. Being conscious of how to plan, manage and implement projects.

3. Having a proactive and smooth attitude to any type of circumstance.

4. Knowing how to motivate and include the opinions of my mates.

As CD, you are at the very head of the organisation, what type of things do you want to change/ see improved over the next year?

I would like to boost the strategy of our organization. In order to do that, I expect to involve the main actors of the Strategic Plan 2020-23 in the focus areas and organizational improvements, sharing a common perspective and having a change-mindset. On the other hand, I would like to involve the network in the development of new projects through collaborations and online meetings.

When you talk about the measurement of Action Agenda 2020’s impact, you mention the importance of AEGEE’s influence in society being noticeable for stakeholders. How do you consider this can help the association?

I consider that our organization has a great impact in society. We do advocacy, intercultural exchanges, formative events, projects and other types of activities which have an external and internal impact. Externally towards our cities or other organizations and internally to our members. Therefore, we should present our results externally, not just towards our members. It could be a great way to have an impact on our stakeholders and to engage them in our activities.

You seem to be very keen on proposing new methods of working. For example, for the European Planning Meeting 2021, you have mentioned drawing the content by defining a methodology based on design thinking. Can you explain how you would do this?

Design thinking is a methodology which includes techniques which can help us to solve complex problems in a highly user-centric way. These techniques could be (i) Five Whys, (ii) Immersions, (iii) Analogous Inspiration, (iv) Card-Sorting, (v) Canvas… Therefore, these techniques could be useful to inspire participants to ideate and prototype our Action Agenda in this best way. Apart from that, during EPM we focus on developing smart objectives for each focus area, nevertheless, I think that we also should take one more step, identifying which are the main tools and resources which our network needs to fulfill them.

Regarding COVID-19 and its impact on AEGEE, you have talked about suggesting the creation of a Health Prevention Awareness Committee. What would it consist in?

In my candidature, I pointed out that I would like to evaluate our structure. I want to know how well our bodies are connected to the organizational improvements and if they can be fulfilled or not.

Regarding the Health Prevention Awareness Committee, I feel that we are going to have a non-normal situation with Coronavirus and we need a common response and way of working. For that, I think that CD has to understand his knowledge limit and evaluate if we should need help from our network by creating this committee. Nevertheless, we will study depending on how this evolves.