This meeting took place on 18 July 2016, before the 2016 International Focusing Conference, Robinson College, Cambridge (20-24 July)
Hejo explained that a European group had first been planned in Pforzheim in 2010, with the aim of making focusing better known. The idea was the organisation should not be too ‘tight’, but to help those who want to make focusing-related events happen to connect.
It was explained that a temporary steering group (Fiona, Hejo, Pavlos, Judy) had formed in Athens (2015) and that they are responsible for the Vision Statement, with feedback from others.
Fiona explained that it would be helpful to use a card system to help in decision-making processes.
Questions arose around membership. Suggestions were: anyone who is active in focusing and has had focusing training.
Much time was spent discussing and making slight amendments to the Vision Statement.
It was decided to present the Vision Statement first to the Co-ordinators’ meeting and then to the whole conference at the final plenary. [The statement was presented to the CCs, but there was no space left for us to present it at the final plenary. But ‘membership sign-up sheets’ were circulated and this has formed the basis of our initial email list.]
It was decided that we should meet annually and that an annual gathering (of whatever nature) should include time together, involving different activities and also a ‘business meeting’ (the Annual Assembly)
It was decided that membership did not need to be confined to those living in Europe.
It was decided that the Steering Group will eventually consist of a core group plus representatives from ‘interest groups’ (e.g. a coaching group, a research/ journal group, a summer school group)
[Information was later sought from the Japanese Focusing Association as to how they operate: all members are equal; they have one annual gathering per year of 2-3 days (which includes an annual general meeting and some workshops); they have one president who is chosen by working group (interest group) leaders and serves for 3 years; they have a subscription which is the equivalent of c. 30 Euros a year.]
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Welcome to the new European Focusing Association (EFA).
We are delighted that you are joining us, and we look forward to collaborating with you in joint ventures to carry forward the gifts of Focusing.