Notes from EFA meeting 2018, Loutraki, Greece

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     Nikolaos Kypriotakis 
    Keymaster

    EFA General Assembly Notes

    [Decisions, again, were made according to the ‘card system’, explained by Fiona Parr:

    When there is a general showing of green cards the proposal can go ahead.]

    Agenda Items

    3 Priority Items (agreed by the whole group by green card)
    1. HeidiThe next event to be organised by EFA
    2. Mia– The European website
    3. Steering group(Tine’s email read out about the need for the Steering group to take time to process how it has worked/ hasn’t worked before new members join it)

    [Other items from participants for which there was no time] 
    Hejo– A European publication
    Lucy– process put in place for supporting people when conflicts arise
    Hejo– English: how can we reach the people who’re not comfortable with speaking English?

    Steering group Items

    • Online workshops
    • The next General Assembly
    • The next European conference
    • Collaboration with Person-Centred groups]

    Before the agenda items:

    Hejo gave the background to EFA:
    EFA began in 2009 and was formed by a group of coordinators with the aim of fostering collaboration and support amongst European Focusers.  We have been EFA since Cambridge (2016) after a Vision Statement had been prepared and approved there.  We need to consider what kind of organisation should we be? The underlying question is: what do we need to make Focusing great again? EFA is a networking organisation that has no legal status.

    Agenda Items

    1. The next event to be organised by EFA

    Pavlos- We should have a European conference happen every two years when there is no international conference. (majority Green card- two red cards- not agreed).  It was pointed out that the international conference maynot happen in a predictable way (i.e. it may not happen every two years).
    Heidi- Regardless of what happens with the International conference there should be an EFA conference every second year and we should have a more informal gathering every year in between. And the General Assembly should be part of that.  (only green cards- agreed)

    1. Website

    Mia- The website is a most important resource for Focusers in Europe.  It’s very democratic. Anyone can access it and no one is excluded. She proposes that what we have written for the conference and the conference videos can be posted there. There can be discussion groups there. Online translations could also be made available- we could post our own papers and translations. To be based in Europe but everyone welcome to access it. We need a good webmaster who needs to be paid.
    Paula- the world needs to learn from the brilliant minds in Europe.
    Nikos- you need to register for the website and create an account.
    Pavlos- importance of all of this in terms of promoting collaboration.
    Hejo- agrees that we should have online workshops and encourage online collaboration. Maybe the website could include Zoom. Maybe webinars should be paid for.
    Pat (Foster)- reinforced Mia’s proposal with a proposal from the steering group re the website.  We have funds from the conference.  From the proceeds of the first EFA conference all expenses incurred and Nikos’s time since 2015 should be reimbursed and all remaining funds should go to fund the website (including Nikos’s time/ that of any other webmaster for the future).  The webmaster should make all decisions regarding the website. (only green cards – all points in this paragraph agreed)
    Meg- webinars should be free.
    Mia- what is offered on the website should be information rather than advertising. We could simply add links.
    Nikos- at the moment people do post workshops (i.e. do advertise there).
    Ruth- at the moment she offers workshops through TIFI and a third of the fees go to TIFI.  Could the funds go to EFA?  (Pat- we can’t take money because in Greece we cannot take funds.)

    It was also proposed that an extra 20 Euros be added to any future conference fee to continue to fund the website. (green cards- agreed)

    Nikos- asked the Assembly to please subscribe to the EFA website and we can discuss this website issue there and all other issues.

    3.  Steering Group
    The steering group is not a Board, but it takes decisions.

    Hejo- the aim is to listen to others.  Who should be on the steering group? Up to now it’s been who turned up.  Need to create a balance between being structured and unstructured.
    Mia- likes the fact that it is informal.  Has respect for people who are actually willing to ‘do’ things.
    Christiane- Who will go on?
    Nikos- being on the steering group means to ‘create’, to do things, planning.
    Fiona- has been here since Athens 2015 and wants to step down, but would like to help with the transition to integrate new people into the group.
    Judy- also here from Athens 2015 wants to step down from the group in its present form, but would like to help with a transition and to process the learning from the group. Also happy to continue to work on certain aspects (e.g. English texts for the website, etc.). Referred also to Tine’s email that recommends ‘a pause’ for us to look at how the steering group has functioned/ not functioned and what it needs to go forward.

    Possible new members:

    • Ruth Hirsch put herself forward
    • Another suggestion was that it should involve people representing interest groups

    BUT
    Mia– proposed that we use the European website for people to nominate themselves/ offer themselves, saying what they can offer or bring to the steering group and for the community to comment and agree who should be on the steering group. This would give a stronger mandate for the person who puts themselves forward to replace leaving members. (green cards-agreed)

    Hanspeter– proposes that there is a report on the activity of the steering group every year, to be presented at the AGM (green cards- agreed)

    Steering Group, from May 2018

    Caterina Carta and Bruna Blandino (Italy) (in a rotating manner)
    Hejo Feuerstein (Germany)
    Patricia Foster (UK/Greece)
    Cornelius Gehrig (Germany)
    Nikos Kypriotakis (Greece)
    Judy Moore (UK)
    Fiona Parr (UK)
    Lucy Van Praag (Italy/UK)
    Tine Swyngedouw (Belgium)

    and anyone who will “apply” for it (via the EFA website)

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