Notes from European Focusing Association (EFA) General Assembly
Saturday 25th May and Sunday 26th May 2019
Agia Marina, Aegina
- Outstanding Financial Matter – As EFA has no formal structure, the Hellenic Focusing Center (who organised the first EFA Conference in Loutraki in 2018) have for the past year been holding the net income after tax from that conference after all expenses were cleared. It had been unanimously agreed at the General Assembly after Loutraki that all net income after tax should go to fund the website, including reimbursement for time spent by the webmaster since 2015 and to repay a loan towards the setting up of an earlier version of the website made by a private individual.
The sum remaining now stands at 7,143 Euros after all expenses and tax have been deducted. It was decided by the Assembly that this money be passed from the Hellenic Focusing Center to be held temporarily by an EFA member to be distributed in accordance with the wishes of the General Assembly in Loutraki in 2018. This was unanimously agreed (all green cards).
- The Vision Statement- This was distributed to all participants, the ‘vision’ acknowledged, and no changes were made to the text.
- The next conference/ biennale/ gathering- Nobody has so far offered to organise a conference for next year. Different formats were suggested- e.g. a ‘fair’, something like the North Western gathering in the US where only rooms were booked. The wording is important- the word ‘fair’ has proved not to be appealing in the past and the word ‘conference’ immediately generates specific expectations. The term ‘European Focusing Biennale’ was proposed for a larger gathering. For a smaller gathering some thoughts were:
-A greater percentage of workshops/ exchange of offerings in proportion to time spent on process/ EFA matters;
-a 4-hour siesta in the middle of the day;
-an extra day;
-the General Assembly to be held at the end of the gathering;
If there is no offer for a larger gathering for 2020 then an organising committee may come together to plan a larger gathering for 2021 (possibly consisting of Michael Callifronas, Cornelius Gehrig, Heidrun Essler and Patricia Foster).
In the absence of any current offer to organise a larger gathering, an initial proposal to host a smaller gathering in Greece next year was made, but this was vetoed by one red card on the basis that we have met in Greece three times and it would be good to meet elsewhere to reflect that we are a truly European Association. It was therefore proposed that we write to the wider EFA network to invite an individual or a group to organise a gathering outside of Greece. We will ask for offers to be made before the end of August and then make a decision about location for a smaller gathering for next year.
- The Legal Form of EFA- Patricia Foster will research what might be the most viable legal form of EFA. The precedent of how difficult it is to establish a legal organisation with a bank account is evident from parallel difficulties encountered by PCE Europe, but Pat will investigate other possibilities.
- The Website- The success of the website was acknowledged (e.g. the video presentations from Loutraki with subtitles were much appreciated), but more content is needed. People need to send in what they want to post (including articles from their own country) and it will be put online.
- The Steering Group- some suggestions were made for people to come and go in the Steering Group so that there can be more openness and flexibility.
- Specific Offers- Several individuals made specific offers, which were much appreciated:
- Michael Callifronas has experience in the editorial field and would like to work with others on publishing projects;
- Ruth Hirsch would like to make a map to show where there are Focusers in Europe. She will gather relevant information that can then be posted online. To have a more accurate map she will also ask for input from other EFA members on Focusers in their countries who might not be affiliated with TIFI;
- Florian Christensen offered to collect information about what’s happening with different people in Europe;
- Ruth Hirsch has offered to set up Zoom meetings for EFA members; she will set up a Doodle to find an optimal time for a group to meet;
- Christine Rehbock is willing to collect articles written in Dutch for the website;
- Christine Rehbock is willing to do subtitling for videos in English;
- Heidrun Essler is very interested in an online summit and will gather information about this;
- Hejo Feuerstein would like to set up a facility for online supervision and will collect names for who might be interested;
- Jennie St Clair will publicise EFA in Australia;
- Antigone Tsegeli offered to organise a smaller gathering in Greece (but this cannot be for next year);
- Hejo Feuerstein proposed a discussion list for EFA members (like the Coordinators’ List and the TIFI list).
15 June 2019