Campaign for the board or president
5 May 2010 at 2:20 PM #2509GCAKeymaster18 May 2010 at 11:56 AM #5566Arne HoffmannParticipant
So, well, I will start then:
I would be more than happy to accompaign the newly revitalised Alumni Association as a President or Board member.
I attached my ideas and my presentation. So have a look and give me a feedback what you think. I will be cicling to Denmark for one week but be back next sunday. Than I can enter all discussions. Iam looking foward to this new spin.
Cheers to all of you
Arne10 June 2010 at 11:58 AM #5576Filipa GuinoteParticipant
I would like to put my name up as a candidate for the Board of the E.MAlumni.
The engagement of EIUC and Cristiano and the meeting in Brussels have created a window of opportunity for the association to grow and I think it is important get active now. From the discussions at the General Assembly meeting, this association is gearing up to be not only a mere network of contacts, but also a forum of reflection about human rights. It is an ambitious target, but I think it is an adequate one, given our quite unique common profile.
My experience with associations of this type dates back to my high school days, when I created and edited a student newspaper and then served as president of the student association (with over 1000 student members). The E.MAlumni is obviously very different from that, but I can say I know the challenges of organising initiatives with and for a membership-based group and I think I can be a good support to the President.
As a Board member, I would be proactive, both in terms of outreach to the alumni and in terms of activities and reflection on human rights issues. I think that strengthening the alumni network and promoting joint reflection/discussion about human rights are simultaneous and mutually reinforcing processes. With this in mind and from discussions at the General Assembly, I see three main issues for the next two years:
1) Strengthening the alumni network:
Making a proactive use of the website: many alumni haven’t registered and many registered members almost never visit the website, so we need to reach out to people with clear and specific information/suggestions, rather than wait for members to visit the website. This does not mean spaming everyone all the time, but rather making occasional targeted contacts, in particular to activate registered members. Moreover, first year alumni should be exempted from paying the annual membership fee; immediate active membership is strategically important to build up our membership base. Making a strategic use of our backgrounds and situations: this means actively fostering thematic or regional initiatives, rather than to exclusively envisage all alumni activities collectively. What unites us is not only the fact that we all attended the EMA Master program; it is also that some of us have similar interests or live in the same region. Creating small-scale clusters of activity along thematic or regional lines would create a genuinely interesting exchange of ideas (specific small-scale activities are also easier to fund).
2) Starting to engage in reflection/discussion on human rights issues:
We could start with a regular newsletter including updates on key policy discussions in the main international human rights forums (from headquarters people to field people), stories from the field (from field people to headquarters people), presentation of job profiles (from older graduates to more recent graduates), short interviews etc… We could also have an annual theme/area of focus: this would work as the basis for calls for papers (to be published on the website) and a round-table/conference like event.
From discussions at the Brussels meeting, the EIUC is ready to provide some financial support to the E.MAlumni next year, but it is necessary to find alternative funding sources and to use funds efficiently. A crucial point is to separate fixed and variable costs: membership fees will constitute the only standing source of funding and it will hopefully cover at least the fixed costs of running the website. Activities such as conferences and publications should be regarded as variables for which we would raise funds or seek sponsorship on an ad-hoc basis. Ad-hoc fundraising is particularly efficient if we develop small-scale activities along particular regional or thematic lines (as I mentioned above), rather than doing only big collective initiatives.
Lastly, just a few words about me: I am a 2004-2005 graduate from Portugal and I have been working mostly in the field (Sudan and Afghanistan). I am now taking a break in Berlin and preparing to move to NYC at the end of this summer. I am used to working with teams remotely, though, so being far from away from Europe will not be a major difficulty!
Cheers!10 June 2010 at 7:45 PM #5577Michaël MerriganParticipant
I would also like to take this opportunity to present myself as a candidate board member. Who I am, and what I want to achieve as a board member, you can find here:
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any more questions!
Michael11 June 2010 at 7:31 PM #5578Sander AgterhuisParticipant
Campaign for the Board of the E.MAlumni association
I’d like to put forward my candidacy for the position as Board member of the E.MAlumni association. I graduated in 2004 and have been working on human rights issues in various parts of the world since then, including my home country The Netherlands. Where ever I was, I met E.Ma graduates with whom I immediately felt a bond.
I think that my experience and personal attitude would benefit this young association to grow faster and stronger. I personally believe that my presence would be particularly beneficial in these first 2 years which will decisive for the future of the Association.
In my view the mission of the E.MAlumni Association of the European Masters Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation is to celebrate the uniqueness of the E.Ma experience by focussing the next two years on:
- Keeping alumni conversant with the programs and activities of EIUC/E.Ma;
- Developing alumni programs/activities that foster fellowship among alumni;
- Assisting the EIUC/E.Ma in the growth of its academic, administrative, cultural, and extracurricular activities;
- Establishing a lifelong relationship with its alumni;
- Promoting interaction with and among alumni;
- Highlighting the achievements of its alumni;
- Providing alumni with rewarding opportunities to serve the EIUC/E.Ma and its students;
- Serving and supporting alumni in providing professional resources;
- The promotion of high-level inter-disciplinary human rights education, research, training and culture.
In general, the E.MAlumni Association will provide support the EIUC in promoting a global understanding of human rights and democracy while advancing the reputation of the EIUC and its alumni.
The Netherlands13 June 2010 at 5:02 PM #5579Igor VorontsovParticipant
My name is Igor and I have decided to put forward my candidacy for the post of the Board Member. I am already 36 and I have graduated as long ago as in 2001 and I belong to that lucky group of early Masteroni who were still residing in the Monastery cells, chased bats and ghosts in the corridors during nights (or sometimes they chased us, especially on the eve of examinations). I don’t know if I would be terribly useful for our Alumni Association, but I would love to, with my 15 years of work experience in human rights and development. I would not say that the E.MA has changed my life altogether as I already was working in the non-profit sector for almost 5 years, but it definitely played a decisive role in my career and I maintain an emotional attachment to the City of Venezia and to the strange group of young and not so young people in Lido who continue to believe in all the right things despite the age of ‘real politik’ and values-neutral globalization increasingly upon us. Oh yeah, and I probably should mention that I actually studied alright and I made it into the top 15 graduates of my academic year so I was awarded a paid internship at the OSCE Mission to Croatia for 6 months.
Beng half-Polish, half-Russian, I was raised in the Soviet Union and learned about human rights and democracy the hard way, through democracy activism. In the beginning of 1990-s I was among the founders of Amnesty International-Russia as well as I was working with street children in St.Petersburg. Since then, I have worked throughout Europe and Eurasia, South-East Asia and West Africa as well as spent time in the USA. I have recently completed my assignment with Human Rights Watch as a Representative/Researcher in Uzbekistan and now joined a peacebuilding foundation in Switzerland – PeaceNexus (where I cover human rights and humanitarian issues as well as I am in charge of developing a network of partners). If you would like to know more about my work with HRW, you can just google/free text search ‘Vorontsov HRW Uzbekistan’ and you also can se my short bio as part of the team of PeaceNexus Foundation: http://www.peacenexus.org/who-we-are/people/staff
I think that I could assist our Association with more substantive work on human rights promotion due to my unique interdisciplinary experiences across human rights, humanitarian relief, peacebuilding and social development. As for the development of our network, my experience would be perhaps also useful as it was my job in membership-based Amnesty International in Russia and then in ECPAT International in Bangkok, and now my post at PeaceNexus is also a Partner Relations Officer.
For our Association in the coming couple of years, I would propose to focus on idenitity development and on figuring out how exactly our network could be mostuseful for the Masteroni. I think that many Masteroni would like our Association to deliver tangible benefits such as career counseling and job support, interdisciplinary community of practice and a social network of like-minded human beings.
In addition to delivering valuable services to the Members, I think that we should also offer service and companionship to the current Masterini and to have a virtual, or physical, presence in Lido. For example, we could hold regular seminars or informal conferences in San Nicolo where current E.MA students and Masteroni get together and discuss trends in development work, human rights careers and contemporary human rights and humanitarian issues.
While I am currently in full-time employment, I will make myself available to support the E.MA Alumni Association the best I can.
If you have any questions or comments, you are more than welcome to contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Igor Vorontsov, E.MA 2000-200113 June 2010 at 9:51 PM #5580benjamin toussaintParticipant
my name is Benjamin Toussaint, short “Ben”. I am an e.ma graduate from the year 2008/2009. I will keep my candidature short, because i am on vacation in Ilha de Fogo, Cape Verde laptop less and internet connection is not something that common around here. Furthermore i am writing on an azerty keyboard which goes very much counter to my habits.
I would like to candidate for a membership on the board. Why? Because i am convinced efforts in the field of human rights are too rare to leave them uncoordinated. The E.MAlumni network is an opportunity to create fruitful synergies between up to 1000 people ready to emphasize the significance of human rights in international relations specifically and human relations in general.
Why me? Because 1. I am motivated, which is why I went to Brussels to the 1st E.MAlumni General Assembly, 2. because i have the time to realistically invest in a full-fledged membership in the board.
Ben13 June 2010 at 10:18 PM #5581Victor BojkovParticipant
After giving this some serious, serious thought, I decided to put my candidacy in for an EMAlumni Board member.
For longer than anyone else above I have stood for setting up this association in a manner that would allow us to start in the first instance and then develop further our priorities, policies, focus areas as we go along.
I was there with the ‘pioneers’ in Venice when we drafted the first statute, I was there at the latest meeting in Brussels calling for a speedy adoption of the revised statute so that we finally put the EMAlumni on tracks. I am so excited this is now a reality!
Briefly on myself: Masteroni of 2000/2001, PhD (LSE) of 2007. After Venice I moved to Sarajevo to work with the students of our sister regional human rights programme. I helped with the set up of their Alumni Association and was closely involved in a number of its activities. I then moved on to work as campaign coordinator for Amnesty International’s Secretariat in London and from there to DG Enlargement of the European Commission where I deal with Kosovo.
There are few ideas I would push forward as a Board member and I call for your strong support on this:
Membership: we cannot afford to have too many ‘idle’ members. Of over 1,000 graduates, we (as a Board) must aim to achieve at least 50% active and participating members within the first two years of the Association. This is a realistic target and I draw inspiration from my experience of working a global membership organisation (Amnesty International). This was one of my primary responsibility: galvanise ‘idle’ members and supporters into action by devising interesting, attractive and realistic campaign strategies.
This leads me to my second point. We need to develop some campaigning capacity. We may never be able to achieve campaign strength of millions of members worldwide, but this should not lead us to under-estimate our potential. We can be a potent force of change in a number of areas. Our expertise is wide, our networks will become stronger and stronger as time goes by. This is a something we need to exploit for the better: through lobbying, agenda setting, consultancy, corrective action.
Teaching/conferences/seminars: I have taught in a number of universities and mostly on human rights MA degrees. You cannot imagine the hunger for seminars given by professionals. The roundtable we held in Brussels was such an eye-opener. I don’t think it will be very difficult to establish EMAlumni as a first point of reference for teaching establishments worldwide that need a professional on their teaching programme.
Newsletter/journal: we must produce something in written. Studies, indexes of human rights protection, something of the kind that will set our brand and will make us known for the expertise we provide. I advised in the setting up of ‘New Perspectives’, the flagship publication of our sister Alumni Association in Sarajevo, and have published in it. ‘New Perspectives’ is now the pillar of fresh ideas on the political and socio-economic development in South East Europe. And its strength are the publishing alumni. It is also a very welcome outlet to vent out their frustrations when things are moving in the wrong direction.
These are the ideas I would, if elected, pursue as Board member. And to the other candidates: I will also be very, very happy to support and advise you on these in case my candidacy does not win the necessary votes.
I am really so happy this is actually happening! Long live our Almuni Association,
Victor14 June 2010 at 6:26 AM #5582Sophie MirgauxParticipant
the list is getting longer and the deadline for campaigning is approaching. I think it’s time to put up the link to my camaign video, for which I had to gather my biggest informatic skills (to the extent available…) and quite some patience. Nevertheless, I think it’s worth it.
These are my ideas for the Board:
or simply use this URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0t4vDRwuKM
I’m looking forward to working with all of you!
Sophie14 June 2010 at 12:05 PM #5583Didzis MelbiksisParticipant
I would like to put up my humble self as a candidate for the E.MAlumni Board.
I am masteroni from 2005/2006, was born in Latvia, but have spent more than 6 years in Sweden. So I can communicate freely in 4 languages: Latvian, English, Russian and Swedish. After graduating I worked for as a journalist, mostly for the radio, and I still do freelance stuff. You can see all my work and study experience at http://lv.linkedin.com/in/didzis .
I do not have any fixed program to present because I simply do not believe in fixed programs. I do believe in the permanence of change though. And I think regarding this newly born association that the most important part of it is networking. It is the perfect chance for interchanging and changing both ourselves and the world.
I can promise you one thing. If I get elected to the Board, I will faithfully execute (because the board is supposed to execute, right? 😉 ) the following principle – The predominant belief in most organizations is “don’t rock the boat”. It should be more like “kick out the jams”. (Umair Haque)
And for those who wonder what “kick out the jams” mean…
Well.. Why don’t you check this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM6nasmkg7A
with revolutionary greetings,
didzis14 June 2010 at 7:08 PM #5584Lydia MalmedieParticipant
I am standing for the Board because I think a programme as special as E.MA deserves an extraordinary alumni association. With the web-infrastructure set up, financial support from EIUC secured and an incredible pool of expertise and experience among masteroni – I think we are in a fantastic place to achieve a great deal and I would like to play my part in a great team of people who dedicate time, effort, expertise and passion to make this happen.
As spelled out in the statute, the E.MAlumni association’s purpose is three-fold:
– To promote and reinforce contacts between its members at a professional and informal level
– To support and help improve the activities of EIUC and E.MA
– To promote Human Rights and Democracy throughout the world
I think that it is vital to focus on the first two aims in order to lay the foundations for achieving the third. I therefore agree with many of the other candidates that to achieve a strong and engaged group of members should be a priority, especially in the first year. One way of achieving this could for example be through a mentoring scheme which would create links across generations of masteroni. It would provide a real additional benefit for those considering doing the E.MA, it would provide a strong incentive for newly graduated masteroni to join the association and is a great opportunity for those further on in their career to connect with less experienced colleagues and enhance coaching, communication and leadership skills. We all know how important it is sometimes to bounce ideas of someone else or to speak to someone who has been through a similar situation, someone who is also trying to combine family and career for example. This is what a scheme like this would allow for.
E.MA thrives from the diversity of its students. And yes, as I stressed at the panel discussion in Brussels, E.MA and EIUC could be more proactive in ensuring everyone feels welcome at the E.MA programme, true to the Human Rights principles of equality and non-discrimination. I would therefore propose to establish a Diversities Group bringing together expertise in different fields and different strands of equality. This group could serve as a critical friend to E.MA and EIUC and make constructive suggestions about how to ensure that E.MA is accessible to a diverse group of people as possible and that everyone feels they can be themselves, regardless of religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability etc. Groups of experts, such as the Diversities Group, might at a later stage also consult other organisations in this area but I believe we have to start leading by example.
I would like to echo the idea of a high quality newsletter which would allow alumni to share some of their experience and which would help better connect members and foster interest in the association. It would also be invaluable to further promote human rights and democratisation and present the activities of the association and individual alumni beyond the members.
I would bring to the Board my experience as a member of the student union during my first degree and the experience of being a student representative for E.MA 2007-2008, a time during which I wrote a guide for future students and student representatives in an attempt to create an institutional memory which would increase the bargaining powers vis-a-vis the administration. I was furthermore very involved in the yearbook production and greatly enjoyed being part of the panel of Human Rights Defenders at the E.MAlumni GA meeting in Brussels and getting actively involved in the discussions around the statute and the direction of the association in general.
I have been working as Education Officer for Stonewall, the national lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity in Britain for nearly two years. Part of my role is developing strategic interventions with national, regional and local government, working in coalition with other equality organisations and developing resources and publications.
I would like to enrich the Board with this experience and expertise in equality and diversity, human rights education and dedicate my passion to creating something extraordinary.
I am looking forward to working with all of you for the next two years as a member of a fantastic team.
Lydia14 June 2010 at 7:24 PM #5585Bernadette Anna KnauderParticipant
This being posted in this category, it might not come as a surprise that I herewith want to put forward my
Candidature as an emAlumni association board member.
They say you can’t choose your family. When I chose E.MA – or more humbly put: when E.MA chose me – I had no idea that a master’s degree could come with a family. With a bunch of people I grew so fond of within only a few months that I’d consider them ‘my people’, people who do not always share the same opinion, the same way of life or line of reasoning; but the same spirit. And who always have one shared goal in mind: improve human rights around the globe.
I had the chance to meet some Masteroni from different academic years (the ‘extended family’, to stay in the metaphor) , and before long we found ourselves in more or less nostalgic conversations about the ‘life less ordinary’ one leads on Lido and it is not assumptive to say that everyone has a n emotional connection to that place and that master.
To my mind, this association should transform this emotional connection into a professional one. As I said, It’s a family: you can’t expect everyone to get equally involved; or participate at every family reunion; but you can to a certain extent count on the family ties.
All of us were equipped with a solid set of tools like knowledge and experience, during the master and in our professional lives thereafter. If we manage to collect them in this emAlumni association, create a toolkit and use our tools wisely, I am convinced we could really make a difference. At least for us – and hopefully for the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide. As they say:
“ If many little people, in many little places, do many little deeds, they can change the face of the world.”
Alright then, bottom line, if I was voted ‘toolkit keeper’ aka board member, I think the association’s goals for its first two years of existence after revitalisation should be:
- Trigger the masteroni to become active members of the platform
(I know, this has been said before, but it is nevertheless crucial. ) This could be done for example by
– initiating E.MA regulars’ tables in different cities to spread the ideas of the association and reignite the E.MA spirit as well amongst those who could not be present at the Brussels inaugural meeting
– A short (bi)weekly newsletter that contains at least the latest activities on the website (more content depending on the ressources) would trigger less active members of the association to visit more regularly.
- Get the masterini on board at an early stage, e.g. by
– posting research topics one comes across and finds worth researching for those who have trouble coming up with a topic at a necessarily fairly early stage of the master’s programme
– giving them the chance to publish their theses online on the webpage and
– fostering exchange between masterini and masteroni. Organising second stream or informal evening lectures held by masteroni in the monastery etc.
- Ensure funding of the association beyond the time EIUC promised support.Therefore,
– a membership fee for active members has to be discussed and fixed. Masteroni in their first year after graduation should be exempt from the payment but nevertheless enjoy the full rights of an active member.
– Alternative funding possibilities have to be found to cover the operating costs of the network and/or to finance particular events organized by the association.
- As far as events are concerned I consider small scale/regional events to best suit our (financial) opportunities in the two years to come.
- An additional idea at a later stage to make the website a useful tool in daily life can be a Human Rights Wiki (maybe organized along the articles of the UDHR to start with) where every member can contribute content and upload e.g. interesting articles, latest cases or decisions to create a reliable source for information at first glance.
Briefly about myself, my name is Bernadette Knauder; I’m from the a.y. 2008/09. Since then, I’ve been ‘internshipping’ around Europe, in the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s research department and now in the GTZ project ‘Realizing Human Rights in Development Cooperation’. Being a recent graduate I can not throw in my longstanding professional experience as an argument in my favour, but I’ve organized some courses and conferences; and I do believe that my passion for the whole emAlumni endeavor should count for something. I honestly don’t know if I would be an any better board member than the other candidates. But if elected, I would be fully engaged and proactive, and give my best to be the best choice – because I’d love to do it.
Bernadette14 June 2010 at 8:22 PM #5586Sara MelkkoParticipant
I join my fellow masteroni and place my (last-minute) candidature to the E.MAlumni board.
I am a masterona and student representative from the academic year 2003/2004. Before E.MA, I was a marketing manager in IT companies and I hold a degree in business administration. After graduating from Venice I worked for 2 years at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (first in Helsinki at the human rights policy unit and then in Strasbourg at the Permanent Representation of Finland to the Council of Europe). Since 2006 I have been working as an executive search consultant (aka headhunter. I know that sounds bad.) in the business sector. Although I do not make my living with human rights today, I am currently volunteering as coach for a refugee youth group how to find a job/apprenticeship. That’ll qualify me as a good person, right? 😉
My role as board member could be:
- Overall strategy planning and plans of action
- Communication management and marketing related subjects
- Project management, i.e. planning and implementation of events
- Relationships to businesses?
Why me? Professional and personal contribution:
- Know-how from the business world, which is relevant in any job: project management, strategic thinking and planning, analytic and structured approach, marketing, multi-tasking, defining priorities etc.
- Energetic, open and positive person
- Convincing style of presentation
- Multi-lingual: German and Finnish as native languages, fluent English and French, rusty Italian and Swedish
- Maturity (38 years of age)
The human rights subjects closest to my heart:
- Equality between the sexes (I happily call myself a feminist)
- LGBT-rights / non-discrimination of sexual orientation
- Business meets human rights: if done right, how can the business world contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights?
I am convinced that the best board is one with variety and diversity. This is why I think I would complement the board’s composition in a very good way.
Good luck to all the ones elected; it would be great to be a part of you.
Sara14 June 2010 at 9:36 PM #5587Floris van HeesParticipant
Dear fellow alumni,
I have also decided to run for member of the Board of our newly established Alumni Association. It was very inspiring to be at the inaugural meeting in Brussels and meet masteroni from other years to get this association off the ground. Hopefully it will grow into something that can transform the enthousiasm of its members into something useful and lasting for the communities that we care about.
My most recent professional experience has been as a lawyer at a commercial law firm. This probably makes me an unlikely candidate for board member of a human rights association. Nevertheless, I would not run if I did not think I could truly contribute something to this young organisation.
The main contribution I believe I can make relates to the institution of the organisation. I believe that the statutes need some amendments to make the organisation work effectively. Just as an example, I noticed that it is not clear how the Assembly elects the Board Members, in particular how many votes each member can cast. While such issues may seem technical (and boring to some), they are vital for the well functioning of the organisation and involvement of its members. Nothing is more frustrating than disagreement about how to run an organisation. Such disagreement can cause an organisation with great opportunities to get into a deadlock situation, meaning that the members are all eager to achieve something, but are kept busy with internal issues rather than getting something done that benefits others.
Also, I would promote the following issues for the board to contemplate:
– Keeping members informed and involved.
– Raising awareness, for example by organising simultaneous activities in different places around the globe by local masteroni.
– Involving / raising awareness in the business comunity. I believe there are many professionals who do not have human rights on their minds, but are eager to get involved if opportunities are offered to them.
These are just some ideas. There are 9 members on the board and many active masteroni. I would therefore very much encourage members to make proposals to the board or take initiatives. While the possibilities seem endless, I do however believe that the organisation should focus on two or three issues in its first year instead of doing a little bit of everything.
In that spirit, I am keeping my application short and end by saying that I would very much enjoy getting involved as a board member and together with the other members make this new organisation work and fully live up to its potential.
Floris15 June 2010 at 12:16 PM #5589Giorgos KosmopoulosParticipant
My name is Giorgos Kosmopoulos and I would like to present my candidacy for the board or the presidency of the EMAlumni Association. I come from Greece (I wasn’t involved with the state’s finances, whatsoever, I swear) and I am a 2007/2008 masteroni currently living and working in Brussels. I believe in social activism, I am actively involved with the NGO sector (member of the board of a small NGO dealing with youth and human rights issues at a local level) and represent the Greek Section of Amnesty International at European level. Allow me to present you briefly my vision for the EMAlumni Association based on three axes:
1) Why do we need this Alumni Association?
It would be easy to brag about the uniqueness of the EMA program but I do believe (and think we all share this belief) that huge potential lies within the EMA graduates. Our diversity, dedication, experience and enthusiasm can create a really special alumni Association.
We need this Association because it could help the masteroni in many ways. It will raise the visibility of the program and its graduates, contribute to its improvement, help the masteroni towards their the professional life (career information and support, trainings etc), advance human rights causes and contribute to the human rights debate (through projects, conferences, seminars etc)
I think that lack of such an Association has been one of the main shortcomings of the program so far.
2) What kind of Alumni Association do we want?
The purpose of this association is laid down by our statute already:
– promote and reinforce contacts between its members at a professional and informal level
– support and help improve the activities of EIUC and E.MA
– promote Human Rights and Democracy throughout the world
In order to serve these (noble) purposes I find it very important to clarify the identity of our association. I believe in an open, collectively managed, community oriented association. One of the main goals should be not to patronize the EMA community but rather to facilitate a lively EMA community, stimulate it as much as possible and make this Alumni Association useful to it. It must be evident to the members how this is association is useful to them and be proud to be part of it; they must consider it their Association.
3) How are we going to achieve all that?
First, human capital, here lies the added value of our organization. No need to mention the experience, the quality and the commitment of the masteroni, an efficient board must make constructive use of this capital.
Second, the presence of the networking officer is guaranteed by the EIUC (for next year) so it is imperative that we make the most out of his presence, take advantage of the new website (job postings, debates, information exchange or a couch to sleep in far off places), create a meaningful newsletter and use the internet and intranet to make the coordination of our activities possible. The visibility of the program could be achieved by our presence in conferences and all related events (and here the disperse nature of our members could be actually an asset) while a small publication (like a brochure) would be very useful too.
Third, finances. A tricky one, as healthy financial basis (even a small one in the beginning) is essential in order to achieve our goals. It is very important that we have the means to cover our fixed expenses through fixed income resources and so far the only income foreseen is the contribution of the (active) members. EIUC might support financially the position of the networking officer (for a limited period) or a small event but in the long run we need to come up with additional funding. In order to organize additional events there must be additional resources so we might have to look for ad hoc contributions or cooperate with other institutions and NGOs. Unfortunately, many of our decision will be guided by financial considerations and here ideas and experience of the masteroni will be very helpful.
Finally, strategy and planning. My idea is that the first steps should be careful and well-planned. I insist on the strengthening of the Association because if we try too many things too soon or raise the expectations too high the result will be disappointment among us and our members, this is the rust that slowly (or fast) decays every volunteer association or NGO. I also consider the smooth relations with EUIC (not because we need them but because we like them…) very important and here the role of the board and the president especially is critical. Planning means setting concrete, measurable and feasible targets. In this way not only we have a stick yard for our own work but we make it easier for all our members to evaluate our action, contribute to it and have a better understanding of where we are heading to.
This endeavor might take us far, let’s begin with small but steady steps.15 June 2010 at 3:40 PM #5590Monika AlpoeggerParticipant
My name is Monika Alpoegger and I would like to put forward my candidature for the presidency/board of the E.MAlumni association. I graduated from the Master’s in 2006. Since then I have been supporting the idea of setting up an alumni association. Hence, I am extremely happy that the foundations for such an association are now laid. I would be happy to contribute to a successful start of this young association with my experience and enthusiasm. I believe this network has an incredible potential and can become a vibrant forum for discussions, exchange of information and the promotion of human rights.
My main ideas:
- In the first year we should focus on getting as many alumni as possible registered, making a special attempt to reach also those who graduated in the early years of the programme.
- I would like to motivate as many people as possible to become active members in the association and to participate in the opportunities provided by our main communication tool: the website. It allows us to maintain contact with people of the same graduation year but also to learn more about other masteroni and their whereabouts. It can also be a forum for academic discussions as well as circulation of job opportunities.
- Since the website will be our main communication tool I will put much effort in making it as user-friendly as possible and keeping it up to date. Furthermore, as protection of personal data is an important issue to me, I will strive to have a transparent policy on it.
- I would be happy to set up a monthly newsletter informing the alumni about the activities of the board, upcoming events, experiences of our colleagues on the ground etc.
- Since we are spread all over the world I think it would also make sense to support the creation of “regional alumni hubs” wherever a couple of us are located and willing to be active, organising meetings, discussions, conferences, film screenings, cultural events…
- I am personally not very happy about the compulsory membership fee and I would like to find other ways of fundraising if possible. It might be worth a try to substitute the compulsory membership fee by voluntary donations.
- In the long run I think we should endeavour to increase the visibility of the association as a body known for its expertise on human rights issues.
To conclude, some more information about me:
My academic background is political science. I studied at the University of Vienna where I was the spokesperson of the Austrian Students’ Union. In the course of my professional career, I have been working for NGOs, the European Parliament and the European Commission. For the last three years I have been working in DG Enlargement/European Commission on the Kosovo status negotiations in 2007/08 and Cyprus peace talks since September 2008. My main field of expertise is international negotiations as well as conflict mediation and resolution.
I am Italian and belong to the German speaking minority in the northern part of Italy. In addition to German and Italian I am fluent in English and French.
I am very happy to see so many of us getting involved and hope this spirit will continue. I am happy to hear from you and would appreciate your feedback and suggestions.
Monika15 June 2010 at 9:07 PM #5591Corinna GrecoParticipant
Candidate for the Board of the E.MAlumni Association
I hereby share with you my desire to become one of the members of the E.MAlumni Board.
Who am I?
– My short bio is available at the address below http://www.emahumanrights.org/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1%3Acorinna-greco&catid=39%3Aadministrative-staff&Itemid=147
– Masterona of the academic year 1998/1999
– 10 years of work for E.MA and EIUC
– I was one of the 25 alumni of the first meeting of E.MA graduates -back in November 2002- which saw the creation of different working groups: one devoted to the draft of the Statutes of the Association (that we amended and approved at the General Assembly meeting on 21 May 2010), and one devoted to the creation of a dedicated website (launched in 2005) and promotional materials. I hereby seize the opportunity to thank all the Masteroni who contributed to achieve these two initial and important steps
– I followed from “inside” the successive attempts made by EIUC for supporting the E.MAlumni Association
– My previous affiliations in Associations saw me active as External Relation Manager for ADEK (Association des Anciens Stagiaires des Institutions Européennes) and Secretary General until 2000 when I moved to Italy. One of my best achievements: having an exhibition stand for ADEK within the EU Pavilion at the 1998 World Exposition in Lisbon; representative of Belgium for the Confederazione degli Italiani nel Mondo; trainer for the Brevet Européen de Premier Secours de la Croix-Rouge de la Jeunesse in Belgium
– My professional experience is of almost 20 years in European contexts, working mainly on multicultural education, research, training, counselling and project management of EU projects, etc.
– My academic background includes: European School of Brussels; Degree in Psycho-Pedagogy; European Studies; E.MA 1998/1999
– I go often to Brussels where I lived for more than 30 years.
As E.MAlumni Vice-President ad interim (replacing Carlotta Bellini), I assess very positively the commitment and enthusiasm of all those graduates attending the GA in Brussels and of all those who are following our debates and intervening on this new web platform. The Association needs this spirit of cooperation and joint care, now and in the future, and in a continuous way.
If elected I would like -together with the other members of the Board and the President- to:
– Increase the number of registered members by offering our services, by
- Attending the E.MA Awarding ceremony for presenting the Association and offering to the newly graduated Masters their first year free registration
- Participating in the E.MA Universities Fair (usually held on the Friday before the Awarding Ceremony) by reporting on second semester experiences in E.MA universities and suggesting topics of research for E.MA master theses. If not in that occasion, we could ensure such exchanges on the web
- Organising training seminars for E.MA graduates in the first days following their graduation. They are often eager to acquire more practical skills and being trained by former graduates now professionals in the HR market is a positive incentive to enter (or to go back to) the job market.
– Collaborate with EIUC by
- Supporting the advertising campaign of the E.MA programme (dissemination of the call, presentation in our job places if related to HR and D issues, join the E.MA/EIUC stand during education fairs, …)
- Organising joint training seminars. In January 2010 one fellow masterone of the E.MA 1998/1999 organised a successful training for trainers for his NGO. A Memorandum of Understanding between the NGO and EIUC made possible to include a one-day training for 40 Masterini on HR Defenders. Listening to the six Alumni who participated in the roundtable during the GA in Brussels was extremely interesting and underlined how similar presentations of HR work in the field could benefit students of E.MA or of other programmes as well.
– Liaise with the EU Institutions (but also with other IGOs)
- EC – in particular DG Relex and AIDCO for promoting Alumni for job postings in EU funded projects or initiatives. E.MAlumni should ALSO look at other programmes run by ECHO, DG Dev, DG Soc, DG Enlarg, DG EAC. HR experts like E.MAlumni could find job opportunities
- EP Committees on HR, Dev .. in their campaigns for the promotion of HR and Democratic values for all .. (among us there are lots of activists … they could become in the future sort of a “groupe de pression”)
– Fundraise among foundations, stakeholders and donors.
Some of these activities fall under the same umbrella of “promotion, visibility, marketing, and networking” and can be jointly organised with a proper action plan during the mandate of the first Board.
Others relate more to project organisation and management. Selection of projects to develop will be one of the most demanding tasks that the Board will handle. As other candidates rightly underlined, the Board should be composed by members with complementary professional skills and experiences.
E.MA universities are now 41 and are present in all EU Member States. By the next graduation ceremony on 26 September 2010, E.MA graduates will be more than 1000. We are a driving force in the human rights professional sphere. We are spread around the globe and we cover a considerable range of professions, skills, capacities and contacts. All candidates for the Board of the E.MAlumni Association present interesting proposals of activities. I am confident that whoever will be elected will be great. We, the E.MAlumni have all the capacities and skills to show how a HR Association as unique and diverse can contribute to make our world a beautiful and better place to live in.
That’s more than enough for now. The rest will be a collective exercise.
E.MAlumni Association forever!
Ciao a tutti, Corinna15 June 2010 at 9:55 PM #5593Christiane SchwauschParticipant
Hello all and welcome to the end of the list! Thanks for your patience, please don’t give up now and read my candidacy for board member or treasurer.
So, I am Christiane and after studying, internshipping, working and moving around for quite some years, I now work for the Representation of the GTZ (German Development Agency) in Brussels. There, I am responsible the Human Rights and Democratisation (too long, so HR&D) section and I obviously also work on international development. And I try to explain to people every day that those two are actually not like fire and water (true story!). Through my work, I could gather quite some “contacts” here, which I very much intend to use to get things done in the association.
BUT: My biggest motivation to be part of this Association, is the fact that I am a Masterona of the 2008/2009 year: I don’t know if the other years have experienced the same, but if you have felt only one quarter of the family spirit I have experienced, you know it is very worthwhile to carry that spirit on, as it goes much further than just a shared commitment to a cause. That, and the fact that I left the Inaugural Meeting in Brussels with a lot of ideas and the feeling that after all that talking, things need to get done.
My ideas on 1. Enlarging the basis, 2. Improving communication, 3. Developing inside and outside activities, and 4. Raising funds can be found here:
For any questions, or if you want to go watch the World Cup with me, or if you want to ask for my address to send me a Podolski-Shirt,
Thanks and have a good night,
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