WSCF Executive Committee Meeting in Berlin

January 15th, 2013 5:50 pm

Vera Papp

There was great anticipation before we gathered for the WSCF Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting in May. The ExCo members are nominated by each of the six regions and are responsible for overseeing and assessing administration, programming, finance and personnel matters at the global level. Before I go into detail about what decisions were taken I want to thank SCM Norway for making it possible for us to have this meeting with through their financial support. Takk, Norges Kristelige Studentforbund!

There was a really positive atmosphere at the meeting and for the first time we had systematic tools to work with an external facilitator to give us some guidance and training. I feel that we grew a lot as a team during our time together.

We set purpose and desired outcome for each day of the meeting to focus our attention. We were working on a new vision and mission statement for the WSCF, which is part of our preparatory work for the next General Assembly (GA). We learnt about governance and management and tried to set clearer priorities to help the work of our regional secretaries. We got reports from all regional secretaries, the Inter-Regional Office (IRO) and our global working groups. We had sessions in working groups about the future of the Advocacy and Solidarity Committee, the Communication Committee, the Ecumenical Assistance Programme and the Identity Diversity and Dialogue programme. We approved to set up a task group on Identity Diversity and Dialogue to serve up until the next GA and to focus its work on making recommendations to the GA about how to move forward in the life of the Federation around the topic of human sexuality.

We discussed a lot about fundraising and how to overcome our deficit. Last year was the first year that we had an operating profit, which means an excess income over expenditure for the year 2011. We work hard to keep this tendency and hope that we can build up general reserves. This would be an essential step to get back to our co-secretary model (to have two co-secretary generals). It was a great pleasure to have Mrs. AJ Finley, the chairperson of the Centennial Fund, an endowment fund of WSCF, with us. We made plans to work together more closely with the Fund and outlined a common strategy to reach out to Senior Friends in all regions.

We approved the new salary scale which aims to take into consideration the local economic and living conditions for the salaries of our staff. Practically we set a minimum salary which resulted in raising the salaries of some regional secretaries. We discussed and approved the budgets for 2012 and 2013.

We made an action plan, setting our work until the next GA. We made it clear who is responsible for what and set deadlines for each task. We decided about the time and date of our next GA, which is going to be in Mexico City in June 2014.

The former European Regional Committee took an active and critical stand on the financial situation of WSCF global. The communication around this created tensions between the two bodies. The in-person meeting in Berlin gave the opportunity for the European ExCos, the European Chair and the Officers and Co-Secretary General to sit down and talk openly about these tensions and get a common understanding of why things were communicated the way they were. It was a relieving and important moment for all parties involved and made a good starting point for our future work together.

All in all I am very pleased with the results of this meeting. It is great that we made and approved an action plan which we can follow and refer to when we work. I want to congratulate all those who put their time and energy to make this meeting successful, especially our outgoing Regional Secretary Interim, Katka Babicova.


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