We had a wonderful meeting in a beautiful wood-paneled bar in London – and to add to the character, our discussion had to compete with the European Champions Football League match (Manchester bested Chelsea 6-5).
There is nothing like a face-to-face meeting to understand what’s important, what’s incidental and what’s vital.
Vicky Brock, WAA Executive Secretary was on hand and is a masterful meeting moderator. She’s brilliant ant making sure all sides are heard and getting people to clarify their perspectives. Brava Vicky! She’ll be posting the Official… Something (minutes? results? final score?) soon. In the meantime, here’s what’s vital:
We are all in violent agreement.
Local WAA members lack local content, local events, local languages, job lists, content, newsletters, research, you name it. Why can’t we have more?!? No reason on Earth. As soon as the desire is matched with the power of volunteers, all things are possible.
Should there be local organizations – and by that I mean incorporated companies – to carry our these activities? Tough question. The costs are a real consideration – but so are the facts that an European-based association can petition the EU regarding privacy. A local association can trade using Euros. A local association can request government funding. Yes – we definitely need to chase down these issues and International Committee members are hereby being asked to volunteer to do the research and submit their recommendations for ratification.
Our immediate needs? Communicate better! Starting with publishing the names and contact info of Country Managers on the website. Yes, we’ve got some local chapters listed but only a few. Also – Speed up the approval and payment of money for events. This byzantine process has dogged us in the States as well. (You should have seen Neil Mason and Marshall Sponder at the last Board meeting! On the other hand, better you didn’t 😉
What needs to happened from now on? More people willing to stand shoulder to shoulder and place one stone on top of the next to help build a solid foundation. Then, others can come along can build beautiful structures on top. When desire is matched with the power of volunteers, all things are possible.
Thanks to everybody who bellied up to the bar with me on Wednesday! I’m very interested to hear others’ opinions about the meeting. Now, it’s time for me to fly back to the States. Cheers!