GA Meeting in Stockholm 17 April 2010
In April 2010 the GA Meeting was held in Stockholm, hosted by ASF-Sweden and ARC●PEACE (which held its own biannual meeting just before the GA meeting). Due to the Icelandic volcanic ash clouds almost ten persons had to cancel their trips to Stockholm, but the GA meeting was nevertheless attended by 21 persons representing 12 member organizations, 4 of which had voting rights on behalf of other member organisations. The GA meeting was held in the premises of the Swedish Architect Association. Those remaining for Sunday were taken on guided tours either to the historical parts of Stockholm or to the urban development project Hammarby Sjöstad, to the ecovillage of Understens-höjden, to classical housing areas of the 1940s and 50s, to the famous Markus church and the cultural heritage site Forest Cementary designed by Gunnar Asplund. In connection with the GA meeting a seminar with project presentations was organized in the School of Architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology. The seminar attracted about 50 participants, including ten members of ARC●PEACE, students at the School of Architecture and members of ASF-Sweden. Thanks to the efforts of Guruprasad Rane, Gopal Shankar and Per Kraft the seminar was documented and complied for downloading at the ASF-Int website. The invited speaker Abe Hayem of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (UK) had his flight cancelled, but his speech was sent out to members afterwards.
During 2010 the Board had the following six meetings: 13 February in Paris; 13 March by email; 17 April in Stockholm; 23 June by email; 19 September in Barcelona; 17 November by email. Attempts were made to carry out meetings by Skype, but it turned out to be less complicated to carry them out by email. Meetings have been attended by five to nine members. Sometimes a Board member who could not be present sent a substitute person to represent her/his organization (without voting right). Between meetings the Board has communicated intensively by email and also taken decisions by email in certain cases. Travel costs in connection with physical Board meetings have been covered by each person’s member organization.
At the end of 2010 ASF-Int had 18 members after having lost two member organisations (ASF-Brazil and A&D India). In February 2011 applications for membership were received from Architekten Ohne Grentzen Österreich (ASF-Austria) and from ASF Bénin. They were both approved by the Board at its meeting 19 February. Applications are said to be on their way from Macau and Greece. During 2010 the Board has also made efforts to promote the establishment of new ASF organizations in Tunisia, Togo, , Uganda, Canada, Greece, Mauritius, Equatorial Guinea, Norway, Mali, Brazil, USA, Congo-Brazzaville and Argentina.
During the year ASF-Espaňa offered to use part of its administrative resources to the benefit of ASF-Int. The priority tasks are to file documents, send out information, keep an updated membership list and some other tasks of a future desired ASF-Int Secretariat.
Economic situation & Bank account
During the year ASF-Int has continued to rely economically upon membership fees, which means that resources for activities are very limited. The costs consist mainly of payment for creating and updating the website and of support for travel costs in connection with the GA meetings. The Board has started fundraising efforts by appointing a working group in charge of identifying suitable sources of funds, and by establishing a Paypal function on the website. The Board has also worked on a more long-term strategic plan, with the object to raise funds for a Secretariat, project coordination etc. During the year a new bank account has been opened in France with Credit Cooperatif/La Nef, a bank which fulfils ethical criteria.
Website and Communications
During 2010 the Board decided to allocate Eur 2000 to pay for a new website. This has resulted in a well functioning platform. The new website gets an increasing number of visitors. By 10 March 2011 we had, for instance, received about 30 requests for internship, for participation in projects and for membership. Questions to ASF-Int have been replied within a few days (usually by referring people to member organizations or to the fact that ASF-Int does not have individual membership). The domain of the old website has been closed down. At the proposal of Guruprasad Rane the Board has discussed a communication strategy including mailing lists on Yahoo or Google for various levels of communications (Board, members, working groups). As a result of the construction of the new website functional addresses have been established for information requests, secretariat duties. The Yahoo/Google group may be activated when needed.
Development Architecture Education
During 2010 the Board has supported the application of several ASF members to the European Com-munity’s Lifelong Learning Programme/Leonardo Agency for a project called Development Architec-ture Education, with ASF-España as the coordinator. Funds were approved to the Spanish, French, UK and Italian partners for ‘mobilities’ (travel costs). ASF-Sweden was incorporated later. A start-up meeting was held in October. The project continues until 2012.
Brochure, Portfolio & PowerPoint presentation
The brochure about ASF-Int, made in 2009, was updated in 2010 and was used in Rio during the WUF 5 conference (see below). It will be updated again for the GA meeting in April 2011. At the beginning of 2010 the project portfolio was updated. A PowerPoint presentation has also been made about ASF-Int (to be presented at the forthcoming GA meeting). It can be used by member orga-nisations when presenting ASF-Int and when raising funds.
Contacts with other organizations
During the year the Board has discussed collaboration and contacts with Union Internationale des Architectes (UIA). Jordi Balari is working in an UIA work programme for education on informal structures. The Board also maintained its contacts with Habitat International Coalition (HIC) and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).
Participation to the World Urban Forum
At the beginning of 2010 the Board made efforts to arrange a network event in the 5th World Urban Forum taking place of Rio March 22nd-26th, but our application was not accepted. Thanks to the efforts of Anna Erlandsson of ASF-Sweden an event was carried out in the name of ASF at the Swedish booth however.
In conclusion, the Board finds that it has fulfilled the Activity Plan for 2010 with respect to increased visibility, establishment of a new website, recruitment of new members, opening an account in an ethical bank, establishment of a Secretariat, and the production of brochure, portfolio and a Power-Point presentation, but not with respect to achieving financial autonomy and starting common projects. We find that ASF-Int has consolidated its position considerably compared to the situation at the beginning of 2010.