Workgroups

Info about Workgroups

This year, in an effort to increase the efficiency of SID, we doubled the usual amount of WG from 5 to 10, but limited them in time. All of the WG will last either an entire (8h) or half (4h) a day, meaning each participant will at least follow two different WG.

This change will allow participants to focus more on the topics they find the most important. In the schedule below you can see what WG will take place when.

Important to note is that the three Exchange Workgroups (WG 1, 6.A and 6.B) are independent from each other. So, you can perfectly choose to do just one of them, and follow other WG for the rest of SID.

Also, on Friday, if you choose to follow ''Grants and Governments'', you are supposed to also follow ''Alumni''. For Saturday the options are more free, with four half-day workgroups.


FRIDAY


1.Exchange Development : Vision of the future

Between 2001 and 2017 our total exchange number dropped from 5548 to 3377 exchanges per year. That's a decrease of 2231 annual exchanges (-40%) in just 17 years, or an average of -128 per year. If this trend is followed, which has been the case for the majority of the past two decades, IAESTE will be at ZERO exchanges in less than 26 years. If nothing changes, IAESTE will never celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Fixing the exchange is vital for our association, so we decided to dedicate two WG slots to it: one on Friday and one on Saturday. In the Friday Exchange WG we will work the entire day around one task: creating a clear vision about the future of the exchange program. Where do we want to be in two, five ten years and beyond? Should we focus on AC Exchange, whole-year exchange or something else? What steps can we take to decrease the number of Unused offers? How do we stay true to our values but still be strong competitors among the providers of internships? Do we stay a provider of solely paid internships or should we go further? What do we do with the one-to-one exchange principle?

For the first ever time, we will start an effort to create a clear common vision on the future of exchange, one which all IAESTE members can agree on. This will allow us to much more easily take action and fix the problems that have been the cause of the long period of declining exchange.



2.The Future of SID

IAESTE has to adapt to the ever changing context it operates in. That is something all of our members agree on, and that is why SID was created more than 25 years ago. Since then, SID has brought together and facilitated discussions between our members at least once a year, the results has helped moving the association forward in many different ways.

However, as it is with IAESTE itself, SID also is operating in an ever changing context. Methods that worked 27 years ago, don't always seem to work as well in the present day and age. Especially in the past few years, SID has not fully lived up to its expectation. With this WG, we will evaluate every facet of the SID procedure and think about what an ideal SID would look like. The goal is to come up with some solid proposals as to how SID should look like in the coming years.

For this workshop it is suggested the participants already attended a previous SID conference.



3.Development of people within IAESTE

IAESTE would not be the same without the large amounts of talented people continuously dedicating themselves to making the association better and better. However, while motivated staff and volunteers are very active on the local and national levels of IAESTE, this is not the case on the international level. As we are facing many challenges (which is evident from the myriad of WG topics on SID), IAESTE as a whole would benefit enormously if many more talents became active internationally. This WG will investigate how we can encourage our people to make this step.

On top of this, we shall also discuss in what ways IAESTE can and should develop its people, in the fields of IAESTE itself but also in a general sense.



4.Grants and Governments

Various governments and other organisations hand out grants that often hugely benefits the body receiving them. As extra funding is something everyone (from LC till a.s.b.l.) can use, starting an effort to structurally focus on grants can potentially have an enormous impact on IAESTE as a whole. In this WG, we will develop a strategy concerning grants and IAESTE, and we will test this out by actually starting an international grants application. We will then also discuss how countries in the future can be supported in their individual grant applications and if we can set up structures to allow countries to easily apply for grants together.

This WG also aims to tackle the problem of Erasmus internships.



5. Alumni

Bruce, the a.s.b.l. Alumni Coordinator, will present what he has been working on, inform you on the current situation of alumni within IAESTE and suggest the future plans. All of you are invited to give your feedback on all of this. The goal is to use all your input to improve the existing future plans for our IAESTE alumni.



SATURDAY


6.Exchange Development : various topics (part A and part B)

Between 2001 and 2017 our total exchange number dropped from 5548 to 3377 exchanges per year. That's a decrease of 2231 annual exchanges (-40%) in just 17 years, or an average of -128 per year. If this trend is followed, which has been the case for the majority of the past two decades, IAESTE will be at ZERO exchanges in less than 26 years. If nothing changes, IAESTE will never celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Fixing the exchange is vital for our association, so we decided to dedicate two WG slots to it: one on Friday and one on Saturday. In the Saturday WG we will focus on the following points:

Part A, Saturday morning:

  • Modernizing AC Exchange: the AC exchange process has had little fundamental changes since it was done for the first time at the AC in 1948. Continuing the discussion from the Global Forum, we will think of simple yet effective proposals to finally modernize the whole process.
  • ITS/EP Q&A: together with the ITS team we will look at the way EP is now continuously improved and see if this process itself can be improved. Everyone will also get the opportunity to ask all EP related questions and have a fruitful discussion with ITS.

Part B, Saturday afternoon:

  • Quality control of our internships: by focusing on increasing the quantity of offers we often forget the importance of the quality of every aspect of offers and internships. Can we find ways to ensure a minimum level of quality for every offer? Can we define the characteristics of a bad and good offer? Can we have monitor the quality of offers?
  • Tracking of our numbers and our process efficiency: A fist step to better understanding which problems out exchange process is facing, is collecting the correct data and correctly presenting and interpreting it. In this part of the WG our goal is to come up with better ideas on which numbers to collect and how to work with and evaluate them.

Participants can choose to only participate in one of the two parts, and to do another WG in the meantime.



7.Marketing

Our members identify marketing to be one of the most important issues to be addressed by SID, besides exchange. It is important to have a quality exchange programme, sure, but decent marketing efforts have to be performed to ensure enough companies, students, universities and governments know about it. Both a.s.b.l. and many individual countries struggle with their marketing, which is what this WG wants to tackle.

In this WG, all marketing related subjects will be handled, such as marketing to companies,expanding the brand manual, implementation of the brand manual, active online and social media marketing, marketing to the outside world, marketing materials database, ....

Of course the results of all previous Marketing WG will be analysed beforehand, so this WG can take a head start and work hard towards a shift in IAESTEā€™s marketing strategy.



8.Knowledge sharing and building an IAESTE family

IAESTE is one big family consisting of people from more than 85 countries. As with a real family, we go through good times and we go through bad times, but for the past 70 years we've always stuck together. As with a real family, sometimes new members get added to it. And as with a real family, we try to help each other out as much as we can, whatever the situation is.

However, it's not always easy for a country in need to know who can help them or where they can find the information they need, as it is also not easy for a country to know who could be helped with some valuable information they obtained. IAESTE for sure has the right people with the right mindset, it just doesn't have the regulations, tradition or infrastructure to allow optimal solidarity between our members.

That is why, in this WG, we will work on ways for countries to help eachother out much easier and for them to find the information they need, when they need it. Subjects that could be discussed are, among others: practical guide, new member policy, sharing knowledge efficiently and timely, helping out members in need, storing the information (e.g. a.s.b.l. library) in an accessible way, creating a best practises guide, ...


9.Improving the AC

The Annual Conference is by far the most exciting and most important moment of the IAESTE year. This unique event is the only one on which all IAESTE members are represented, so it deserves an analysis and subsequent effort to increase its overall efficiency. The time of our members is limited and precious, so we should make the most out of it. This WG will continue the work of the SID 2015 WG on the AC, by evaluating the GC, exchange sessions, use of time, cost, application procedure, ... and proposing solutions to improve the quality of the AC.

For this workshop it is suggested the participants already attended an AC in the past.



10.Rethinking the international structure

Over the course of our history, the international structure of IAESTE has gone through many changes. The last major change in the a.s.b.l. structure was decided on at the AC in Quito, in 2014. Four years down the line, it is time to evaluate the positive and negative aspects of those changes, and discuss what can be learnt from this for the future.

On top of this, we will think about the ideal scenario: compared to the situation today, what could and should a.s.b.l. do differently, what should they absolutely not do, and in what domains should the board be more (pro)active? In an ideal scenario, would there be more or less Support Team members; how many people would be active in a.s.b.l? The goal of this discussion is to come up with a plan for the board to shift towards this ideal scenario in the coming years.