This April, members, observers and friends of Federation EIL, gathered at the 2013 General Assembly (GA) in Brattleboro, Vermont. The annual gathering was hosted by World Learning, Federation EIL’s US member, which provided members with the unique opportunity to celebrate the 80th anniversary of The Experiment in Vermont, where it all began, back in 1932.
Among those in attendance was Phyllis Watt Ingersoll, daughter of founder, Donald B. Watt, whose vision of developing a new approach to world issues led to the creation of The Experiment, one of the first organizations of its kind to engage individuals in intercultural living and learning.
In addition to conducting the annual business of the Federation, the General Assembly provides an opportunity for delegates to engage in joint planning, explore program development opportunities, and share expertise on various aspects of international educational exchange.
Among the discussion topic this year were:
- Safety and Security
- Vehicles for Cultural Immersion
- Youth Leadership Programs
- Group Leadership Roles and Responsibilities
- New Thematic Directions
The General Assembly is also a time for professional development.
This year the program included three workshops of particular interest and relevance:
- A Framework for Enhancing Organizational Effectiveness, conducted by Maja Petkovska, Performance Improvement Specialist at World Learning, who works globally to build the capacity of host country local organizations and institutions through structured, participatory, integrated processes.
- Private Sector Fundraising, conducted by Susan Shapiro, founder and president of Susan Shapiro Associates, a national consulting firm specializing in fundraising strategy and growth-related projects for nonprofit organizations.
- Internet Marketing and Social Media, conducted by Laura Hall Briedis, web developer, graphic designer, social media manager and teacher of Graphic Design and technology workshops at Keene State College.
The General Assembly meeting officially opened with a reception at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center where Town Manager, Barbara Sondag offered warm words of welcome to the international guests on behalf of the Town of Brattleboro.
Current members making up the worldwide network of The Experiment are in: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the USA.
Federation EIL’s member organizations also collaborate with a broad range of partners including schools, universities, government agencies, and fellow nongovernmental organizations. This year’s General Assembly was attended by representatives from Albania, Azerbaijan, China, India, Portugal and South Africa.
*To see additional photos of the 2013 General Assembly, check out Federation EIL on Pinterest.