Across three inspiring days, we engaged in many sessions as a network as part of coming together for this year’s AGM.

A note from Frans, the Chair of the Board:

The following are some of the take-aways of the three AGM Days:

  • The GAP-I members show a great sense of purpose, unity and ambition.
  • The ‘post-COVID 19’ world presents opportunities. This can have a positive effect on the work we all do. We should be prepared. The tasks are many and urgent.
  • GAP-I has been together for 35 years. We are at a critical junction. We need to take GAP-I to a higher level of Care and Connectedness. Within the network and outside the network – with prospective members and like-minded organizations.
  • Sharing of and building on experience, project successes and learnings are central for meeting the current challenges and opportunities.
  • The co-creation of a common GAP-I approach will greatly help in this respect. It will also increase GAP-I’s visibility and will appeal to potential member organisation.
  • Membership fees are insufficient to support our (expanding) activities. We need a steady and reliable income stream to (a) solidify GAP-I’s administrative structure (permanent secretariat),(b) to pre-finance joint programme and project initiatives, and (c) to finance outreach and visibility actions.
  • GAP-I’s first purpose is to mobilize our joint expertise and insights to support and strengthen the programmes and activities undertaken by the member organizations. This can happen through joint projects between two or more member organisations. By developing these projects we cement inter-membership relations and produce an income stream,
  • All this calls for a more intensive and effective use of impact measurement, the web site, sharing workshops and seminars, Master classes, job shadowing, etc.

Below you can find a brief overview of the sessions.

1. A Masterclass with Jon Alexander
On Monday 13th June, we were lucky enough to have a really thought provoking masterclass presented by Morgan Phillips from GAP UK, in conversation with Jon Alexander, Author of book “Citizens”. You can access the recording of this session below. It was really interesting to learn more about the citizen, rather than consumer mindset, and how important this is in sparking societal change, in a joyful yet meaningful way. 

2. Official 2022 AGM
On Tuesday morning, we held our official GAPI 2022 AGM, as chaired by Frans Lenglet. 10 of our 12 member organisations were present, and used their voting rights to approve the election of our new GAPI Board (more details below). The narrative report, as presented by Luke, outlined some of the fantastic achievements from the network over the last year, including 7 newsletters, 2 masterclasses and many collaborative, joint projects. The financial report, as presented by Barbara was also really positive, and we are in a good financial position as a network. Priorities for the year ahead include focus on working groups, network growth, our approach on behaviour change and member meetings. You can watch the recording below. 

3. Member Project updates
It was brilliant to have some time across the three days to allow members, who are working on joint projects, to share these with the network and to discuss other potential opportunities for connection and collaboration. We heard from Barbara and Elisa on the Shanarani youth-led project around gender stereotypes, Luke on Transform Our World, Alex on the Just Action project, and more! Catch up on the recording below. 

4. GAPI Approach to Behaviour Change
In this session, we reflected on our collective approach as a network, building on our shared values. It was agreed that topics such as ‘equality, social justice and protecting the environment’ are fundamental to the GAPI approach, yet it was acknowledged that many aspects of our approach e.g. delivery techniques and frameworks, are culturally modified for various contexts. Reflection and learning, personal growth, agency and open innovation were themes identified by members to be fundamental to our approach. This approach is continuing to be developed, but you can catch up on the recording for this session below. 

5. Ukraine Campaign update
It was a real pleasure to have Olena, one of our GAPI Ukrainian associates with us, in person at the AGM. She delivered an incredibly brave and inspiring presentation on the struggles that teachers in Ukraine are having at the moment, but also the hope and positivity that the students are holding throughout this crisis in Ukraine. It was a session that really touched us all – you can watch the recording below. 

PLEASE NOTE: It would be fantastic if all GAPI members could support the Ukraine campaign, Make Education Not War. The Ukraine steering group are planning a network-wide launch of this campaign – please do watch out for an email with more details next week. You, your organisation, and anyone else, can also add to the JustGiving pot, where funds are going directly to help teachers in Ukraine.

6. GAPI Strategic Planning
Throughout the AGM days, it was strongly highlighted that there is huge opportunity for GAP International to lead on behaviour change and really impactful projects across the world BUT there is also urgency with this – and we must work together, now, to make this happen. As part of this, members agreed on two key strategic working group topics: securing a paid, full time staff member for GAPI and also developing the GAPI approach. More information can be found in the article below. You can catch up on this sessions recording through the link below. 

Those of us that attended in person, were also lucky enough to have some other really special sessions as part of our trip. Hans Blom took us on an incredible nature walk around the local area, which members really enjoyed, as well as a bat walk in the evening with a bat detector! Gea also organised a piano concert, led by pianist Erik Huele, an extremely talented performer. Gea also gave us a tour of the farm, and her and Ellen led some calming morning meditation sessions too, as well as us having a member-speed dating session to get to know each other a little better.