Since 2004, the IWCO members gather on a yearly basis for a conference to further the organization and its unique project “International Week”, short IW. This year the conference was held in the beautiful city of Budapest, Hungary, from the 21st till 26th of August. The purpose of the general assembly is to unify all IW members within IWCO, by discussing current issues in the network, exchange ideas and experiences and to agree on changes in our relatively new bylaws. It is thanks to the dedicated delegates that necessary changes can be implemented and thus the organization can be moved forward. On the first evening, once most of the delegates had arrived, we headed to the citadel with a beautiful panoramic view over the city. After getting to know each other a bit more, we were ready for the first conference day. In general, the conference hours took place from 8:30 until 17:00, and covered activitieswhere the delegates got to share their experiences in IW-related topics. This year, a lot of the time was taken up by the bylaws session, where current bylaws were discussed and new suggestions and articles were presented. But also components like the achievement presentation of the board, group works and exchanging and discussing ideas to solve current challenges within the IWCO network took place. As always it was very enriching to hear the different opinions and perspectives from the different delegates that all have a different cultural background. This knowledge exchange pointed out again how unique and valuable the whole organization is. Since cultural exchange is one of the key concepts of IWCO, IW Cologne delegate Jens Lin and the former communications manager Philipp Sperber also conducted an intercultural workshop. The workshop dealt with the topics Time management, Communication, Trusting and Disagreeing in different cultures. We discussed among others common cultural traps, differences between European and Asian countries and the way to express criticism. In the evenings the delegates and the board got the change to socialize and explore the city of Budapest. Escape room competition, city tour to some of the most famous spots, a visit to the famous ruin bars and an outside food market was on the schedule amongst other things.
On the last day we proceeded to the elections of the new IWCO board.
The elected board:
President: Julia Pettersson (IW Uppsala)
Communications Manager: Veronika Stránská (IW Prague)
Network Development Manager: Urša Plevel (IW Slovenia)
Fundraising Manager: Jens Lin (IW Cologne)
Marketing Manager: Alyssa Grace Gunnemann (IW Cologne)
Social Media Manager: Anna Churaieva (IW Lviv)
Author: Philipp Sperber