GA Meeting of Grenoble

In April 2009 the GA Meeting was held in Grenoble. In connection with the GA meeting a symposium was organized in the Town Hall of Grenoble with the theme “30 years of humanitarian action, chan-ges and prospects”. It was held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ASF–France. It was introduced by Pierre Micheletti, President of Médecins du Monde and followed by others such as Eric Laubé and Louis L’hopital. The General Secretary of Habitat International Coalition (HIC), Ana Surgranyes gave a very well prepared lecture, including critical analyses of current housing policies globally. She also presented a number of points for future cooperation between ASF-Int and HIC. The fact that the sym-posium attracted so many architects, students and persons from the general public means that ASF has started to be more widely known as a serious organisation. The success of the symposium was made possible because of the efforts of Stéphane Plisson and Benoît Claviéras. ASF-France produced a document from the symposium for distribution within ASF-Int.

The General Assembly meeting was held at the School of Architecture. Almost 50people atten-ded the meeting. The GA had the pleasure to approve applications for membership from ASF-Suisse and the Habitat Technology Group of India. The meeting confirmed the previous decision to grant membership to ASF-Denmark. This means that ASF-Int at this time had 18 members. The GA Meet-ing elected the new Board Members. The third day, the Board ASF-Int met in the Maison d’Architecture de l’Isere, while the rest of the participants made a tour of the region of Grenoble including visits earth construction in Dauphiné with CRATERRE and Les Grands Ateliers de l’Ile d’Abeau.

Board

The Board has consisted of the following nine members: Jordi Balari, ASF-España, Chairman; Me-lissa Kinnear, ASF-UK, Vice-chair; Stéphane Plisson, ASF-France, Vice-chair; Dick Urban Vestbro, ARC●PEACE, Secretary; Beatrice De Carli, ASF-Italia, Treasurer; Ludovic Jonard, A&D (France), Pawan Shrestha, EWB-Nepal; Per Kraft, ASF-Sweden; Richard Anthony Losalajome, ASF-RD Congo. Beatrice De Carli, Melissa Kinnear, Pawan Shrestha and Dick U. Vestbro have been elected until 2010 GA, while the mandate of the others will expire at the GA meeting 2011. During 2009 the Board had three physical meetings (Oxford 7 February; Grenoble 26 April; Milano 5 September) and two meetings by e-mail (4 July; 14 November). In February 2010 the Board met in Paris. Meetings have usually been attended by six to nine members and minutes have been completed, verified, signed and scanned at the end of each meeting. Between meetings the Board has communicated and also taken decisions by email.

Members

In addition to the three new members confirmation by GA meeting (see above) the Board has granted membership to Architects Without Frontiers-Australia. During the year ASF-Brazil and A&D India has been taken off the membership list for lack payment and lack of response to contacts efforts. The number of members at the end of the year is 19. The Board has made efforts to establish ASF net-works in a number of countries, including the following:

  •  Algeria by Jordi Balari
  •  Angola by Richard Losalajome
  •  Argentina by Jordi Balari & Stéphane Plisson
  •  Benin by Stéphane Plisson
  •  Canada by Pawan Shrestha
  •  China/Hong Kong/Macao, by Ligia Nunes and Dick Urban Vestbro
  •  Colombia by Ludovic Celle of ASF–France
  •  Equatorial Guinea by Richard Losalajome
  •  Greece by Stéphane Plisson and Jordi Balari
  •  Mali by Benoit Claveiras
  •  Mauritius by Richard Losalajome
  •  Norway by Dick Urban Vestbro
  •  Palestine by Dick Urban Vestbro
  •  Peru by Antonello Iuorio
  •  Togo by Stéphane Plisson
  •  Tunisia by Stéphane Plisson
  •  Uganda by Dick Urban Vestbro
  •  USA by Dick Urban Vestbro

    Constitution

    During the year the Board decided to change the decision about the place to register the constitution of ASF-Int from Barcelona to Paris, the main reason being the costs and the bureaucratic procedure when following Spanish law. Thanks to the efforts of ASF-France the Constitution could finally be register-red by the Prefecture of Paris 8 October 2009 and made official in the French Official journal. It is available in both English and French and may be downloaded from the website. The official address of ASF-Int is Architecture Sans Frontières c/o Societé Francais des Architectes, 247, Rue Saint Jacques, 75005 Paris, France.

    Secretariat

    During the year the Board has made efforts to establish a permanent office of ASF-Int in Barcelona. The efforts include attempts to raise funds for a limited type of administration. Together with others ASF-España has applied for funds within the European Union Leonardo program, but the application was not approved. The project, called “Modules for Training in International Cooperation”, was to fit into the Leonardo “Lifelong Learning Programme”. In February 2010 the Board decided to revise the project and make a new application. The result will be known only in July 2010.

    Economic situation & Bank Account

    After the GA meeting of Grenoble, the Board decided to ask ASF-Espana to open a bank account on behalf of ASF-Int in Barcelona while waiting for the definite decision about seat and secretariat of the organisation. After thorough investigation by ASF-France about possible banks, and after discussion within the Board about the criteria for being classified as an ethical bank, the board agreed at its meet-ing in February 2010 to open an account with Credit Cooperatif/La Nef.

    Strategic plan

    During the year the Board has spent substantial time to work out a more long-term strategic plan of ASF–Int. At the Milano meeting the Board arranged a special workshop about this issue. Melissa Kinnear and Stéphane Plisson were given the main responsibility to finalise such a plan, to be presen-ted to the GA meeting 2010 as a combined Activity and Business Plan.

    Website and Communications

    During the year the Board noted that the Portugal-based website was not well maintained. Therefore the Board has made efforts to improve layout and maintenance, unfortunately with little positive results through ASF-Portugal and the Connecty group. At the meeting in February 2010 it was decided to ask Edouard Molard to make a proposal for a new website and to set aside a sum of 2000 euros for the job. This was accepted and the meeting in March 2010 was promised a concrete proposal during the same month.

    Brochure, Portfolio & PowerPoint presentation

    Thanks to the efforts of Beatrice de Carli a brochure of ASF-Int was produced at the beginning of 2010. It will be used in the World Urban Forum in Rio in March 2010 and other international events. Together with Melissa Kinnear and other Board members Beatrice de Carli also completed the project portfolio, which is expected to be displayed at the GA meeting in Stockholm. It includes a presentation of all ASF members, of ASF-Int itself and examples of ASF projects. The portfolio will be a powerful instrument to raise funds and increase global visibility of ASF-Int. During the year the Board has also put efforts into the production of a PowerPoint presentation of ASF-Int. It is expected that such a pre-sentation will be ready for the GA meeting 2010.

    Contacts with other organizations

    During the year the Board has discussed collaboration and contacts with a number of other organiza-tions of interest to ASF-Int, including the following:

  •  Habitat International Coalition (HIC). The HIC General Secretary Ana Sugranyes was an invited speaker at the GA meeting in Grenoble. Contacts were made in preparation for the ASF-Int application for a network event at WUF 5 in Rio.
  •  United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). This network with seat in Barcelona receives regular information about our activities.
  •  Slum Dwellers International (SDI). On behalf of ASF-Int Jordi Balari attended a debate in the Architecture School in Madrid on the World Habitat Day October the 5th, where he contacted the SDI, a network of interest for future collaborations.
  •  Union Internationale des Architectes (UIA). Jordi Balari is working in an UIA work programme that, finally, has the support of the UIA Spanish Section and can be approved by UIA Council. Although this collaboration is not on behalf of ASF-Int, it may be interesting for some our orga-nization, for instance our Development Architecture Education.

    Development Architecture Education

    ASF-Italia and ASF-UK have worked on this issue. The Board has decided to support the idea of setting up an educational program with other ASF-Int members. A workshop was held in Porto orga-nized by ASF-UK and ASF-Portugal, and ASF-UK is working on an education session for ASF-Denmark for April 2010. Five members of ASF-Int (ASF Espaňa, ASF-France, ASF-Italia, ASF-Sweden and ASF-UK) recently answered a call for projects launched by the European Community’s Lifelong Learning Programme/ Leonardo Agency. The project aims to develop a training programme which will better equip built environment professionals to work in the field of international develop-ment. If the project is approved, it will provide a concrete basis to further develop ASF collaboration on educational issues.

    Participation to the World Urban Forum

    The GA Meeting of Grenoble decided to take part in the WUF 5 of Rio March 22nd-26th 2010. A working group headed by Per Kraft prepared an application for a network event during WUF5 in the name of ASF-Int, but unfortunately it was not accepted. I was to include contributions from Tanzania, Peru, Bolivia, Great Britain, ASF-France, ASF-UK, ASF-Sweden, ARC●PEACE and Brazilian indi-viduals. Thanks to the efforts of Anna Erlandsson of ASF-Sweden an event with a similar character will be carried out in the name of ASF at the booth of Sweden during WUF5, including several of the speakers mentioned above.

    Registration of name and Logo

    The registration of the ASF-Int name and logo was presented by ASF-España in the European Trade-mark Office in Alicante (Spain). After the registration of ASF-Int in France, since ASF-España was the trademark owner, ASF-España and ASF-Int had signed a Trademarks Assignment that transfers to ASF-Int all interests and rights with relation to the Trademark. At the same time, ASF-Int and Médé-cins Sans Frontières had closed the talks concerning the MSF opposition to the registration of ASF-Int name and logo, and have signed a Coexistence Agreement. MSF withdrew its opposition and recog-nizes ASF-Int. In all ASF websites we must insert the following disclaimer: “Architecture Sans Fron-tières is not linked or affiliated in any manner with the organization Médecins Sans Frontières. Méde-cins Sans Frontières is a trademark registered in the name of Médecins Sans Frontières’ International office”. After withdrawal of the opposition, the registration becomes automatic.

    Final words

    In conclusion, the Board finds that it has fulfilled the Activity Plan for 2009 with respect to recruit-ment of new members, registration of statutes, opening an account in an ethical bank, production of brochure, portfolio and a PowerPoint presentation, an application for WUF 5, registration of name and logo, and contacts with other organizations, but not when it comes to raising funds and achieving financial autonomy establishing a secretariat and improving the website. We find that ASF-Int has consolidated its position considerably compared to the situation at the beginning of 2009.

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