Article by ESAE President, Giuseppe Marletta
Community. Engagement. Support.
These are the first words coming to mind if I think of what ESAE has meant to me and to many others during the lock-down.
Community. Like many colleagues, I was isolated: running from one zoom meeting to a call with my Board to ensure programmes were running and innovative ideas always on the table. An extra-ordinary workload difficult to be managed, while I was trying my best to contribute to the well-being of my family and home-schooling of my three kids. What a tough time!
ESAE has been for me my community, the group of peers I could go to, certain to be understood and encouraged. All ESAE members have had their dose of cancelled events, concerns on membership projections for next year, the need to rethink their value proposition. I have found a place for a constructive dialogue.
Engagement. While the world was suffering, what an engaging time for the society! High attendance at each of our webinars on leadership, communication strategies and digital engagement, financial impact on associations. And more with our informal virtual coffees and on-going debate on our LinkedIn page. ESAE has represented for many members during this tough season THE opportunity to get engaged, learn from an outstanding group of peers and go out of their bubble made of family and closest colleagues.
Support. Peer exchange at its best: whether we discussed about how to support effectively our respective teams, or to bring our Boards on our journey through this uncertain period, or how to engage our members online…ESAE members and experience were there to offer support! In a dispersed knowledge system, we have all been able to learn from each other and capitalise on the society’s collegial expertise to inject new energy and bring innovative (and reassuring) ideas to our respective organisations.
Luckily trends are positive in Europe and I do hope to have a peaceful and restful summer and go back to the office in September at the very latest. In the meantime, rest assured dear ESAE members, we are working on our post-summer projects and none of this useful (and often tough) lessons will be forgotten: we have gone through a very difficult season and ESAE has grown stronger and will keep this strength for the way forward.