ALPS 2017 Report

My 1st AIESEC Conference!

5 AIESEC Alumni Austria members visited the ALPS 2017 Conference in Deutschlandsberg, Styria, Austria, from Oct. 28th till Oct. 29th. The whole Conference lasted for 4 days and took place from Thursday, Oct. 26th till Sunday, Oct. 29th.

Hi, I am Manfred and I have been a member of AIESEC Alumni Austria (“AAA”) since 2012. I was a trainee from 1992 until 1993 for 11 months in Milwaukee, WI, USA. This traineeship and the experiences of living and working abroad have really changed my life! Since I hadn’t been in Young AIESEC before, I really started to get to know AIESEC during that exchange period and developed more and more interest from that moment on. I was even welcome to join AAA much later. Given this background, though, I am lacking all of the insights into the inner life and “secrets” of the AIESEC world. Therefore, I am using every opportunity now to get to know AIESEC better. The ALPS 2017 Conference was another chance to catch up with some of my shortfalls. Here’s my report:

Our part was to fill the “Gala Night” on Saturday evening. We started out in performing our “Roll Call” dancing to the song “Let’s Twist Again” from Chubby Checker in front of all conference participants, and we had lots of fun. Thanks to Caro and Nicol for the choreography! Afterwards we shortly introduced ourselves to the audience and sat down again. Thereafter, AAA as a whole was introduced by Edu, Faci and our evening host. He pointed out that in recent years interest in Alumni had been particularly high, given our experience and practical insights. Jordan, our President, subsequently gave an introductory speech about his path to AIESEC “back in the days” and what he has learned from that experience. He let the audience in on his goals and ideas for the future of AAA and what he wants to achieve in the forthcoming years, as well as what AAA means and can mean for Young AIESEC now and in the future.

Following Jordan all of us (Caro, Andie, Chrys, and I) returned back “on stage” and each of us gave a more detailed – and in part very emotional – overview of his or her past with AIESEC and what we have taken from that time, why we had joined back then, what we have experienced, and how it has influenced our life. My case was slightly different, I reported mostly on my career development, which was very positively influenced by my traineeship. Our stories were followed by a Q&A session for about half an hour until the end of our part. A lot of questions were raised by Young AIESEC, so I felt like we made a quite valuable contribution to ALPS 2017! Afterwards we were invited to join all other activities during the rest of the evening (and even on Sunday), which particularly involved a “Halloween Party”. I will certainly always remember the “Boat Race” way after midnight, which was just exciting! We participated, yes, but we didn’t even make it to round two (which was actually quite good for our health…).

I think we have successfully achieved our goal of introducing AAA, supported by our roll-up highlighting our key messages, to all participating Young AIESEC, i.e., who and what we are, where we are coming from, where we are standing now, and where we want to be in the future!

Manfred Weierer

Step Up London Report

 

Last weekend (November 10-12th) more than 20 European AIESEC Alumni Managers and Community leaders from different European countries gathered in London for the StepUp 2017 meeting. This working meeting was organized by AIESEC Alumni Europe together with AIESEC Alumni UK. It aimed at planning joint activities, reflecting on achievements, discussing current issues (e.g. integrated national and international memberships etc.). AAA was represented by me and Andreas Klaschka.

Large part of the work was dedicated to creating a theme for the next two years of the Alumni Theme Program (ATP). Special attention will be given on national level to projects using this theme and collaboration on international level will be promoted, thus increasing the positive impact of the work of the alumni associations. After many hours of intense discussions, the theme was decided: “Break out of the routine”. In addition to the theme, ATP projects will focus on two topics – innovation and learning – which also create a strong link to the UN sustainable development goals and support them.

International collaboration was a major focus of this working meeting. Successful projects, best practices and event ideas were presented by different European countries. The establishment of AIESEC Alumni Bulgaria was announced and it will take place during the European Regional Alumni Congress (ERAC) in Varna, Bulgaria in May 2018. All AIESEC alumni are invited to take part in this historical event!

Key success for this international collaboration is the personal contact and network. It was very valuable to get to know fellow alumni from around Europe, discuss future projects and ideas with each other. And just have fun together – have a spicy Indian dish in a cozy restaurant in the legendary Brick lane (including a loud roll call to Indian music) or a couple (or more) craft beers, listening to an indie rock band.

The next StepUp meeting will be hosted by AIESEC Alumni Germany at the legendary Rhine cruise in the end of September 2018 – and we are already looking forward to it!

Jordan