A fresh start for the biggest network of interprofessional students
Between the 9th and 12th of April 2019, representatives from 9 student organizations from a wide variety of backgrounds, such as engineering, pharmaceutical studies, veterinary medicine, physics, psychology, geography and medicine, gathered at the Spring Meeting of the Informal Forum of International Student Organizations (IFISO), held in Zagreb, Croatia. IFMSA was represented by the Liaison Officer to Student Organizations (LOSO), Teodor Cristian Blidaru.
IFISO is the space for multiple student organizations from diverse professional fields to meet, identify common priorities, exchange expertise, build capacity, discuss partnerships, and build bridges of collaboration. Each forum is facilitated by a Management Team consisting of members from different organizations, this term being IFMSA and the Board of European Students of Technology (BEST). This meeting was an extremely important one for the future of the network because a reform was proposed, discussed and decided. Another highlight of the meeting was electing a new Management Team of IFISO.
The first day of the meeting started with an introductory part in which all organizations present introduced their structure and priorities, highlights being finances and external representation. Following introductions, multiple sharing expertise sessions were organized, in topics such as marketing, internal procedures, sustainability of events, capacity building and mobility projects. Another interesting highlight was the session facilitated by IFMSA on building bridges of collaboration among members. The goal of the session was to have student organizations from diverse areas discovering common priorities and interests. The main outcome for IFMSA were following up on the previous discussions with the European Federation of Psychology Students’ Associations (EFPSA) and discovering a common strong interest in climate change that we share with the European Geography Association – for Students and Young Geographers (EGEA).
The focus of the second day was debating the future of IFISO and the difficulties it experienced in the last years. The conclusion was that the structure is still very relevant for student organizations worldwide and we are already discussing drastic changes in internal regulations, guidelines and membership involvement.
At the end of the second day, a new Management Team was elected, consisting of representatives from the European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (EPSA), International Association of Physics Students (IAPS) and European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management (ESTIEM). To conclude, the next IFISO Autumn Meeting will be hosted in Brussels, while the next Spring Meeting will be hosted in Bucharest, by IFMSA’s Local Committee of Bucharest.