MCAA General Assembly 2016


Introduction
The MCAA General Assembly took place on the Saturday 5th March (09h00 to 17h00) in the historic Auditorium S. Margherita of the Ca' Foscari University in Venice (like the MCAA Conference on the previous day). A total of 188 MCAA members were present or represented.
The official minutes of the General Assembly will be published in due course, once the processes of approval and legal deposition have been completed.  However, for those who do not want to wait for this, here is a rough idea of the day’s events.

Opening
The meeting was launched with a short presentation by Snezana Krstic, the Chair of the outgoing MCAA Board, in which she reminded participants of the principal objectives and workings of the association. This speech was followed by another short presentation by Odissefs Panopoulos, Policy Officer of DG EAC.C3 from the European Commission, with an explanation of the EC’s role and objectives in setting up the MCAA, some comments on the development of the association so far, and some insights into the expected future of the association.

Legal formalities and approvals
Following this introduction, the more formal aspects of the General Assembly were initiated by Maria-Antonietta Buccheri, Secretary of the MCAA Executive Committee, with a presentation of the minutes of the 2015 General Assembly in Porto; the members formally approved these minutes. Maria-Antonietta then went on to present the report on 2015 activities, before handing over to Roy Someshwar, Treasurer of Executive Committee, who presented the 2015 Financial Report detailing the distribution of the annual budget and other financial matters; again the members formally approved this financial report. A final formal part of the proceedings was presented by Francesco Grassi, Vice-chair of the Executive Committee, who briefly presented the nine official Working Groups and twenty official Chapters currently within the MCAA, and confirmed the formal appointment of each chair-person of these nine groups and 20 chapters, who are also ex-officio members of the MCAA Board.

Think-tank sessions
After these formal proceedings, two ‘think-tank’ sessions were organised. The first session, presented by Zoran Andjelic and Mauricio Manfrini, looked at proposals for a ‘structural profiling’ system amongst MCAA members. This will aim to solicit members to define their sector(s) of activity in a new ‘vertical profiling’ section of their personal profile; this additional information will facilitate inter- and cross-disciplinary and multi-cultural synergies and networking amongst members, allowing stronger and more productive professional and/or business relationships to be nurtured. The proposal document they presented is available to members in the MCAA Library at https://www.mariecuriealumni.eu/library/mcaa-structural-profiling

The second ‘think-tank’ session focussed on how MCAA members could contribute more to association activities, with presentations by two speakers. Firstly, Roy Someshwar went through the various schemes currently available under which members can use MCAA funding to initiate and support a range of networking activities. Secondly, Brian Cahill illustrated how the German Chapter had leveraged both local and association resources to organise activities that attracted record numbers of new chapter and association members in Germany.

Elections
After lunch (again in the Ca’Foscari main building with magnificent views across the Grand Canal) the members proceed to elect the members of the new MCAA board that would serve from 2016 to 2018. The election was introduced by Odissefs Panopoulos, who emphasised the importance of this election, invited the members to study carefully the document with the profiles of each of the 25 candidates, and explained the electoral process whereby each member could vote for their preferred candidate(s) to elect the eleven members of the new MCAA board. The members then proceeded to vote, after which there was a coffee and informal networking session while the votes were counted. Odissefs Panopoulos announced the results of the election for the eleven Board positions, as follows:
  • Brian Cahill, as Chair of the Executive Committee
  • Marco Masia and Amit Zodge as Vice-Chairs
  • Kiran Kumar Chereddy as Treasurer of the Executive Committee
  • Maria-Antonietta Buccheri as Secretary of the Executive Committee
  • Wuraola Akande; Zoran Andjelic, Bala Attili, Matthew Di Franco, Francesco Grassi and Cláudia Simão as Ordinary Board Members.
Closure
The day was closed formally with a short speech by Snezana Krstic, in which she thanked the MCAA members, the representatives of the European Commission, and the representatives of the EC’s contracted service provider for their attendance and hard work in making a great success of this two-day combined conference and general assembly.