Board Meeting 2013

I2UD’s annual Meeting of the Board commenced on May 3rd 2013 with a dinner at the Harvard Faculty Club.  I2UD staff was pleased to welcome Members of the Board and esteemed guests including Joe Brennan, Mary Jane and Jim Lawson, Clemens Sels, John Sanger and Maria Vela, and Rene Pantalone. The North Dining Room, ripe with Harvard heritage, evoked a cordial ambiance for sharing old memories and new introductions.

Members of the Board and I2UD staff reconvened on Saturday May 4th, to discuss Institute activities.  I2UD’s senior affiliate, Elda Solloso launched the meeting with an insightful presentation on capacity building of local governments in Belize where she has been working alongside team leader John Driscoll and Jim Kostaras.   Driscoll and Daniel Tsai illustrated an innovative direction for developing distance learning modules with a web-based “I2Academy.” They presented a demo of the new project, discussing both participatory and presentation techniques for a new online mode of teaching for the Institute.  They were followed by Alejandra Mortarini and Carolina Morgan, both of whom recently returned from field work in Condega, Nicaragua, an experience that provided meaningful context to their engaging presentation on urban planning strategies in response to climate change.  Mona Serageldin offered expertise advice and discussion on Institute network building.

Fundraising was a major point of discussion at the meeting.  Joe Brennan offered the idea of internet “crowd-sourced” fundraising initiatives. There were two schools of thought in this dialogue: fundraise to offset costs on discrete projects and fundraise to add to the Institute’s general pool of operating money.  It was agreed that staff will create a comprehensive prospectus on how to implement a crowd-sourced fundraising initiative.

The business meeting included approval of all actions in 2012, discussion of the annual report and financial statements and the future direction of the Institute. Joe Brennan was unanimously re-elected as Chairperson.  Additional discussion focused on the 2013 board trip to Cuba.  The meeting was adjourned, fueling the Board and I2UD staff with an impetus for fulfilling goals, projects and fundraising initiatives to propel the Institute into a promising and successful future.