15 December, 2023

86th International Committee Meeting (ICM)

Vienna, Austria

For the 86th International Committee Meeting (ICM), we gathered in Vienna, Austria, and the event was hosted by the amazing SCI Austria. It was a chance for SCI people to connect, discuss and take important decisions on the future of the organisation. It was also the first hybrid ICM, with many delegates taking part online. ICM opened on Thursday and during four days we had important discussions, we danced, we laughed and we voted. Not in that particular order.

We began with different discussions and reflections on the past of SCI, and we reviewed what SCI would be in the future. Delegates looked in detail at the new Strategic Plan for 2024-2027, and the Plan of Action to ensure concrete steps to reach our goals for the future. And of course, the future of SCI will always include more international cooperation, which is why we were pleased that delegates voted in favour of upgrading Voluntary Workcamps Association of Nigeria (VWAN) from a group to a branch organisation and upgrading Zimbabwe Workcamps Association from a partner to a group. We hope this is only the beginning of a long term cooperation with different organisations from regions all over the world who are dedicated to SCI’s mission of building peace.

ICM was also a chance for members to vote on the new International Executive Committee (IEC) members: Bert Verstappen and Dr. Shobha Sudharshan, who were both accepted and warmly welcomed as IEC members – Bert for his second term, and Dr. Shobha as a new member. We are eager for their contribution to SCI’s mission.

As a peace movement, it is also integral that we make active efforts to educate ourselves during times of conflict, which is why at this ICM we voted to take concrete steps toward building more awareness within the SCI circle regarding the history of Israel-Palestine and terminology used in that context.

All this work did not mean there was no room for partying. SCI Austria organised a fantastic social night for us. They got us our very own SCI tram, with a DJ booth inside! Which could only mean one thing. Dancing! Dancing in the tram, and then dancing in the city square, sometimes with strangers who joined in on the SCI fun, while bypassers recorded our spontaneous flash mob. 

After some fun, we were back in the mood to work. We presented the preliminary results of a survey done with volunteers and local communities benefiting from volunteering activities, to measure the impact of our activities. The full impact report will be published later on in our online channels and the survey will be repeated in the coming years.

We then also received inputs on our efforts to create a new Online Placement Platform, so that we can bring it up to speed with new technologies. We started a process, and everybody’s input at the ICM will ensure that we do it most efficiently.

We also held the annual Pierre Cérésole Awards ceremony, which is a platform to showcase exceptional projects.You can find the ceremony for 2023 here.

All in all, it was a productive few days with lots of fun in between. We are grateful to all the delegates for showing up and committing to the ICM’s democratic decision-making process.

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