EMA Management Board votes on a new mission & vision for the organisation
By: Gabriella Mikiewicz, EMA President
Dear Erasmus Mundus community, made of EMA members and volunteers, students and alumni of EMJMD programmes, partner networks, higher education institutions, consortiums, and everyone in between. It is my pleasure, in my capacity as EMA President, to update you on EMA's new mission & vision statements:
EMA’s vision is to become a global network of distinguished, connected, and active members of the greater Erasmus Mundus community.
EMA’s mission is to foster academic excellence, professional development, and multicultural exchange of Erasmus Mundus students and alumni globally.
These statements were voted in with 10 votes in favour and 1 abstention by EMA's Management Board on 02 December 2021.
We hope that these statements are a more concise and deliberate formulation of EMA's previous mission and vision, and will allow for more strategic activities within the organisation.
Want to learn more about why we decided to write new statements, and how we got here? Well, you're in for a ride! Keep reading.
Why new mission & vision statements?
Over the past few months, EMA active volunteers and members, and especially our Management Board (MB), have come together to debate, discuss, and determine the new mission and vision of our organisation.
Since beginning my position as President of EMA in July 2021, something that I struggled with was how to create strategic goals for the duration of my 2-year mandate. I felt that there were so many things I wanted to do, so many things our #EMAzing volunteers are capable of doing, but I didn't know where to start or what to focus on!
Quite soon into this deliberating, my colleague and EMA Vice President, Md Ashiqur Rahman, and I realised that EMA had outgrown its mission and vision statements. We believed that they no longer fully and strategically represented where the organisation was headed. It was our first major task as President and Vice President to coordinate new mission & vision statements.
How did we get our new statements?
From the onset of this idea to restructure EMA's mission and vision, I knew that the process had to be participatory, transparent, and collaborative. From July 2021, we took several steps to ensure this:
In July, we shared the idea with the newly selected Management Board.
In August, we invited the newly selected Management Board, the outgoing Management Board (2019-2021), as well as members of previous Steering Committees, and several active volunteers and members to a brainstorming workshop to discuss the new mission & vision. We split into groups and discussed EMA's purpose, what makes us unique, and what is the general purpose of alumni associations. Here are some screenshots from our activity:
In September, we collected the inputs from those who were unable to join our brainstorming workshop via a survey. At this point, we also opened up the process to all current volunteers within EMA, asking everyone in our internal Slack group to contribute to the survey. Here are some sample responses:
In October, The first draft of the new mission and vision statements was created based on inputs from the survey and brainstorming workshop, by one of EMA's volunteers who is not part of the Management Board. This volunteer was chosen for their experience working with intercultural communication and nonprofits, and because they could objectively collate information from the aforementioned sources without imposing their own goals (as might happen by someone on the Management Board).
In November, we presented the drafted mission and vision statements to our official, in-person Management Board Handover Meeting in Athens, Greece. During one of our sessions, we worked on EMA's mission and vision in more detail, being able to debate specific word choices and discuss where we see EMA in the future. Here's a snapshot of our handover:
In December, after I was able to reflect on the discussions in Athens, I drafted a new mission and vision statement which I believed consolidated all the information from the various sources. I proposed the final draft to the EMA Management Board in an MB meeting on 01 December. With a few minor tweaks, the new mission and vision was voted in on 02 December by the Management Board.
See an overview of the process timeline here:
Though these statements have been a long time in the making, we aren't 100% done yet. There are a few more things that need to happen...
In order to officially change the mission and vision in our statutes, we must have them voted upon by our members during a General Assembly (GA). The next GA will take place in Spring 2022. We plan to propose the new M&V during this GA and ask our members to vote on it.
Until then, we plan to use the newly restructured mission and vision as working statements which will inform our strategic goals and activities over the next 1.5 years of our Management Board mandate, and hopefully far into the future as well!
What were EMA's previous mission and vision?
EMA's previous mission and vision were created several years prior to the 2021-2023 Management Board's tenure. This is what EMA's mission and vision are currently according to our official statutes:
EMA’s vision is to be changemakers “to strive to impact the world at large, by addressing important issues that affect our global society.
EMA’s mission are:
to promote cooperation and mobility through Erasmus Mundus programme with EU programme and partner countries.
to contribute to the quality and efficiency of internationalization and jointness of higher education sector.
to create an environment conducive to enhance lifelong learning and the mobility of its members.
to provide platform to develop leaders and changemakers of tomorrow and commit to promote sustainable development goals.
to strengthen dialogue on education, policy, employment, and environmental, social, political and economic development.
to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship.