In 2006 the executive committee (EC) of American Voices Abroad Berlin decided to limit its business meetings, if at all possible, to one per year — in mid-December. We decided to make projects, rather than business meetings, the basis of our group’s activities. This decision was taken in response to several informal requests from the membership concerning the necessity of such meetings. After looking around at other organizations, we found that many have dispensed with meetings (often tedious or confrontational) in order to concentrate on activities. We hope that this procedure can continue.
So, every year in October, about two months in advance, everyone on our mailing list will receive notification of a business meeting to be held on a mid-December Sunday, hopefully for brunch for about 3 hours. The items on the agenda will include election of new officers for their one year term to the EC, a taking stock of the past year (including a report from the chair) and a discussion of plans for the coming year.
All other planning, year-round, is project-based. ANYONE who has an idea for an activity should email someone on the EC with just a few explanatory sentences. We are not bureaucratic. We have seven EC members so that even if three are out-of-town, a quorum of four can make a quick decision. In the past, almost all ideas have been good ones and have been approved immediately.