YFU National Directors' and International Board Meetings 2023
December 11, 2023 11:16

Charting the Path Ahead 

The recently concluded YFU National Directors’ meeting, and the prior International Board Meeting in Istanbul gathered YFU's leadership to discuss and decide on actions aiming to fortify YFU’s foundation while navigating the dynamic landscape of global educational exchanges. The ND meeting took place in Istanbul on 5th - 8th November 2023.

ND Meetings are precious opportunities for YFU’s global community to discuss shared issues, spread good practices, align and take decisions for the future. In the beautiful setting of Istanbul, hosted by YFU Türkiye celebrating its 15th Anniversary, the national directors of 36 YFU member countries gathered for a successful meeting.

To kick off the 3-days meeting, Professor Özgehan Şenyuva, an esteemed expert in the field of Youth Studies, offered some food for thought through a presentation. In his speech he underlined the pivotal role of youth exchange programs in fostering intercultural understanding, social responsibility, and global competencies in a world marked by increasing polarization. He articulated the need to embrace a forward-thinking approach by analyzing temporal dynamics and envisaging scenarios for plausible futures. The presentation offered a reflection on the challenges facing future generations, from societal blame games to the adversity faced in a hostile environment, stressing the importance of innovative responses to societal issues, such as Minor Politics: advocating for innovative strategies that would not engage in direct confrontation. He also talked about the pressing issue of escalating stress and mental health concerns among today's youth, urging educators and support systems to address these challenges effectively.

Parallel to Şenyuva’s visionary insights, the global network meetings went into a comprehensive assessment of YFU's internal and external influences, strategic planning, and financial sustainability. The discussions included an array of critical aspects, from identifying trends impacting YFU's course of action to setting priorities aligned with the organization's future aspirations. Strategies were discussed to manage financial constraints, address costs across different regions, and emphasize the important role of community engagement and communication in YFU's global outreach.

As YFU reflects upon the outcomes of this gathering, it signifies a commitment to resilience, innovation, and sustainable growth. The combination of Şenyuva's visionary insights and YFU's strategic roadmap delineates a trajectory aimed at empowering global youth and fostering a more inclusive and empathetic world.

For deeper knowledge on YFU's Strategic Vision, here are the key outcomes and strategies outlined by the International Board of YFU, who held their meeting in connection to the ND Meeting

Understanding the Landscape

Participants gained a shared comprehension of the internal and external trends impacting YFU and its global network. This included a meticulous review of prevailing trends affecting the organization's work, fostering a strategic understanding necessary for guiding YFU through evolving educational dynamics.

Assessing Health and Strategy

The meeting got into evaluating the health and status of the network, with a specific focus on Member Organizations (MOs) actively supported by the Global Office. There was a collective estimation of the Global Strategy and its ongoing implementation, paving the way for a smoother strategic direction.

Setting Priorities and Elections

Key priorities for the Global Office in 2024 were outlined, aligning with the framework of the Global Strategy's four pillars. Additionally, the election of the 2024 Executive Committee laid the groundwork for continued leadership and strategic guidance.

Strategic Planning and Financial Decisions

Strategies concerning the recruitment and mentoring of new IB members during the 2026 election cycle were formulated for long-term sustainability. Financial decisions, including the approval of budgets for YFU IES and EEE YFU, were discussed and ratified.

Community Engagement

The meeting acknowledged the importance of community engagement through Town Hall Meetings with volunteers, highlighting the pivotal role of communication groups.

Global Strategy: Progress and Priorities

Highlights of the Global Strategy's Year 1 progress indicated significant achievements, notably in IT development, programmatic management, and MO support. Year 2 priorities were established, emphasizing the consolidation of MOs, IT development, compliance management, and expanding IT processes. Initiatives like data reporting, communications, and sustainable network development were set to commence in 2024. 

This global network gathering illuminated a path forward, fostering collaboration, strategic planning, and adaptability to address the evolving landscape of global education exchange. As YFU commemorates its fruitful year and plans for the future, the meeting outcomes signify a commitment to resilience, innovation, and sustainable growth in the years to come.