Chairperson's Letter - The First 100 Days
Dear friends in Scouting,
The new World Scout Committee (WSC), elected at the 40th World Scout Conference in Slovenia (August 2014), has been in office for slightly over 100 days now. The Committee has been on the forward march since then.
The purpose of this report is to share some key developments from these 100 days of actions by the WSC. I feel it is important that you, our National Scout Organizations (NSOs), are aware of the activities and initiatives the WSC is doing after being entrusted with this responsibility by all of you in Slovenia. I am happy to say that we have already achieved several “quick wins” in this short period.
It all started while we were still in Slovenia and the newly elected WSC met for the first time towards the end of the Conference. There, we agreed to hold an unprecedented meeting programme for the new Committee based on a proposal coming from the previous WSC.
UNPRECEDENTED WSC INDUCTION MEETING - NEW YORK (OCTOBER 2014)
The induction/introductory meeting at Ten Mile River Scout Camps, from 17-19 October, had 100% attendance - 12 Elected Members, Secretary General, Treasurer, World Scout Foundation (WSF) Representative, 6 Regional Chairpersons and 6 Youth Advisors. Certain key World Scout Bureau (WSB) staff members also attended the meeting.
The overall aim of the meeting was to help prepare members of the WSC to successfully carry out their role, and to align the Committee around shared priorities and working methods for the Triennium 2014-2017.
The 3-day meeting, which was largely facilitated by an external consultant, was divided into 4 main sections:
• Induction training: overview of the roles of WSC, WSB and WSF
• Looking at the future: shared priorities and aspirations of the WSC to achieve Vision 2023 and lead WOSM to greater heights
• Reviewing the working methods: WSC working methods and interactions with WSB and WSF, agreed mutual expectations and accountability of WSC members, finalised team aspirations
• Future priorities and how to approach them
A key outcome of the meeting was a Team Charter, a “contract” outlining how the Committee will work together in the new triennium.
The weekend was a great success and ensured a very inspirational start for the new Committee as they commenced their work in the new
WSC WORKING MEETING - KUALA LUMPUR (NOVEMBER 2014)
From 14-16 November, the WSC, together with key WSB staff members, met in Kuala Lumpur for the Committee’s first full working meeting of the triennium. It was a hectic 2
and half day long meeting during which we made several key decisions that impact the work of the Committee as we launch into the new triennium. The meeting was also an opportunity for WSC members to visit the 8th WSB Office, opened in June 2014, as well as to get to know the WSB staff who are now operating in this new location.
During the meeting a number of decisions were taken, which are mentioned below.
WSC TEAM CHARTER
Following the work done at both meetings, the WSC adopted a Team Charter 2014-2017 as the framework on how individual members can contribute to the success of the WSC.
The Charter covers 4 key components of the operation of the WSC: “Purpose of our team”, “How we prepare for and run our meetings”, “Working between meetings and accountability” and “Behaviour we commit to”.
The Charter will serve as reference for all the 27, regardless they are Elected Members, Secretary General, Treasurer, WSF Representative, Regional Chairpersons or Youth Advisors.
TRIENNIAL PLAN 2014-2017
After thorough discussions in a series of plenary and small group sessions, the WSC finalised and approved the contents of the Triennial Plan 2014-2017.
The work will be organised around 4 main workstreams (provisional names):
• Innovating Scouting encompassing Educational Methods and Youth Engagement
• Social Impact and Reaching Out covering Social Impact and Diversity & Inclusion
• Image, Partnerships and Communications including External Relations
• Governance and NSO support
Reinforcing these workstreams will be a strong focus that aligns Regions and NSOs with the Strategy for Scouting/Vision 2023 and the Triennial Plan. The full document on the Triennial Plan 2014-2107 will be issued before the end of the year 2014.
OPERATIONAL FRAMEWORK AND INDIVIDUAL APPOINTMENTS
The WSC has now agreed on the Operational Framework that will guide the work in the next 3 years. This includes a number of working groups (linked to the workstreams), task forces (for specific projects) and standing committees (for ongoing issues). Several individual appointments were made for those. We are now in the phase of validating these appointments with the respective NSOs (where necessary) following which the appointments will be confirmed.
Terms of Reference have been (or are about to be) agreed for the different groups, including the Steering Committee itself. The latter provisioned for a Youth Advisor to start to provide specific support to the Steering Committee.
OPEN CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
In September 2014, the WSC launched an open call for volunteer positions in world level working groups for the 2014-2017 Triennium. The open call was promoted through social media, scout.org and ScoutPak, to reach as wide an audience as possible. All applicants had to obtain a password from their NSOs, to ensure NSOs approval.
When the online application closed on 5 November, a total of 254 complete applications had been submitted. We received a good balance of applications from young people under 30 years and those above 30; but with an imbalance in gender participation with 69% applications from males, and only 31% from females. 48% of the applications came from volunteers in the European Region, and the balance from the rest of the 5 regions.
In the next few weeks, the leaders of the different working groups, subcommittees and task forces will identify the volunteers who have applied to join the respective team. Volunteers for all such teams will be selected with a balanced approach. An announcement will be made in the first quarter of 2015 on further developments with the workstreams.
OTHER DECISIONS AND INITIATIVES
During these first 100 days, among other initiatives, a number of decisions were taken which deserve to be mentioned:
• The WSC adopted a Conflict of Interest Policy for itself. The Policy has been put in place in less than 100 days after a Conference Resolution (4/14) in Slovenia asked the WSC to develop this in quick time.
• On the Financial level, the WSC approved the budget for 2014-2015, changed the currency used by NSOs to pay fees to US dollars and reduced the period during which NSO are expected to pay to 6 months.
In this initial phase of the term, the Steering Committee, on behalf of the WSC, reached out to 2 of WOSM most important partners, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the WSF, to establish more direct contacts.
I believe that a lot has been achieved in 100 days. And that was also possible due to the outstanding work of the WSB staff who have been working tireless hours to provide excellent support.
Everything is coming to place now – a new Strategy for the next 9 years, a Triennial Plan for 2014- 2017, a new and committed WSC, a fresh group of Youth Advisors, and a restructured WSB.
There is no better time than this for us to UNITE, make the IMPACT, and be THE ORGANISATION that shapes positive changes in the world by transforming the lives of individuals and communities through purposeful engagement and education of youth.
I strongly believe that the time is now for us to make a difference in the world we live in, to create a better world. I look forward to your support and cooperation as we march forth into this new triennium.
Yours in Scouting,
João Armando Gonçalves
Chairperson, World Scout Committee