Call for Cumulus Working Groups

Existing/old/ frozen or new groups
ENABLING THE IM/POSSIBLE?
Expressions of interest by January 30, 2018

Background
Cumulus General Assembly decided in Kolding Denmark early June 2017 to let the Cumulus Executive Board and the Secretariat to open up a call for Cumulus Working Groups (CWG) targeted to the existing CWGs, defrost some not active at the moment, and also to welcome new ones to join. Cumulus Executive Board discussed and developed the call in its meeting before the conference in Bengaluru India in November 2017 for its opening before the end of 2017.

The first Cumulus Working Group X-Files for the development of internationalization was founded in April 1998 in Prague Czech Republic; over the years, there have been roughly 20 working groups that a number of them are active today. Some examples of other recent active CWGs are ReVeda for research, Art and Design Teacher Education and Pedagogy, Visual Culture, Leadership and Strategy, Innovation & Industry, Sustainability, Interior Architecture and Furniture Design, Textiles and Fashion, Contemporary Art.

What is a Cumulus Working Group?
CWGs are intensive thematic focused sessions of voluntary experts or interested persons of the Cumulus member institutions willing to present and to share their knowledge and experience in a particular field, discipline or topic. The group is an action of passionate people among the Cumulus members enabling them to share and meet during an annual Cumulus conference or under the Cumulus umbrella outside the regular Cumulus conference program. The sharing aims to add value to the work of an individual but also to the community. A CWG can work also in the air but a physical presence every now and then, as a meeting in real during a Cumulus conference is a pre-requisite.

Why this Call?
The aim of the call is to enable these groups to keep their dynamics going on and inspire them to work in between of the two Cumulus annual conferences, to clarify some operational in their working enabling them to share the outcomes of the groups after and in between their meetings. The call may not meet all special features of the groups today but gives a general framework. CEB can consider any kind of support for group as an example is the Call for Cumulus Think Tank publications for CWGS.

What is the role of a Cumulus Working Group in Cumulus?
CWGs are fundamental thematic pillars of Cumulus association strengthening the affiliation of the members and the sense of community. The group assures continuity in Cumulus as an evolving process of knowledge development and sharing. CWGs offer their expertise as a group to Cumulus, they can be invited to be in charge for some activities in collaboration by and with the Cumulus Executive Board and the secretariat.
CWGs are open, bottom up groups of voluntary individuals of Cumulus member universities:
1) enabling to include people from the other Cumulus member institutions or Cumulus partners or any other,
2) interested in assuring diversity in terms of perspectives, background, cultural and geographical context etc.
3) understanding the importance to include people that are not necessarily attending each Cumulus conference or any other meeting organized by the group under the umbrella of Cumulus as well as to include guests and other contributions (e.g. local guests as well as other associations or bodies);
4) serving the Cumulus family and the local community sharing their meeting and activity outcomes.
5) not competing or organizing something similar as in the program of a Cumulus conference.

What is the structure of a Cumulus Working Group?
CWGs have:
1) a NAME: The CWG has a name as Cumulus “xx” Working Group defined by the group.
2) a FOCUS: The CWG has its focus with representing the goals, a plan of outcomes and how they fit inside the Cumulus identity and strategy.
3) a LIFE: CWGs established are welcomed to last three (3) years from the General Assembly endorsing them (in this case will be in Paris 2018) and they can be renewable through the next calls.
4) a COORDINATION:
The CWG has a coordinator from a Cumulus member university as a leading person of the group. The person is responsible of taking care of the CWG, ensuring its program, continuity with an inclusive attitude.
The group is coordinated by a person max of a three-year (3) term as a leadership activity (that can be renewable only one similar period, as in 2. above), though the person is welcomed to continue with the CWG after the period.
It has one or two (1-2) co-coordinator(s) (persons with the same characters of the coordinator able to support the coordinator and to substitute him/her in case of absence and as in item 3.)
The group has also other key people regularly working for the CWG. The coordinators and the key people constitute the key group.
5) a MENTOR: Cumulus Executive Board has set up and nominates mentors for the CWGs, the aim of the mentor is to advice and support the work of the CWG. The CWG mentor works with the group as defined by the mentor and the group, the mentor can report to the CEB. The existing CWG mentors are welcomed to continue if the CWG will be continuing with this call. CEB can also welcome mentors from outside its outreach.

What is not a Cumulus Working Group?
Some examples of joining-up that is not a CWG;
1) “Conversations”; Cumulus conference slot called “Conversations” are hosting mainly one-time events and open group meetings that can have the same format of a CWG but don’t assure the same CWG continuity and specific outcome. However, it is possible a CWG can emerge based on these meeting(s) during the Conversations in a Cumulus conference; then it is possible to get a Cumulus Working Group status in collaboration with the secretariat and Cumulus Executive Board.
2) ”Cumulus Partner Event”: They can be initiatives like DESIS network, IxDA, DOGA Norway, AIGA, DINZ, ADR, ADI, ELIA, CILECT, EIDD or BEDA etc. in tune with Cumulus vision and strategy, hosted within the Cumulus conferences enriching the contents offered to the members. They are entitled to get placement in a Cumulus conference via Cumulus Secretariat in collaboration with the conference host. However, a partner can also collaborate with a CWG for its group meeting or for any other activity in collaboration with the secretariat.

How does a Cumulus Working Group work?
Practical and other
1) HOW TO BE ACTIVE: The Cumulus secretariat calls for Cumulus Working Groups to organize their meetings during the next Cumulus conference. The call includes with a deadline the topic, general description of the CWG meeting and speakers to enable the CWG meeting operatively during the conference program.
Any other meeting of the CWG outside the conference program must also be negotiated and worked out in collaboration with the secretariat.

2) WHEN and HOW: CWG takes action mainly within the program of a Cumulus conference. It is possible to organize a separate CWG meeting or event outside Cumulus conference annual agenda under the umbrella of Cumulus. CWG can organize any other gathering or event in collaboration with the Cumulus secretariat.
A CWG session of some hours per day is the common format e.g. am or pm placement in the program. On request with the secretariat, the CWG can extended its meeting to max. one (1) day within the conference program. CWG can organize an extra day as pre- or post-conference CWG meeting, though this must be negotiated and organized in collaboration with the secretariat and understanding the capacity of the host.

3) DISSEMINATE: CWGs are welcomed to participate to disseminate under the umbrella of Cumulus as the group or in collaboration with Cumulus partners where one tool is to publish via Cumulus Think Tank publication. If the group has any other idea for dissemination, the group contacts the secretariat. (Pls. see below the “outcomes”.)

4) QUICK-REPORT: CWG reports the outcomes of its meeting with a given deadline by the secretariat after the conference/meeting to the secretariat further to be shared in the Cumulus media. If the group works, shares etc. in and with other social media or equivalent tools, the secretariat must have access to the group work as one of the administrators.

5) A CWG CALL: A CWG can have for the meeting its own call for papers or proposals but in tune with the conference host, this call must be exercised in collaboration with the Cumulus secretariat.

6) NOT ALONE: A CWG is welcomed to have at least one time interactive relationship with the local community/country as well as with the specific topic of a single Cumulus conference. Cumulus partners are welcomed to collaborate with the CWGs. However, the group can welcome in collaboration with the Cumulus secretariat and the conference host also other stakeholders from industry, enterprise, NGO, governmental body etc. equivalent.

7) EXPERTISE: The Cumulus secretariat and the board can ask a CWG to offer their expertise to Cumulus and they can be invited be in charge of some activities for Cumulus in collaboration with its secretariat and board.

8) LIVE, FREEZE OR DIE: CWGs have to exist as relevant to other Cumulusians, as relevance can be e.g. the attendance, if it is very low in the meetings they can be set aside for a term by the secretariat and the Cumulus Executive Board (CEB) in collaboration with the group. The CWG CEB mentor can also support and also propose in these cases.

9) JOINING: If the CWG meeting is held during the Cumulus conference program, CWG members (coordinators, key-group) are ready to participate also in the actual conference for sharing and learning.

10) WHO ARE THERE: CWG reports to the secretariat the list of participants with contact information after itS every meeting.

Cumulus Working Group outcomes?
CWG should share its outcomes of each CWG meeting and any other in different formats at the Cumulus website and social media in collaboration with the secretariat for example:
1) pictures, videos, abstracts, notes, summaries….
2) a communication channel (Slack)
3) a list of interesting references (bibliography; list of associations, researchers,…. )
4) a repository of case studies on a particular subject
5) a publication (Cumulus Think Tank publication series)
6) a MOOC…

How to continue existing or propose a new Cumulus Working Group
The group of interested individuals (that are affiliated to a Cumulus member) have to present in a document (of maximum 3000 characters in total) the following information;
1) NAME of the CWG (as existing by this call/or a new name given by the group)
2) SHORT DESCRIPTION of:
the field, focus and goals the group represents, potential outcomes and how these fit inside the Cumulus identity and strategy.
3) OUTCOMES: Plan for disseminating the outcomes of the work of the group (both short term instant communication for example after each meeting, as well as long term activities that could include a plan to publish etc.)
4) COORDINATOR as a leading person of the group who is responsible of taking care of the CWG, ensuring its continuity with an inclusive attitude (name, email, other contact info, home university)
CO-COORDINATOR(S) One or two co-leader(s) (persons with the same characters of the leader able to support the leader and to substitute him/her in case of absence as in item 3.). (name, email, other contact info, home university)
5) OTHER KEY PEOPLE regularly working for the CWG. (A goal, if possible, is to have a minimum of 5 additional names from 5 different Cumulus members). (name, email, other contact info, home university)
6) IF A NEW CWG: If a new group, reasoning why this group must be created as a CWG.
7) AOB: Any other business/remarks by the group.

Call DEADLINE 30 JANUARY 2018
The material must be sent to the Cumulus secretariat to Justyna Molik (justyna.molik@aalto.fi) by 30 January 2018. The secretariat may work out the material further in collaboration with the group for the Cumulus Executive Board (CEB) meeting held in March 2018.

CEB will go through the material evaluating the CWG relevance and any qualitative issue with the right to propose e.g. improvement, merger of groups, changes etc. CEB will also monitor the groups if some relevant topics are missing in order to evaluate the possibility to activate any other CWGs even if not submitted during this call. CEB may ask advice from experts outside the board and the secretariat.
CEB will propose a final list of the CWGs to be activated to the attention of the General Assembly. During the assembly the list will be discussed and a final decision will be taken. In case of this call this will be part of the agenda of the Paris General Assembly during 11-14 April 2017.

A Cumulus Working Groups not included in the final approved list, are kept aside until a new call will be open; in the meantime they can meet during the “Conversations” slot in a Cumulus conference but not as a CWG. CEB has the right to open also a specific call for new Cumulus Working Groups in the future, even before the end of the three-year term of the present call, in order to give the possibility to new CWGs to show up.

Detailed information; justyna.molik@aalto.fi, eija.salmi@aalto.fi

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