My name is Xander Lub, and I have the honor of fulfilling the role of President of EuroCHRIE over the next 12 months. The past 12 months, and particularly the last 6 months have been unique in the history of the organization. We started off the last academic year by looking back on our first-ever joint PacCHRIE/EuroCHRIE global conference. This was a very successful event that we hope to repeat in 2023, this time in Europe. Also, we supported the first Small Group Meeting (SGM) in Lyon in November 2019 on Multi-Sensory Dining Experiences, hosted by Institut Paul Bocuse, Breda University of Applied Sciences and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. This is a new format that we hope will allow EuroCHRIE members from more distant countries in our geographically large Federation area to meet more often during the year.
Then, COVID-19 hit, and all of our plans were put on hold, while we were all scrambling to reorganize our lives around this threatening situation that required us to rethink many things we were doing. All of you had to shift your education online which is an incredible feat. Many of you had to do so whilst simultaneously home-schooling your children and staying in your homes. We have had to miss our colleagues and the fun conversations that made our work so much fun. From a CHRIE perspective, things have been hectic too. Several Federation conferences were canceled, as is the ICHRIE conference in Phoenix this summer.
So, where to next? Well, as the COVID-19 crisis is not over this is hard to predict. What we do know is that things are looking a little better after summer right now: live teaching at our schools will slowly start up again, and the EuroCHRIE Annual Conference is set to happen in October (eurochrie2020.org) and will be offered both in a live format for those who are able and willing to travel for the full conference experience, and in an online format for those are not able or willing to travel. More details can be found on the website.
Also, the next 12 months we will continue to work on an improved value proposition. EuroCHRIE was already doing so in several ways, but the federations will now bundle their efforts to do the same thing at the level of ICHRIE. Earlier this year, we sent out a Member Value Survey, and we are now actively developing new formats based on your recommendations there. These include more webinars (which we started off as soon as the lockdown started), new formats for conferences (such as the Teacher’s Lounge in Aalborg), and in a more general manner, rethinking our value proposition to members. We will keep you posted on developments in this area. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Finally, I would like to thank all the volunteers that put in effort into making EuroCHRIE a success. These include the people that organize the conferences, and obviously our EuroCHRIE board members. In particular, I would like to welcome Henri Kuokkanen (Institut Paul Bocuse) as Vice-President, Maggie Feng (Wittenborg University) as Director of Networking and Conferences and Mats Carlback (Örebro University) as Director of Education. I look forward to working with you and our other board members to make next year a great year despite the challenges we will undoubtedly face.
I hope to see you, live or online, in Aalborg. For now, have a wonderful Summer Break!