2010 Annual General Meeting – Executive Board Report
May 31st, 2010
Since the last AGM, the Executive Board (EB) has met on a monthly basis; it has also convened monthly virtual meetings for general discussion of issues relating to the Project Committees (PCs), to EMBnet.News/.Journal, and so on. The meetings have also allowed us to discuss the Stichting financial accounts, to prepare the groundwork both for the annual financial report and, crucially, for the AGM. The EB meetings are closed; the general virtual meetings are open to any members of the EMBnet constituency who are sufficiently interested to participate.
This EB has been in office for a relatively short time. Its election towards the end of last year was somewhat unusual, in the sense that only its Secretary remained on the Board – most of its members are thus new. This has therefore been a period of change, and a learning process for us all. At the same time, the global bioinformatics landscape is also changing. We therefore felt that the 2010 AGM would provide an ideal opportunity to examine those changes, to consider EMBnet’s position within this evolving landscape and to explore its aspirations and motivations, moving forward.
To this end, we have begun to take the first small practical steps. Internally, we are trying to better define the roles of each member of the EB, so that the daily business runs more effectively; we are trying to create closer ties between EMBnet members and the PCs (and/or SIGs, should we establish them); we are trying to rationalise how VGMs and AGMs are conducted, by trying to ensure that the groundwork for these meetings is prepared in advance; we are trying to formalise nomination procedures, so that voting at AGMs (and/or VGMs) is properly informed; and we are trying to help to improve the EMBnet ‘brand’. Overall, the EB hopes to promote a series of internal structural and behavioural changes within EMBnet both to inculcate a spirit of professionalism, dignity and collegiality amongst all members of the EMBnet constituency, and to provide efficient and effective executive coordination of EMBnet’s activities. In particular, we hope to be able to establish internal mechanisms by which we might: secure strategic alliances with other organisations; compete more strategically for funding for some of our activities; and promote our activities more effectively. Ultimately, we hope to facilitate the evolution of EMBnet into a respected network of bioinformatics professionals.
For the forthcoming AGM, our Secretary, J.R.Valverde, will be stepping down, so there will be one vacancy on the EB. At the time of writing, we have received no formal candidacies, so we encourage members of the EMBnet constituency to consider stepping forward to join us! Meanwhile, we would like to thank JR for his dedicated services to EMBnet and especially to the EB during the last 3 years.