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Federation’s first tele-meeting draws praise for new platform

By Owen Roberts

IFAJ President

Adhering to the mandate of the Vision 2020 strategy that calls for using new technology and platforms for communication, IFAJ held its first executive tele-meeting last week with 30 participants live online.

The meeting was held using GoToMeetings, a technology that proved to be nearly flawless.  After a brief tutorial by Global Manager Hugh Maynard, the meeting proceeded for more than 90 minutes with 23 guild representatives, five presidium members and the Global Office team.

Topics covered included IFAJ contests, communications, the South Africa congress in April and the special Africa Forum there, and the 2017 budget (see coverage of these topics elsewhere in coming days on the IFAJ website).

Maynard says the federation’s GoToMeetings licence allows all committees, guilds and networks associated with IFAJ to use the technology for meetings within their countries, too.  

Vice-president Lena Johansson, whose primary role in the presidium is communications, was pleased with the result.

           “GoToMeetings is a convenient tool for a global organization such as IFAJ,” she says. “It can be used for committees, award juries or other meetings, even if the participants are spread over different continents.”


It was the first executive meeting with new member guilds from Africa. Executive member Richmond Frimpong from Ghana said he appreciated the access the technology affords new member guilds.

The tele-meeting took the place of the January executive meeting that has historically taken place in Berlin, at Green Week, with support from the event’s organizing body, Messe Berlin.

In 2015, IFAJ was notified by Messe Berlin it would no longer be able to maintain the support past 2016. So, the federation sought out a new approach to bringing the executive together.

This year, the executive will meet again in April at the South Africa congress, and in October in the Czech Republic, to be hosted by the Czech guild.

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