Yes, you are the Organisation. It doesn’t matter if you are a member of EuroScience, the European Society for Evolutionary Biology or of the European Association for Music in Schools – you as a member define the organisation from within.
When you apply for a membership, you have something in mind. Even if it is the simple fact that you want to join a special conference or you want to receive the newsletter. You join organisations because you want some benefit through your membership. But have you thought about getting involved too? Have you thought about actively contributing to the organisations services? After you visited the conference or read the newsletter you could start to communicate your thoughts about what you have heard or read. You could start a discussion or maybe submit a talk at the next-years meeting to stretch the topic a bit further.
Getting involved with organisation is easy and it doesn’t have to consume all your time. If you do not know how to get involved, Alyssa Thomas from ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) has some really good ideas. She wrote a nice summary on Ways to get involved. And she developed the “Get Trilogy” project: Get Started! Get Connected! Get Involved!
“Get Trilogy” is tailored to the ASAE, but nevertheless, it is a great way to look at your engagement with EuroScience or other organisations.
One of the most sustainable ways to enrich an organisation is to become a volunteer within a Section or Workgroup.
The Regional Sections of EuroScience are the representative bodies of the wider EuroScience organisation in a region or country. The aim of a Regional Section is to provide opportunities and activities for all members, but in a certain locality. This might include workshops or topical conferences as well as assiting press and media relations. One of the major issues for a Regional Section is to conduct a public affairs program within a region or country. So, take a look at the Regional Sections of EuroScience right now!
The Workgroups assemble engaged members, to discuss and develop strategic plans for special themes. Currently there are eleven workgroups. At the ESOF 2010 most of the workgroups conducted meetings and discussions.
By getting involved in an organisation you will be able to develop it in a meaningful and sustainable way while expanding your own personal skill set.