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DARMA update 23 April: Stockholm, Hiroshima, Malta, and Nyborg

23 Apr 2017 08:14 | Olaf Svenningsen (Administrator)

Early Sunday morning: After a short, brisk walk through a sunny, but ice-cold Odense, I am now on my way to the EARMA Conference in Malta. The past weeks – or months – have been very busy both at work and in the private life, for both good and bad reasons. One example of how things sometimes get an unexpected twist is what happened last Friday before Easter: 

In the afternoon, I was in a telemeeting with the governing body of INORMS, the Council. The main task for that meeting was to decide where the INORMS Conference should be held in 2020. Two competing bids had been submitted, one from the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) together with the South African and the Brazilian associations, and one from the Research Manager and Administrator Network – Japan (RMAN-J). ACU suggested that the conference should be held in Cape Town, South Africa, and RMAN-J’s bid was for Hiroshima in Japan.

Just as we were discussing the two bids, Facebook messages saying, “I’m safe” started popping up on my screen, all of them from friends in Stockholm. At first I had no idea what was going on, but quickly realized there had been a terrorist attack in central Stockholm. In very few minutes, it also became clear that my cousin Martin, and several other friends were at the scene. Martin, who works as a TV and radio reporter had seen the attack from a bus, jumped of, and ran towards the crashed truck, but stopping to do CPR on several victims on the way. You may have seen him on TV.

Back to the INORMS meeting, which became a bit difficult to focus on: After a vote, Hiroshima won the competition, so after Edinburgh next year, INORMS goes to Japan for the first time. Hiroshima won with a narrow margin of votes, 8 to 6, which surprised me, since INORMS was held in Cape Town in 2010, and has never been in Asia. RMAN-J is also a young association, just like DARMA was in 2012, so I am very satisfied with the outcome of the vote.

As I am heading to the Malta, I would like to point out that EARMA has an instrument, the Open Lecture Access Forum or OLAF (I invented the instrument, but not the name), which offers a possibility to invite presenters from EARMA conferences, and other events, to repeat the session locally, and EARMA pays.  I am very happy that OLAF is becoming very popular, and the latest OLAF was held just a few weeks ago in Bologna, with Sean McCarthy. There has not been any OLAF’s in Denmark, yet.

DARMA’s General Assembly is quickly approaching, and as no suggestions have been received, the agenda that was published on March 15th remains unchanged. The biggest issue, as I see it, is to elect a new board. There has not exactly been a surge of interest, so I will repeat that we urgently need capable people that are interested in extending their network and experience, and do important work for our profession.

There are numerous tasks ahead of us in the coming year: the website always needs attention and a loving hand, the association urgently needs a strategy and plan of action, a blog and news editor would fill an important role, the special interest groups would probably benefit from having a coordinator, someone working with membership might be valuable, we do of course need a treasurer, and 2018 marks DARMA’s 10th birthday, which should be celebrated. If you think that any of these issues would be interesting, or if you have ideas of your own, I think you should consider running for a seat on the Board. Remember that you can run in absentia; it is not necessary to attend the General Assembly.

So, the train is soon arriving in Copenhagen. I will report from the EARMA Conference using Twitter, so if you want to follow what is happening, that is the way.

Hope to see you in Nyborg in two weeks!

 

 


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