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July 31, 2020

Network Over 1300 members took part in the first 
online ICOM General Assembly

On Friday, July 24, ICOM members from all over the World took part in the first online ICOM General Assembly, a crucial step in the history of our organisation.

Museum professionals from every Region of the World met online to discuss the challenges that our organisation is facing and reflect together on a new way forward. The two videoconferencing and streaming platforms, which were simultaneously translated in ICOM’s three official languages English, French and Spanish, provided the ICOM Committees and members with a space of democratic discussion and interaction, and will probably set a new standard in ensuring ICOM’s commitment in pursuing democracy, diversity and active participation. Although the value of personal, face-to-face interaction is undeniable, the ICOM online meeting was in fact an important step towards accessibility and inclusion: for many participants, this was the first General Assembly they were ever able to attend.

In his opening speech, President Alberto Garlandini illustrated the first steps taken by the Executive Board to address the concerns raised by members and Committees about the need to evaluate the internal communication and the decision-making processes and take the necessary actions to improve ICOM’s Governance.

The General Assembly as statutory meeting of the association continued with the presentation and voting of the following documents:

  • the minutes of the 34th session of the General Assembly on 7 September 2019 by ICOM President Alberto Garlandini, approved by 84,57% of voting members
  • The minutes of Extraordinary General Assembly on 7 September 2019 by ICOM President Alberto Garlandini, approved by 72,57% of voting members
  • The President’s Annual Report 2019 by ICOM President Alberto Garlandini, approved by 88,95% of voting members
  • The Financial Statements of the year 2019 by former ICOM Treasurer Emma Nardi, approved by 87,05% of voting members

Organising the General Assembly online represented a great challenge and will enhance accessibility and transparency for ICOM members. In the words of ICOM President Alberto Garlandini:

The organisation of this meeting was a first test of what our online meetings could be in the future. We have to learn a lot from what happened today and what we can do in the future to improve our working methods, our decision making and also our communication.

This format certainly allows us to increase participation as it encourages the members to submit their questions and proposals for amendments in advance with the aim of hearing more from the members, which is what ICOM has been striving for since its creation. This effort to active participation democracy, debate and diversity of opinion must continue in the future.

Our organisation needs to reflect and remember the very reason it was created in the first place. This is precisely what will occupy the Executive Board, along with the Director General, the Secretariat and all ICOM members wishing to participate in the constructive growth of our organisation, to maintain the outstanding cultural diversity of our organisation for the museums of today and tomorrow”.

You can watch the replay of the General Assembly in your member space!