Special HUTAC General Assembly (May 2019) – Amendments to Articles of Association

04 May 2019
14:00 - 17:00
Time Space | Social Impact Factory, Utrecht

With this Special HUTAC General Assembly (GA), we’d like to once again put to the vote the 2017-2019 Board’s proposed amendments to the HUTAC Statutes and Bylaws (Articles of Association). Join us at Time Space (Social Impact Factory) in Utrecht on 4 May.

As a HUTAC member who received the Huygens Scholarship, you’re invited to help move HUTAC forward. Your contribution is essential in making the association future-proof. For more information on why these amendments are necessary, please read the FAQs below.

If you would like to vote, but cannot attend in person, please let us know by writing an email to contact@hutac.com. As per the Articles of Association, you can mandate another HSP scholarship recipient who can be present on the day to vote in your stead. Please find more information in the FAQs below.

Agenda of 2019 Special HUTAC GA (4 May)

  1. What’s next: proposed changes to HUTAC’s Articles of Association
  2. In-depth review of proposed changes (i.e. article by article)
  3. Vote on amending HUTAC’s Articles of Association
  4. Q&A and HUTAC member feedback

Tea, coffee and light snacks will be available during our conversation. And we will conclude this special event with drinks and bites.

Claim your free spot today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Where can I read the current Articles of Association? What about the version including the proposed amendments?

2. Why is it necessary to amend the HUTAC Articles of Association? And what are the main proposed changes?

In short, these amendments can help make HUTAC a future-proof association. Due to the discontinuation of the Huygens Scholarship (HSP) in 2011, we’ve seen a massive reduction in HSP member participation and interest in leading the association as Board members. But, thanks to the topical themes of our professional development events, we’ve been building a good reputation among new ambitious young professionals and impact-driven companies based in the Netherlands.

We’ve received extremely positive feedback from event participants and speakers, who got valuable connections and new career opportunities. This shows HUTAC’s continued value to event participants, including a small group of HSP recipients, and the importance of paving the way for its continued success. After repeated discussions with HSP members, it became clear that for HUTAC to continue to thrive, a series of changes needs to be made to HUTAC’s Articles of Association.

The main proposed amendment is the new definition of HUTAC membership, which, in addition to HSP recipient members, includes other young professionals and students recommended by current HUTAC members. This would create a snowball effect that ensures we stay true to HUTAC’s spirit of excellence and commitment. In addition, we’re proposing a few other changes aimed at making HUTAC a more agile organisation. You can read all the proposed amendments here. These amendments were developed in consultation with a registered notary.

3. So, the main change is that people who haven’t received the Huygens Scholarship (HSP) can become HUTAC members. Why do we need new members considering that people who didn’t receive the HSP can already attend events?

Good question! As per the Articles of Association, only recipients of the HSP – the only kind of members as per the current definition – can sit on the HUTAC Board and Advisory Board. So without the energy and talent of capable young people who want to learn new skills and put in the time and effort to organise events, fundraise and so on, HUTAC will simply not have enough people to put together a leadership team. To illustrate this point, please keep in mind we only received one application in response to the 2018-2019 Board call and two applications – one withdrawn since – for the 2018-2019 Advisory Board.   

4. How do these amendments affect Huygens Scholarship (HSP) recipients? Do new members get the same benefits and prestige?

In short, these amendments would not give new members the same benefits and prestige.

Financially, HSP recipients can attend events for free, as decided at the 2017 General Assembly. Which means that their event expenses – in terms of speakers, venue and catering – are covered by the remaining Nuffic funds and HUTAC reserves.

In terms of the prestige of having been awarded an HSP, we don’t foresee this honour being affected by new people becoming members. For instance, new Board and Advisory Board members who haven’t received the HSP could call themselves HUTAC Board members. But they simply couldn’t claim to be HSP recipients. That can be easily monitored and promptly rectified.

Moreover, new members have to be recommended by current members, who are only HSP recipients at the moment. So membership expansion would already begin from a shared set of values and trust that matches the HUTAC spirit.

And, as explained above, for event registration, there would a clear distinction between HSP recipient members, who can freely attend events, and non-HSP recipient members, who would have to pay to participate.

Other solutions to further differentiate between the HSP and non-HSP recipients could be giving out pins that mark the HSP status to event participants, sending all HSP recipients a set of easy-to-use instruction to add the HSP status to their LinkedIn page. If you have any other suggestions, please let us know!

5. What is the procedure to amend the Articles of Association? And why did we need to have more than one General Assembly (GA)?

According to article 21, paragraph 3 of HUTAC’s current Articles of Association, a quorum of 50% of the members need to be present at the GA or represented through power of attorney in order to hold a vote for such amendments. If the quorum is not met at the first GA, the vote will not be valid and a second GA will need to be held for the amendments to be officially voted on. In this second GA, a decision in favour or against the amendments would be made based on the vote of two-thirds of the present and represented members.

During the 2018 GA on 19 January 2019, a discussion and voting point on the agenda concerned the Board’s proposed amendments to HUTAC’s Articles of Association. Due to the quorum of 50% of the members not being met, a vote was not possible, thus requiring the organisation of a follow-up GA on 9 February. We decided not to hold this GA due to only (Advisory) Board members (the organisers) being present. Consequently, we started the process once again and invited all HSP members to a Special GA on 9 March but the quorum of 50% of the members was again not met. We thus proposed a second Special GA on 30 March but, unfortunately, we had to cancel it because the invite we mailed out was about 19 hours and a half too late. As per the Articles of Association, there must be 14 days between the date a GA call is made and the date of said GA – not counting the invite date and the date of the GA. It may sound like a technicality, but rules are rules! We narrowly missed that fixed time window, so we have to start over. We live, we learn, we move forward.

The insufficient attendance of the GAs proves once again that it is essential to expand the membership and access to Board positions to other ambitious and talented young professionals interested in taking HUTAC to the next level. Such interest has been expressed repeatedly, but could not materialise due to the Articles of Association only allowing HSP members to lead HUTAC.

6. I live abroad. Can I still vote? If yes, how?

Yes! If you cannot attend the GA in person due to living abroad, you can still vote! You can mandate another Huygens Scholarship (HSP) recipient member who can be present on the day to vote in your stead. As per the Articles of Association, you cannot vote electronically.

Don’t know who to mandate? Please let us know by emailing us. Given that we have the participant overview, we can introduce you to members to mandate.

If you have already delegated a member, please let us know who. This helps us ensure that no attendee is voting on behalf of more than the allowed maximum of three members, as per the Articles of Association.