Minutes of the 2018 General Assembly

What is the HUTAC General Assembly and why does it matter?

Before you delve into the minutes of the 2018 HUTAC General Assembly (GA), we would like to briefly explain what the GA is and why it is important to you as a member of the HUTAC community.

The GA is an annual gathering of the HUTAC community which allows members to:

  • Find out what the previous year’s Board achieved, including not only fun highlights of the events but also a thorough look into HUTAC’s financials,
  • Meet the new year’s Board candidates, listen to their motivations for wanting to lead and, if convincing, vote them into office,
  • Ask questions, tackle issues and offer feedback – your input is always welcome and appreciated,
    Reconnect with your fellow HUTACers.
  • Although the 2018 GA is over, we look forward to seeing you at the following GA as well as upcoming HUTAC events!

Your 2017-2018 HUTAC Board

Minutes of the HUTAC General Assembly 2018

Date: 19 January 2019

Location: Impact Hub Amsterdam, Linnaeusstraat 2C, 1092 CK Amsterdam

Time: 14:30 – 17:45 CET

Participants: 7 (including 2 via Skype), all HSP recipient members

Presentation slides: bit.ly/HUTAC2018GA

1. Opening and Agenda

At 14:30 CET, Catalina Iorga, President of the 2017-2018 HUTAC Board announced the start of the 2018 General Assembly and invited all present members to tune in to the Board’s presentation.

Catalina first outlined the agenda of the GA session, namely:

  • 2017-2018 highlights and financial statement (including member vote to approve statement) – completed, statement approved
  • Discharging the 2017-2018 HUTAC Board – not possible, due to insufficient applications, 2017 – 2018 Board stays in place as interim solution
  • Discharging the 2016-2018 Advisory Board and the 2017-2018 Audit Committee (extended for one year from 2015-2017 term) – discharged Audit Committee, discharging Advisory Board not possible due to insufficient applications
  • Proposed 2018-2020 HUTAC Advisory Board and Audit Committee, and elections – not possible due to insufficient applications. 2017 – 2018 Advisory Board stays in place as interim solution. Audit Committee is discharged (see Section 9 below)
  • Proposed changes of HUTAC’s Statutes and Bylaws for a future-proof association, and vote – vote not possible due to lack of quorum (i.e. 50 percent of members in attendance)
  • Proposed 2018-2019 HUTAC Board – not possible, due to insufficient applications. Another call for candidates is scheduled for Spring 2019, after the result of the member vote to approve the amended Articles of Association
  • Review and approval of 2017-2018 HUTAC financial statement – completed, statement approved
  • Review and approval of 2018-2019 HUTAC plan and budget proposal – completed, budget approved
  • Election of the 2018-2019 HUTAC Board – not possible, due to insufficient applications
  • Q&A and HUTAC member feedback for 2018-2019 – completed

Although these minutes cover all of the above, it is important to note that they do so under different thematic headings than was presented at the GA for the purpose of conciseness and clarity.

2. HUTAC Highlights 2017-2018

Catalina first reminded GA participants of the past year’s HUTAC theme: 360° healthHealthier habits for mind, body and planet. She then proceeded to outline the contents of the 2017-2018 HUTAC activities built on this general vision while presenting photos of each event:

Special General Assembly 2018

Held on 14 April 2018, the special GA was an internal roundtable hosted by the 2017-18 board and attended by current and former HUTAC board members in order to reach consensus on the future business model of our organization and discuss strategies on moving HUTAC forward beyond 2020. Possible ways to change the HUTAC Statuten were decided. It was held at the Impact Hub in Amsterdam.

The event was attended by 10 members, including Stojan Simonovski and Zack Lu, who raised concerns about including non-HSP recipients on the HUTAC Boards and extending the membership to non-HSP recipients – both changes that the 2017-2018 HUTAC Board envisions for a future proof-association. So the Board took this valuable feedback and used it to consult with a lawyer from the firm Benvalor, as well as notary Wesley Bosse. The result is a series of proposed amendments to the HUTAC Articles of Association, which members can vote on.

MOKSHA Experience | Find freedom and flow in your everyday life

Held on 21 April 2018, the first social event of 2018 was a workshop attended by 9 enthusiastic participants at Time Space in Utrecht. Focusing on better breathing techniques, well-being, stress management at work and freedom-based yoga. The event featured Utrecht-based yoga instructor Simon Rowe, who has more than 30 years of experience in movement-based practices.

Sleep Better, Do Better

Held on 19 May 2018, also at  Time Space in Utrecht, this workshop event focused on sleep hygiene and hence improved work performance. Attended by 12 participants, the workshop was given by sleep psychologist Katerina Nikolakopoulou, and included scientifically-informed ways to improve our sleep cycle.

2018 HUTAC Conference – 360° Health:         

Featuring seven speakers and trainers, namely Senior Manager of the Dutch office of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Herbert Smorenburg, founder and CEO of Straw by Straw Ev Liu, Communications Manager at Fairphone Lina Ruiz, health trainer and lifestyle coach Laura Minneboo, founder of 3310 School for Millennials, Wing Yan Man, sport dietician and writer Alina Petre, and psychologist and lecturer specialised in sleep Katerina Nikolakopoulou, the largest event of 2018 was attended by 35 HUTAC members.

The 2018 Conference delved into topics such as community building, future of food, plastic-free lifestyle, circular principles, stress caused by our beliefs, preventing burnouts, healthy nutrition and better sleep. The event was hosted at Impact Hub Amsterdam on 6 October 2018.

At this point, Catalina handed over to Kollol Aguan, 2017-2018 HUTAC Treasurer, to present the financial statement of 2017-2018.

3. HUTAC Financial Statement 2017-2018

As is customary during the GA, Kollol first reminded the members about the start and end dates of the HUTAC fiscal year (1 September 2017 – 31 August 2018) in contrast to the administrative year (16 December 2017 – 19 January 2019) and the potential reporting complexities which arise as a result of this difference.

Following this introduction, he proceeded to present the 2017-2018 financial statement followed by the HUTAC balance sheet as of 31 August 2018. The details are summarized below:

2017-2018 General Budget – breakdown

Kollol explained that the financial year 2017-2018 is the second term in HUTAC’s history in which Nuffic subsidy payments of € 20,000.00 per year were no longer provided. Based on a 2016 contract with Nuffic, the subsidy reserves remaining as of 31 August 2018, are expected to be fully spent before the end of 2019.

HUTAC equity of € 18397.67 represents the sum of all revenue generated by HUTAC since being founded in 2009 until 31 August 2018 through all means other than Nuffic sponsorship; this includes event participation fees and interest on savings.

At this point of the presentation, a few questions/comments were brought up by the members in attendance via Skype, namely Leila Deighani and Iftekhar ul Karim. These contributions along with associated responses from the Board and/or other present members are summarized below:

1. When did Nuffic stop providing a subsidy to HUTAC? Are there any other ways of getting funding decided or being considered?

Kollol responded saying that Nuffic’s last subsidy was in the 2015-2016 financial year. We are considering new ways to raise funding, such as approaching companies for sponsorships and collaborating with other organisations such as the Holland Alumni network, which we already did during the HUTAC conference 2018.

Iftekhar raised the point that organisations such as Oxfam could have funds available for associations such as HUTAC.

2. How much additional funds does HUTAC have left going forward?

Kollol explained that given the sum of all assets on 31 August 2018 at € 27,877.30 and the fact that financial commitments made by the organization during the remainder of 2018 after this date – € 5,083.31 – had yet to be accounted for – i.e. as part of next year’s financial statement, HUTAC owns approximately € 22,000.00 in the bank, sufficient to run the organization until at least the end of 2021.

3. What are the details of the € 1,808.99 General Costs and why is it so much lower than the estimated budget of € 6,490.00?

The General Budget is in place to account for the daily costs of running the organization, including but not limited to: web hosting, HUTAC mailbox, Board members’ liability insurance, Board member travel costs, Board meetings, payments to 3rd parties such as the notary responsible for advising the Board on amending the Articles of Association, etc.

The estimated budget is a number which the Board proposes at the beginning of each year and is approved by the General Assembly. The Board, however, always strives to minimize the funds spent from this budget and make as much savings as possible to fund events and other activities involving members in upcoming fiscal years.

After this discussion concluded, Kollol proceeded to inform members of the Audit Committee’s evaluation of the HUTAC 2017-2018 financial statement: “The balance sheet presented for HUTAC’s fiscal year 2017-2018 gives a true and fair view of the financial position of the association as of 31 August 2018.

At this point, Catalina invited all present HUTAC members to vote on whether, to the best of their knowledge and based on the information presented, the HUTAC 2017-2018 financial statement was accurate.

The voting proceeded as follows:

  •        6 present and eligible members voted In Favor
  •        No present and eligible member voted Against
  •        1 present and eligible member Abstained

Kollol Aguan, the Treasurer, having been involved in the preparation of the year’s financial statement, followed HUTAC tradition and abstained from the vote.

The 2017-2018 financial statement was officially approved.

4. Discharge of the 2017-2018 HUTAC Board

Catalina Iorga, President of the 2017-2018 Board, explained to all HUTAC members in that the 2017-2018 Board cannot be formally discharged, as there were not sufficient applications to join the new Board. To ensure new energy and talent can join the Board, the 2017-2018 Board proposed a series of amendments to the HUTAC Articles of Association, which we expected to vote on during this General Assembly. See section 9 below.

5. Re-election of HUTAC Advisory Board and discharge of Audit Committee member

Catalina first asked the members to vote for the discharge of Audit Committee member, Robin Jiyuan Lee, as his term came to an end. As explained above, Advisory Board members Andy Golkhandan – in attendance – and Thierry Verheije will remain in their current roles for a transition period.

The vote to discharge Robin proceeded as follows:

  •        7 present and eligible members voted In Favor
  •        No present and eligible member voted Against
  •        No present and eligible member Abstained

7. Future of Audit Committee / Transition to External Auditor

Catalina also explained that we are preparing for an upcoming final Nuffic review in 2020. This final audit would comprise all financial records for the past 7 years, including the audit of the 2018-2019 HUTAC financial statement. The final outcome of the review would be introduced to all HUTAC members via online communication. As sanctioned by the HUTAC Articles of Association, the Board can and will hire an independent external auditor. This is to ensure the most accurate financial statement for the Nuffic review.

7. HUTAC 2017-2018 Vision for a Future-Proof Organization and GA Approval

Here, Catalina outlined the core points of the proposed amendments to the Articles of Association. This proposal implies structural changes to the way the association has operated since 2009 and require approval from members at the GA in order to move forward.

In particular, the leadership’s vision to ensure a thriving HUTAC community by allowing new members to join the association and bring new energy and talent into our community beyond the confines of its founding doctrine. This can be summarised as follows:

  • Expand membership
    • HSP recipients (current)
    • other Nuffic scholarship recipients (new)
    • other ambitious young professionals (new) with following criteria
      • Recommended by a current HUTAC member
      • Ambitious young professional
      • Has valuable skills and network
  • Board & Advisory Board
    • Any member – per proposed new definition – can join one of HUTAC (Advirsory) Board and Audit Committee

8. HUTAC 2018-2019 Plan and Budget

Catalina presented the vision of the 2018-2019 HUTAC Board as well as various growth strategies which the new Board plans to explore in the coming fiscal year.

The proposed 2018-2019 theme is Pathways to the Future, which the future 2018-2019 Board can, of course, choose to change. Catalina underlined the plans of the new Board to continue organizing inspiring events and workshops. For 2019, the Board envisions a focus on the following topics and their implications for professional success:

  1. Future Tech
  •        Growth hacking
  •        Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain
  1. Future politics
  •        Post-truth and fake news
  •        Democracy in the age of Brexit
  1. Future you
  •        Conscious lifestyle
  •        Mindfulness vs engagement

The 2018-2019 Board will strengthen existing partnerships with the following organizations and attempt to enter into new partnerships for the benefit of the HUTAC community:

  1. Nuffic
  •        Membership expansion
  •        Endorsements / potential future funding
  1. Holland Alumni Network NL
  •        Membership expansion
  •        Content
  1. Impact Hub Amsterdam
  •       Cost-effective and inspiring venue
  •        Content / speakers
  1. Time Space/ Social Impact Factory
  •        Cost-effective venue
  •        Membership expansion

Last but not least, the 2018-2019 Board shall pursue the following key projects thanks to numerous strategy meetings in 2018 and a clear sense of direction resulting from open debate at the GA:

  1. Strategic Partnerships
  •        Nuffic partnership is a win-win
  •        Tap into Nuffic-sponsored and other partner ecosystems
  1. Membership Expansion
  •        Leverage existing partnerships
  •        Step up online promo
  1. Membership Reactivation
  •        Database clean-up (hire freelancer)
  •        More concerted effort at online engagement
  1. Preparation for the 2020 Nuffic review
  •        Hire external financial auditor

Catalina then proceeded to present the estimated budget for 2018-2019, summarized in the pie chart below. This budget covers two events in 2018 including the GA, four events in 2019 including the HUTAC Annual Conference 2019, and of course, a General Budget to fund the needs of the Board to enact envisioned expansion, marketing and partnership strategies in the year:

The General Budget estimate has been downsized to € 4,950.00 this year to account for the declining trend of General Budget spending. However, a considerable amount is still put in place to support the upcoming financial review with the external auditor and potential future consultation with legal experts as the organization moves forward.

Once the budget was presented and all questions answered, Catalina asked the General Assembly for their approval of the 2018-2019 budget.

The voting proceeded as follows:

  •        3 present and eligible members voted In Favor
  •        No present and eligible member voted Against
  •        4 present and eligible members Abstained

The four members 2017-2018 HUTAC Board who were present at the GA did not participate in this phase of the voting. Following the approval of the new year’s budget, Catalina then mentioned that we would require another GA to introduce and vote for the future board members of HUTAC 2018-19.

9. Amendments to the HUTAC Articles of Association

Catalina then proceeded to explain that in order to keep the organisation going, the General Assembly is expected to consider incorporating important changes to the HUTAC statutes as mentioned earlier. She explained the proposed amendments made to paragraphs in Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 12, 14, 20 and 21, which are summarised here. The original copy of the HUTAC Articles of Association can also be found via this link (in Dutch).

Catalina then invited present members to participate in a vote for or against the proposed list of changes. It must be noted that this vote is not sufficient to approve these changes as the number of participants did not meet the minimum required quorum per the Articles of Association.

The voting proceeded as follows:

  •        7 present and eligible members voted In Favor
  •        No present and eligible member voted Against
  •        No present and eligible members Abstained

10. HUTAC Members Interested in Joining the Board

It should be mentioned that two members, Leila Dehghani and Iftekhar ul-Karim who were attending the GA through their online presence, were interested in applying for Board member and Advisory Board member positions, respectively. Both members are recipients of the Huygens Scholarship and have been involved with HUTAC in the past.

The remainder of the session consisted of Q&A between these members and current Board and Advisory Board members regarding the organisation’s upcoming challenges and opportunities, their motivation for joining the leadership team and ideas on moving HUTAC forward. The current leadership team will stay in touch with these members to ensure they remain informed on the upcoming changes to the Articles of Association discussed above.

11. Q&A and Closing

There were no further questions and all outstanding business was addressed at the GA. Thus, the HUTAC General Assembly 2018 successfully came to a close at 17:45, 19 January 2019.