On June 10th and 11th 2023, we came together for OIFE’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). This time we met, in real life, in Stockholm, Sweden. There were approximately 40 people representing 15 ordinary (European) and 4 associate member organizations (incl. USA, Peru, Ahuce Foundation and Care4BrittleBones).

On Saturday afternoon we took care of the formal business and the agenda included:

  • Internal news & updates
  • Approval of OIFE’s Annual Report 2022
  • Approval of financial report 2022
  • Elections and appointment of volunteers
  • OIFE long term strategy

Ingunn went through the highlights of the annual report and explained about activities held in 2022. Coreen explained about the finances including why we have 2 different financial reports for 2022 (moving to Belgium) – and that they need to be evaluated together. Both the annual report, the financial report (part 2 of 2022) and the budget were approved unanimously by the voting members.

Unfortunately due to time constraints, the Board had not managed to finish the entire draft of new long term strategy. But we agreed on a set of new goals and the members gave the Board the authority to continue the development of the strategy according to these overarching goals.

Elections were held and OIFE welcomed a new Board member Jacob Ø. Wittorff from Denmark. Jacob hold a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and a master’s degree in journalism from Roskilde University. Currently, he works as a journalist at the Danish edition of Computerworld. He’s a board member in DFOI and in his spare time he likes good food, art and is a proud season ticket holder of the Danish football team, Brøndby IF.

On Saturday evening, we had a nice conference dinner together with the members of the Swedish organization SFOI, who had a separate meeting in parallell with the OIFE AGM. The dinner also included some invited speakers who needed to stay until Sunday. During the dinner we did a toast to the OIFE’s 30th birthday, which took place in March 2023.

On the Sunday we originally planned to do workshops on various topics. But we changed the plans and did a plenary discussion about OIFE priorities and future events. We also did an evaluation of the topical meeting. The feedback from the OIFE members was good, but many thought the programme was too packed and were missing breaks to digest the information and socialize with other participants.

We agreed to do next year’s AGM online, to make it possible for associate members to attend. In September 2024 we will do our annual conference, which will focus on organizational development, advocacy and patient involvement.

Written by Ingunn Westerheim, OIFE president