In November 2018, the German Alumni Associations (GAA) of US-based exchange programs, namely PPP Alumni e. V., Fulbright Alumni e. V. and APPPS e. V., hosted the 11th ENAM Conference titled “One Europe – One Transatlantic Partnership” in Cologne, Germany. The event was co-organized by the America House in Cologne, the Chamber of Commerce Cologne and the US Consulate General Düsseldorf.
More than 40 participants from 21 different European countries accepted the invitation for the three-day event. The welcome reception took place at the Cologne Rontanda Business Club, where local business men and women, former German U.S. exchange participants, representatives from exchange organizations and the conference participants had the chance to mix and mingle and get to know each other a little better. During this event, the newly-elected ENAM Board of Directors was presented by the new ENAM Secretary General Mrs. Tonia Arahova from Greece. Outgoing Secretary General Mr. Massimo Cugusi (Italy) was honored for his service to the organization.
The main event took place on Saturday—a whole day of networking, sharing knowledge and experiences and discussing ENAM’s future. The activities were hosted in the “Neue Senatssaal” on Cologne University’s campus. Mrs. Christiane Biehl from the university’s International Office welcomed the participants in the morning. She was followed by Mr. Scott Robinson from the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, who spoke to the participants about the importance of alumni work and the collaboration of different organizations within different countries.
The first work session started with a comprehensive overview on ENAM’s past activities by co-founder and the organization’s Secretary General, Mr. Massimo Cugusi. His successor, Mrs. Tonia Arahova, then presented her thoughts on ENAM’s future and invited the participants to get involved in rethinking the organization’s purpose and operating principles. To engage all participants in this process, four working groups were formed. While some participants exchanged thoughts on ENAM’s strategy for the future, others discussed the organization’s finances, possible new event formats and communication ideas. A panel discussion on the topic “One Europe – One Transatlantic Partnership”, moderated by Ms. Mirja Fiedler (Deutsche Welle) gave everybody the chance to exchange their thoughts on some of the most up-to-date international topics.
On Sunday, participants could attend a guided tour through the exhibition “Once Upon a Time in America” at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum that displayed U.S. culture over time in paintings.
All in all, the 11th ENAM Conference in Cologne was an enjoyable and productive event that highlighted continued partnerships and new goals within ENAM.