6. Network news
EASA’s networks remain busy despite the pandemic, with most workshops and conferences happening virtually.
On 19 May there was a webinar open to all network convenors or their representatives. It met a large attendance (around 50 participants) and engaged in very productive discussions together with EASA exec network officers, Sharon Macdonald and Chandana Mathur. The issue of the expanding numbers of networks was evoked and the discussion focused especially on its implications in relation to the biennial conference. Exec colleagues explained that the format of the 2022 conference will have to be confirmed nearer the time and also that having a conference online does not mean it can grow in size without limits, the management of online conferences involves also important IT and administrative costs. During the discussions, a consensus emerged around the idea that networks should be guaranteed one panel at the conference but that they can compete for more and may get special treatment, especially if they collaborate with each other; that there may be a supplementary online part (a ‘green day’) organised at the conference.
Network funding – 20 applications were received from the 42 networks, requesting a total of €28k. 12 networks requested €11K for online events, and 8 networks requested €17k for face-to-face events. In total EASA has €26k budgeted for network activities in 2021. The online events were all supported, and the decision was made to revisit the applications for f2f events later on and eventually relaunch the call for other networks to apply, if national regulations and university procedures made this more easily possible in the second half of the year.