Great to see the drive in taking these first steps. As mentioned on Saturday, some people – among whom Olga Garcia Moreno and myself – had already been discussing the idea of a European BH network since the conference in San Rafael (and taken some initial steps in making a list of people etc.), but being just a few, it had not yet materialized. With some as enthusiastic as Philip/Wyken on board, and with the momentum I think we all felt last Saturday, I think we can indeed take substantial steps now.
I don’t think, though, that we should already consider this list of 6 people – my name is on it – an established committee. These people all raised their hand when asked whether they were prepared to do something in the network, but I am not sure whether everyone actually wanted to be in a committee. Some may have had the intention to support, yes, but not immediately aspire to be a committee member. And perhaps there are others who would like to be in. In any case, I think that the composition of this group is a little unbalanced. Proud as I am of my Dutch citizenship, I do feel that a representation of 4 out of 6 in this European network is a bit too much 😉 If I am not mistaken, our list of 25-30 interested people is now largely made up of people from 4 countries: Spain, Italy, the UK and The Netherlands. My personal feeling is that at least these 4 countries would ideally be represented in a committee. As a matter of fact, Olga also volunteered last Saturday, so she can already be added. Preferably, I think we would also make sure that there is some sort of balance between researchers, teachers and others, as well as between the sciences, the humanities, etc. Given the composition of our group, I think all of that should be feasible. Once we have realized a first ‘Committee’, or something like that, we could perhaps let that function for one year, to organize a first exchange event, at which we come to an elected committee. Or what do others think? These are just ideas that come to my mind while writing, so I am very interested to hear what everybody thinks!
Some of us might not even have made it home, however, still enjoying the incredible weather in Amsterdam. So let’s be a little patient, and make sure that everybody has the chance to contribute his or her ideas at this stage. To make this whole thing as inclusive as possible from the start. I know, that kind of goes against one of the central points of my own presentation last Sunday – inclusiveness historically often came at a later stage in organizational entities – but I am perfectly willing to take that blow. Once again, very happy to see this platform come off the ground!