On the 30 and 31 of May, FEBEA held its yearly General Assembly and Conference.
The member Hefboom kindly hosted the events in two fantastic venues in Leuven: the Higher Institute of Philosophy and the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe.
On the 30 May, the General Assembly saw the members unanimously approving the budget reports and balance sheets, as well as the approval of the new Strategic Plan 2018-2021. The latter was a fundamental step, in order to make sure that what FEBEA envisions for the future is not only shared, but also actively supported by the Federation’s most important asset – its members.
After the GA, there was time for members to actively discuss and brainstorm ideas on how to increase horizontal communication and synergise knowledge and expertise. Once again, the members showed a great deal of interest and participation in the discussions. The exercise will inform the role of FEBEA with its members.
Last but not least, during the day there was the official launch of the social media profiles of the Federation, and now FEBEA is active on Facebook (@febeaethicalfinance) and Twitter (@FEBEAethicalfin). This was an initiative that was promoted by some members, in order to keep open communication channels between FEBEA and its members, but also to promote FEBEA to the outside world.
On the 31 May, FEBEA saw opening its doors to non-members as well with its annual Conference, titled The Role of Ethical Finance in Europe: Facts and Aspirations, which attracted a large audience. The first part saw the interventions of some important and internationally recognised experts and public figures. The keynote speech was held by Herman Van Rompuy, President Emeritus of the European Council, Minister of State and President of the European Policy Centre. Other esteemed speakers included Luc Van Liedekerke, Professor in Business Ethics at the Leuven, Antwerp and Tilburg Universities, Carlos Trias Pintó, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Nicole Alix, Chairwoman of La Coop des Communs and Patrick Develtere, Principal Adviser for European Social Policy at the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC).
The second part of the Conference saw the members of FEBEA take centre stage via panels that dealt with topics that were signalled as crucial to many members: ethical finance for social impact and the practice of ethical banking. In these panels, the members were able to discuss their practices and share to a very interested audience. The panel format allowed for dialogue and interaction not only among the panellists, but also with the attendees.