Kia ora koutou,
Members, it’s my pleasure to deliver the second Annual Report for the Wellington Youth Events Society Incorporated. As we approach our second birthday, I believe we have nearly finished the groundwork for our strong foundation, and are now moving into our strategic foci.
Progress on our strategic plan
The Board sets its strategic priorities at the beginning of each term. For this term our strategic focus was to continue to make TEDxYouth@TeAro the best event it can be. I believe that this has been a success, with an excellent 2020 event occurring online last year. I thank Gina Dao-McLay, Georgie Masson-Poll, Olivia Trass, and the whole team for adapting so quickly to the changing environment.
Our 2020 event looks to be equally strong, with a team led by 2020 alumni Allan Mbita and Emma Crow. Their timeline is off to a slower start than we would have liked, but their team has an absolute wealth of experience and I’m confident they will hit their targets.
On welfare, my comments from last year’s report on the difficulty of finding qualified and suitable welfare volunteers continue to ring true. However, I believe that our history as a Society so far has proven that we can be independent enough from our Event Committees to manage welfare in-house. It is for this reason that the Board is proposing to remove the restriction on Society officeholders from holding the chair of the Joint Welfare Committee.
The Society stands at 28 members, as we did this time last year. 32% of members are classed as previous attendees, 14% as previous volunteers, and 10% as previous attendees. 35% are classed as previous organisers – put another way, of the roughly 35 people who have been organisers of TEDxYouth@TeAro events, 1 in 3 are Society members. Last year’s report declared that the Board would increase membership by “better promoting [its] benefits”, and work on this has continued, with the new mission statement (to be voted on at the AGM) a major part of that. The Board has engaged with outside experts from organisations such as UN Youth and Rotary on how to improve our mission, operations, and engagement.
We continue to focus on strong governance and financial management, working alongside our long-term strategic partners (including venues, sponsors, and suppliers) to make future events as easy as possible to get going. 2020’s event took in a small but healthy profit, most of which has been passed on to this year’s Event Committee as ‘start-up capital’.
One of the things I have always kept in mind as Chair is the need to build the Society in a way in which it can thrive even once I am no longer involved. As such, one of my personal priorities for the upcoming term if I am re-elected is to provide opportunities for the rest of the Board to upskill and grow as leaders. My intent is therefore for the term ending in 2022 to be my last as Chair.
I deeply believe in what we are doing as a Society. It is a highly personal mission for me, and one I have not always done the best job of delegating. I do however believe that our best days are still ahead of us, and that together, we can achieve incredible things.
Ngā mihi nui,
Jackson Lacy – Chair, Wellington Youth Events Society Incorporated
12 June 2020