Annual General Meeting and International Conference

Annual General Meeting and International Conference

Annual General Meeting and International Conference

AGM Ticker

Inspiration: Come to the AGM. Attend in person.

Travel often goes hand in hand with an incredible amount of organisation. Busy schedules need to be shifted, away times needs to be prepared. After three online AGMs, the question might just be: Why?

This is why we asked some of your fellow (former) members who have attended the 2018 and / or 2019 AGMs in person. Here you will find their full contributions to read up on.

Our gratitude for taking the time and contributing goes out to:

Quoted in Ticker #4

Shalini attended the 2018 and 2019 AGMs. She has been a member sence 2018, and served on the EC in 20/21 and 22/23.

1) GYA AGMs present a great opportunity to learn, unlearn, brainstorm, imagine, innovate, collaborate, and most importantly showcase your talent, do not let your talent go to waste! Attend our in-person AGM in Rwanda

2) Hey, my fellow GYA members and alumni if you are not having a good time, got bored, and have not been able to meet your dear friends from GYA, AGM is the best place that will give you a lot of joy in life!

3) We are always busy dedicating ourselves to performing routine professional and personal tasks searching for pursuing what is just ahead of us, we miss out on enjoying and learning. Attending AGM is the best time to do that.

4) I know you are extremely busy with your obligations but believe me, attending GYAs AGM and having fun with your friends is all the therapy you need.

Quoted in Ticker #4

Stefan joined the GYA in 2018 and was thus inaugurated at the AGM in Pattaya, Thailand. He also attended the 2019 AGM in Halle.

I was new member of the GYA and it was my first time to visit Thailand when I attended my first AGM. I met other GYA members outside the arrival hall of Suvarnabhumi International Airport. We were waiting for small buses to continue travelling to the conference venue. Being on the bus in a smaller group was a wonderful opportunity to meet other GYA members. I asked some of the many questions I had about the GYA. I felt a shared open-mindedness and curiosity that continued throughout the bus ride, the AGM, and ever since.

Quoted in Ticker #4

Sandeep joined the GYA as a new member in 2019 and attended the in-person AGM in the same year in Halle.

From what I had heard and read about GYA, I was overjoyed to be selected as a member of GYA in 2019. My selection as a GYA member and then attending my first in-person AGM in Halle in 2019 has been an unforgettable experience which I recall even today. Attending the lightning talks, making new friends from diverse backgrounds and cultures from around the world has helped me both personally and professionally. I am in the final year of my GYA membership, and believe me being part of GYA in the last 4 years has been the opportunity of a lifetime – a Roller Coaster ride! During this time I have worked on a few projects, co-authored a few articles with my fellow members, been part of a few committees, learnt the significance of leadership and above all understood the importance of supporting and giving back to the community.

Following 2019, I could attend the GYA AGM’s only online. Though attending the first online GYA AGM in 2020, and the subsequent AGM’s (2021, 2022) was a great experience of interacting with fellow members and alumni, I feel that it has been a missed opportunity in getting to know and work with fellow members more closely. Being in Halle (2019) for 4-5 days, meeting fellow members, alumni and everyone from the GYA office, involvement in the science outreach activities as a new GYA member, trying to understand the way GYA works, making new friends, laughing together, exploring and planning future involvements, expanding my network, gaining wisdom through interactions with creative and brilliant people was very motivating and enriching. I strongly feel that I would have been able to make better connections, participate extensively and support the GYA better through the following in person engagements at the AGM.

But I am happy that times are changing and here we have an opportunity to attend an in person AGM, gain new experiences, give back to our community and help in shaping the future by contributing in our own little way – We should make the most of it! I am already looking forward to attending the in person AGM and gaining new experiences in Kigali, Rwanda.

My heartiest congratulations to the new members selected! Give it your best, with a bonus of making new friends and memories for life!

Quoted in Ticker #4

Paulina has been a member of the GYA since 2019, and has attended the AGM in Halle in the same year.

Halle, May 2019: the last in-person AGM, and my first one! I was an incoming member, and I had the luck to share hotel room in Halle with a stranger: alumna Dilfuza Egamberdieva, from Uzbekistan. Days talking about life, career, sharing so many moments together, little I knew in that time, that she will become my partner in a grant that we would be awarded a year later! The bond we formed happened thanks to all the experiences we shared in that AGM, and it created a collaboration that we still carry on, with many successful stories on the journey (see one of them, the Member and alumna host 1st Central Asia Genomics Symposium – Global Young Academy). This is one of the reasons I really look forward to meet with as many members in Rwanda this year, we never know where things will take us, new bonds, new projects, new collaborations, I just know I will be in a great place to make new things possible. See you all in Rwanda!

Quoted in Ticker #3

Anindita was inaugurated in 2016. She has served on the Executive Committee for one year, and then was our Co-Chair in 2020/21. She attended both AGM in Pattaya and in Halle.

The AGM is the best experience of being a part of the GYA; in less than a week, you can go from being a member to a family member of the GYA, if you are at an AGM. And once this happens, it’s a bonding for life. No two GYA members can ever again see each other and not hug warmly. At the AGM, you experience the world – the diversity and inclusivity that characterizes GYA can only be experienced in its full glory at the AGM. I especially urge all the cohorts of members who have not attended an in-person AGM yet to definitely make it to Kigali this year. Don’t miss out on the real GYA experience!

Quoted in Ticker #3

Maral was a member from 2017 until 2022. In her time she served as a member of the EC for two years in a row (2019-2021) and has attended both AGMs in Pattaya and in Halle.

When I joined the GYA, I was so excited to attend my first AGM. I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t know what I should expect. Once the AGM ended, I knew I have found myself 200 new friends, a support group, a lifetime opportunity, and a safe space to acquire and improve the skills that I always lacked.

The GYA experience comes to its fullest only at the AGMs. This is the time that you get to meet everyone in person and create a bond that can stay forever. This is the opportunity to expand your vision, share your thoughts, and listen to amazing ideas.


Quoted in Ticker #3

Flavia is an outgoing member in 2023, she was selected in 2018. She has attended the AGMs in Pattaya and in Halle.

I attended the AGM in Pattaya in 2018 and Halle in 2019 in person. As a new member in 2018 I left 2 young girls at my parent’s care to join this venture across scientific disciplines and oceans.

The feeling of belonging, of learning and making new and beloved friends. Found memories built around breakfast table, great ideas developed over lunch.

Laugh and kindness. I am hoping to repeat this wonderful experience in Rwanda this year!

Quoted in Ticker #2

Clarissa has been a member since 2018. She has attended the AGMs in Pattaya in 2018, and joined in 2019 in Halle.

Dear new members, Welcome to the GYA family <3 we all look forward to meeting you and working with you in our diverse working groups to create a better world! I am Clarissa Rios from Peru, and I can tell you that my first year as a GYA member was amazing! I have been part of many events and activities and could share ideas and co-create with many GYA members… which is my favourite part. Just thinking about the members makes my heart happy, not only because they are fun and lovely but also because they are driven, passionate and have a sense of commitment to tackling global issues, which is marvellous. This strength keeps the engine going forward, and we motivate each other to keep doing things that can generate change, but how do we do it? Well, you just need to take a look at the GYA website, where you can find GYA working groups working on diverse topics such as protecting biodiversity, building trust in young scientists, women empowerment, science advice, science diplomacy and much much more; you name it, you will always find a working group that shares your will and passion for taking action. I recommend looking at the different working groups, thinking about them (what is missing, what are they doing great at), coming up with ideas and having them ready because we will be waiting to meet you, hear your ideas and share your energy and friendship. We are doing this together, so do not worry if you can’t come up with any ideas at the moment; once you arrive at the annual general meeting, you will feel the warmth and the energy from all the members, it will be contagious 😉 So your mind will be radiating with ideas!

Looking forward to meeting you, and contact me if you have any questions. I am happy to answer them! Clarissa

Quoted in Ticker #2

Nova, now a GYA Alumna, was a member from 2016 to 2021. During this time she served as an EC-Member twice. She attended both AGMs; in Pattaya (2018) and in Halle (2019).

Every year it was that special time where I would look forward to meeting others. When I first came, I did not know what to expect, being an introvert and a bit socially awkward! When I joined, I found many many others who are as passionate to change the world as me, even more. It’s the time I spent thinking of ideas, having fun or just not doing anything having amazing people around. In one of the AGMs I found all the food item to be Halal in Germany – not just a corner of few items – I simply felt so special. It has been a place where I could be just me and have others to accept me in that way. My strangest ideas were appreciated. I will ask the new members to try this one, see how you like it. I am secretly hoping to come and exchange a smile with you. We need to be together after this post-pandemic world more than ever. Lots of love – Nova Ahmed, Bangladesh

Quoted in Ticker #2

Anina was a member of the GYA between 2015 and 2020. She has attended the 2018 and 2019 AGMs, each time being selected as an EC member.

Attending the GYA AGM is a crucial investment in your future – it takes time, money and energy, but is invaluable in establishing your connections and projects within the GYA and in creating relationships that have unforeseen benefits long into the future.

I showed up to my first AGM completely puzzled as to why I was selected – a cognitive neuroscientist – what could I offer? I quickly learned that this was one group where what you know is less important than what you think! Being at the in person AGM was crucial for me to understand both what the GYA does and how, and what I could bring to this amazing organisation.

The AGM is different from any other conference I’ve ever been to: vibrant, inspiring, and a time when a lot of actual work happens! Attending my first AGM involved me in multiple projects – one of which was the Words of Wisdom book, which then launched at the following AGM. I met people from all over the world, made new friends, and learnt SO much.

I organised a workshop at my institution each year when I returned from the AGM to share the skills and knowledge I gained – and to draw on the inspiration while it was fresh to make local change! This helped my Head of Department and colleagues see the value of the GYA as well as contributing to the development of local initiatives.

Please come to the AGM! It is SO worth it – without attending the AGM I wouldn’t have got so much out of my 5 year membership. It makes the virtual meetings the rest of the year flow better and projects progress so much faster. It’s a working meeting – expect to be 100% committed – and you will reap the benefits!

Quoted in Ticker #1

Anna joined the GYA in 2017 and has since become an Alumna. She hails from the Netherlands, and has served as an EC Members in 2021/22.

Arriving at a GYA AGM is like no other conference. First, you are highly likely to be either sitting next to a GYA member on the plane, bumping into them when collecting your luggage or sharing a taxi/bus ride from the airport. Here some of the most fascinating (and at times life-changing) conversations you would have had all year start. And they will not stop! Registration is not a formal “queuing for badge and bag” affair but abuzz with exciting new introductions and maybe even a familiar face or two. The first sessions are not to be missed if you can help it, the ball is rolling. Mealtimes are for eating, dancing, games, connections, collaborations and plotting new ventures. By the end you will have forgotten all about email and other everyday work, and only be opening your calendar to plan meet-ups, calls and of course, the next AGM, with your GYA friends.

Quoted in Ticker #1

Sabrina became a member of the GYA in 2019, and thus attended the anniversary AGM in Halle, Germany. She has been serving as the head of the Nominations and Elections Committee for the AGMs of 2021 and 2022.

GYA is a school where we are all at different stages of learning and we all seek to evolve and become better professionals so that we can have a positive impact on our society… Being able to attend in person at the AGM makes all the difference because we no longer feel isolated when we are able to meet people all over the world (in the same place) with purposes similar to ours.

Interactions are not as spontaneous with remote meetings. There are no water cooler chats or spur-of-the-moment lunch gatherings. It can be tricky to comprehend communication in media like Zoom and Teams. After all, tone can be notoriously tough to decipher online. The opportunity to attend the AGM in person and interact, discuss and make decisions together is a unique experience that all members should live at least once.

I remember putting together a puzzle with 1000 pieces (with the faces of our GYA’s fellow members). We were all “new members” wanting to make a difference and contribute with the Academy, but asking how we could do it. The presence of the alumni, new and fellow members associated with the active environment favored the connection and helped us to better understand GYA. We felt like part of a big family, a circle of support that we could count on during that journey as a fellowship. This experience was essential to maintain my motivation and inspired me to pursue further steps in my career giving me the courage and attitude to take global action in my research field.

Quoted in Ticker #1

Robert Lepenies joined the GYA as a member in 2016. During his time, he served as an EC Member twice (this being 2019/20 and 2020/21). He has been an alumnus since 2022.

Attending a GYA meeting in person is unlike anything you have done or will ever do in your career. Attend. Block it on your calendar. Pretend you’re invisible to anyone demanding your time during the agm days. Skip anything that can be skipped. Interculturality, brilliance, making friends from around the world, connecting to brilliant scientists, young and old. Do it. 

Quoted in Ticker #1

Having joined the GYA in 2013, Eva has been an alumna for a while now. She attended the 2018 AGM, when she became an alumna. And the 2019 AGM in Halle. During her time as a member, Eva served as Co-Chair for two years in a row (2014/15, 2015/16).

It’s a bizarre idea that it was 10 years ago that I joined the GYA. Really enriched and changed my life in so many ways!

The power of the GYA is really in the in-person meeting. The buzz when you’re in the same room together is what starts great collaborations and impact on the real world. While online exchanges have been super helpful in the past few years, they pale in comparison to the face-to-face experience: when do you get to have 100+ friends from all over the world together to work on meaningful and creative projects?!

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