We hope that you are enjoying a restful break and reminiscing about the wonderful moments and events of the past 12 months. This was quite a year for us, we've been through many developments, we initiated many activities, our Community has grown significantly in size and shape, and we have spent thousands of happy moments with the people we love and care about.
2016 also brought many worries and uncertainties, and the year ahead will surely bring its own challenges, but we are certain that by practising our Community's values (Transparency, Collaboration, Sustainability, Social awareness, Sharing & Diversity) we can all contribute our tiny bit towards making the world a little bit more tolerant, better informed, responsible and full of joy, hope and inspiration.
We hope you will enjoy this newsletter, in which we briefly recap the highlights of 2016. We are eager to meet you at one our next events, and in particular, at our Annual Alumni Meeting in Brussels on 20 March 2017.
Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!
Warm greetings from your EIT Digital Alumni Board,
Laéna, Francesco, Boris, Berkay & Borce
A brief summary of 2016
The first major meet-up of the Alumni community this year took place in April at the Egg in Brussels, as part of the EIT Digital Conference & Partner Event 2016. Our members had a chance to listen to inspiring speakers, see cool innovation results and network among each other and with staff and partners from the EIT Digital ecosystem.
A few weeks later, during the EIT Alumni Connect Event, which featured 30 of our digital alumni members in Budapest, the previous Board met with a number of eligible alumni who were interested in running for the EIT Digital Alumni Board. One month later, Borce, Francesco, Boris, Laéna and Berkay ran as a team and won the elections held on May 27, 2016. The new Board officially took over the leadership of the Foundation on July 4, after that representatives from both the old and new Board met in Paris for a weekend transition workshop, during which the current state of affairs of the Alumni community was established.
The first milestone of the newly elected Board was to finalize the Alumni Foundation's By-Laws, which are currently pending legal verification from EIT Digital's legal advisors, and submit the Financial and Work Plan for 2017, which was later approved by the Governing Board.
The Board then started setting up a number of "Geographical Working Groups" - a.k.a. Local Representatives - which, in these few months, helped with presenting the EIT Digital Alumni Community 18 times, including to participants of 6 EIT Digital Summer Schools and 4 "Welcome Day" events around Europe, reaching an estimated audience of more than 1.5K people and several hundreds of prospective members.
Together with our Local Representatives we have been working hard on the creation and organization of local events: in 2016 we co-organized 10 events in 6 different locations, which involved more than 500 people. We also made a startup contest and invited our alumnus Bálint to represent our Community at Slush 2016, and arranged a Stockholm meetup with new graduates and local Alumni. Furthermore, by collaborating closely with the broader cross-KIC EIT Alumni Community, we successfully organized the 2016 edition of the Startup Days event. In addition, the initiative “Women@EIT” - started by Maria and Dóri in Stockholm - has officially been confirmed as the first activity-based Working Group of the EIT Digital Alumni, and will hopefully soon expand to other locations in Europe!
All the activities of our Community were particularly boosted and promoted through an active presence at the Master School Kick-Off in Rennes and at the Graduation Ceremony in Stockholm, where around 140 Master School students were entitled to officially become alumni: we are proud to state that the conversion rate of 2016's eligible members registering on our website and joining our association was almost 90%!
This active presence was also supported by a refined strategy aimed at expanding and strengthening the coverage on Social Media. We increased our Facebook page likes by +145%, our Twitter profile followers by +60%, set up a Telegram channel (with almost 150 subscribers) and a LinkedIn page (with 100+ followers), in addition to our closed LinkedIn group (which has 257 members up to now).
Therefore, in just 6 months, we increased the number of our verified alumni members from 72 to 209 (+190%)! Moreover, other 48 Associate members are already registered and waiting for their graduation to be "upgraded" to full Alumni status. In the upcoming months we will contact previous Master and Doctoral School students, and former EIT Digital employees, and invite them to join our Community by creating their profile at alumni.eitdigital.eu. Diverse views and input is essential for successfully developing our association, so we kindly ask you to help us spread the word and get these eligible members on board. We all have a responsibility to carry on building this community further.
Finally, we would like to restate that if you have suggestions for Alumni events or activities in your geographical area or domain of expertise, as well as ideas for improving our communication with you and external stakeholders, please let us know by emailing us or contacting any member of the Board. Your feedback is vital to ensure we can continue to meet the mission of the Alumni Association!
We are super excited about the alumni activities and events in store for 2017 and we are looking forward to sharing more news with you soon!
[The full newsletter is available at this link]