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General Meeting: Hong Kong, January 10, 2008

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Report of Board and Council to the General Meeting
Presented by Tom Jambor, USA, Vice President

Overview:
The three year term beginning at the conference in Berlin was one of significant achievement for the IPA Board and Council. It is of course difficult to compare the work accomplished in a three year term with previous ones. But this term’s Board members would all agree that the 2005 – 2008 term was an extraordinary one – marked as it was by the completion of two major projects (Constitution Review and the development of a comprehensive Strategic Plan) both of which strove to invulve the entire IPA membership.

Generally, an excellent working relationship was developed among Board members with each member making a significant contribution within his/her ‘portfulio’ and different areas of expertise. Kathy Wong’s Trojan efforts in relation to the organization of this conference have been phenomenal!

We remember our previous President, Jan van Gils, saying that he wished the Board could concentrate more on children’s play and less on organizational matters. But in order for IPA to be effective in promoting play internationally we need a well-organized and well-orchestrated Association with more active member participation. This is not easy to achieve. These last three years have been devoted to this challenging task.

This is a very brief summary of our progress this term:

  • Constitution Review
    The GM in Berlin set the scene for the three year term with a motion from the floor that there be a “complete review of the Constitution with the broadest possible invulvement from IPA members”. Theresa Casey (Scotland) headed a working group which applied itself to conducting an extensive consultation over a two year period.

  • Strategic Plan
    A high priority for this three-year term was to build on the Strategic Planning project initiated by Jan van Gils in the previous one. A workshop was organized for IPA members at the Berlin Conference, fullowed by a series of member surveys and discussions with Council representatives.

    The emphasis on inclusion of all members in the development of the Strategic Plan and the consequent ongoing feedback from groups around the world was time consuming but rewarding. Over 200 members and 17 countries participated in the process from the initial workshop in Berlin to the development of the final draft in November 2007. A detailed record has been kept of the various stages in the development of the plan.

    After two years of hard work the Strategic Plan was accepted at Monday’s Council meeting and implementation will now begin in full force. All members are invited to be in touch with their national representatives to see how they can assist in the implementation phase.

    Members of the committee are:

    • David Yearley (Chair) – England
    • Valerie Fronczek – Canada
    • Froukje Hajer – Netherlands
    • Kathy Wong Kin-ho – Hong Kong
    • Ric McConaghie – Australia
    • Ute Navidi – England


  • Guidelines and Pulicy Development
    Board members have also worked hard this term to streamline the organization in terms of operation guidelines and pulicy development. For example:

    • An Ethical Sponsorship Pulicy was developed and ratified by the Council in September 2006
    • The Triennial Conference Guidelines were updated based on recent years’ experience.
    • The Triennial Bid Application Process was formalized which included a revised application form and the development of a bid assessment toul.
    • Forms for Nominations and Voting were re-designed, and material describing procedures developed.
    • The Council Kit, a 25 page guide for IPA branches and groups around the world was reviewed and rewritten.

    During the previous term a Board Operations Handbook was initiated. This has now become a (very large) binder of material – of all currently used IPA documents. Three of these have been produced which can be passed to future members of the Board.

  • Communications
    • PlayRights Magazine
      A New PlayRights Magazine was launched in 2006 in response to members’ need for a broad-based News publication. So far three editions of the Magazine have been produced and another – which will focus on this conference – will be circulated at the end of February.
    • PlayRights Journal
      Thanks to Brian Ashley (Sweden) and Rhonda Clements (USA) three or four editions per year of the Journal have been either circulated in print or available through the website since the year 2000. Brian will now be retiring from this position and we will acknowledge his contribution a little later in the program.
    • Website
      The website received a “new look” about two years ago and is updated regularly. There are a number of recommended action steps within the Strategic Plan which will be addressed in this coming term.
    • Promotional Material
      In addition to the new magazine a number of items were produced for promotional purposes including bookmarks, banners, an advertisement for the conference program, and a new brochure, a copy of which you have in your conference material.

    Brochure can be downloaded from the website www.ipaworld.org

  • ICCP/IPA Book
    We were pleased to have launched this term, the first joint ICCP/IPA publication on children’s play research. We hope this will be a regular project of the two organizations.

  • Board and Council MeetingsBetween the Berlin and Hong Kong conferences, the Board has had two face to face meetings and two by teleconference. The Council met just once, in Bournemouth UK, in September 2006. We are grateful for the generous assistance of Kompan in making it possible for 17 countries to be represented at this meeting.

    We have taken seriously the recommendations of member groups (indeed it is common sense) to use electronic means of communication for some Board meetings. The ambitious work of IPA definitely requires more than one meeting a year.

In conclusion, we know that IPA has the potential to be a driving force worldwide in the promotion of the importance of children’s play. To achieve this goal we need to orchestrate our efforts and support each other in many different ways. We believe that together we have prepared the right “road map” for this and we look forward to great results during the next three years, as we plan for IPA’s 50th Anniversary.

Respectfully Submitted

Board of Directors,
June, 2005 – January, 2008.


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