2nd until 9th of April 2017, that was the time when I met the 30 bright young people from all over the world in Exchange Coordinators Meeting 2017 in Vienna, Austria. I am Ardissa Ditrisia Ardianti and I am the delegation for 2017 IAAS Exchange Coordinators Meeting from IAAS Indonesia as well as the Exchange Quality Board of IAAS World 2016/2017. Basically, IAAS Exchange Coordinators Meeting is an annual meeting to gather the stakeholders of Exchange Program in IAAS from local, national, until the world level to explore some ideas for improving Exchange Program itself. But beyond that, you get the international networking, connection to YPARD, some visit to the agricultural company and school, food waste workshop, etc. So, let’s begin.
I arrived at Vienna International Airport on 3rd April 2017, I arrived when everybody having a trade fair. With the instructions from the committee, I took the public transportation from the airport to the last station in Heiligenstadt. It was challenging and definitely breaking my own limit because I was travelling alone at the moment and the basic language is Germany, but my anxiety is ended when Lukas (one of the IAAS Austria Committee) pick me up in Heiligenstadt station. After that, I move to BOKU Building where The Trade Fair was held. In IAAS, trade fair was an event that strengthening the friendship by understanding each delegate’s culture especially from the foods and beverages that exclusive from specific countries.
On Tuesday 4th April 2017, we are welcomed by one of the partners of IAAS World, which is YPARD. YPARD gave us the seminar about the potential collaboration between IAAS and YPARD. Because both of the NGOs have the International Networking and Project which we can use in the future. After that, we have session: Training by IAAS Training Committee (ITC) that led by some of the executive committees of IAAS who are the part of IAAS Training Committee. Ellen Van Mello and Ana Postek give us some explanation about how we can come up with the ideas. Starting from making a vision and mission, start the critical thinking with the problem tree, and plan the solutions. And the day was closed with expro lab, we divided by some groups and we are given the problems and issues related to expro and we are forced to think of the solutions.
The next day on Wednesday 5th April 2017, we start our day with General Assembly of Expro. We discuss something in particular about how we could do improvement in the field of Exchange Program. There’s a lot of ideas that emerged from all of the motivated people in that assembly. Hopefully, exchange program can be more advance and every people from this exco meeting can spread the expro spirit from world until local levels. At evening, we watch a documentary movie and then we go to the hostel together.
And finally, the General Assembly of IAAS Exco Meeting 2017 officially ended, we as the participant of GA will continue the result and progress in Online Meeting. And now carry on with the next agenda, a visitation! The delegates should choose where they want to visit wine tasting or urban mushroom production. Without a doubt, I chose the urban mushroom production ‘HUT & STIEL’. The unique things from ‘HUT & STIEL’ is they are growing up their mushroom in the coffee waste media. Because the coffee waste still has the organic compound that is useful for the mushroom growth, so that’s why the rate of mushroom growth is getting higher compared with the common media. After satisfied with the mushroom tasting, we went to the next agenda: Food Waste Workshop. Because the food waste is the global issue nowadays, as the youth generation we must develop our horizons to what we can do to solve this problem? In Vienna, there is a movement about how you can choose your meals wisely. Same with IAAS Indonesia, we have a social media movement called Snapfood ‘Finish Your Food’ to raise awareness of food waste. In the evening we have free time, so I decided to join with others to the Stephansplatz to sight-seeing and walking around enjoy the night in Vienna.
On Friday 7th April 2017, we went to Tulln, the village outside Vienna. Our first destination is having visitation in BIOMIN, the animal nutrition company. BIOMIN develops and produces feed additives, premixes, and services for healthy and profitable animals. BIOMIN solutions cover mycotoxin risk management and natural growth promotion for swine, poultry, ruminants and aquaculture. We have company tour and get the explanation in every laboratory that BIOMIN has. The weather in Tulln that day is not so good, rainy and windy but it doesn’t lower our spirit and excitement in this tour. After BIOMIN we went to Agricultural School. Personally, I like the concept of this school, the headmaster wants to motivate the youth who wants to become a farmer.
The last day of Exchange Coordinator Meeting 2017 is on Saturday 8th April 2017, in the morning we went to Gugumuck Wiener Schnecken Manufaktur. Gugumuck is a snail breeding place, in that place we had visitation to the production section, on the farm where the snails are breed, and we had some snail tasting. One lesson that I can take from this visitation is the spirit of Mr. Gugumuck, because at first, snails is the food from the past, it’s not very common to be eaten but with the hard work of Mr. Gugumuck, in a moment the Gugumuck Snail Breeding become one of the most well-known Snail Breeding in Austria. And last but not least, the closing of IAAS Exchange Coordinator Meeting 2017, I had good times when I was in Vienna so when this event was closed definitely I spent my night with delegate friends, and the most important thing is we had fun!
I had never regret to join Exchange Coordinators Meeting 2017. Beside you meet with other motivated people from the whole world, gaining knowledge, feel the culture difference, but the most valuable thing is I have a worldwide family and that what I called, Famil-IAAS.