Wednesday, 11 July 2007


Global Networking

We were emailed an address and a map. I studied the map, consulted the hotel frontdesk, thought I knew where I was going and headed out 2 hours earlier than the scheduled meeting time. The bad thing was, it took me one and half hours to get to the venue (apparently I was not the only one having difficulty with the instructions). The good news was that I discovered another side of Napoli – Via Toledo (“via” is “street” or “road”). So guys, this is the place to go. Very close to the seaside, lots of shopping and people watching and food of course. And yes, I went back to do some more shopping. Now I have to figure out what to get for my son. Another T-shirt?

After I found the venue (the room for the GPEAN meeting to be precise), I doubled back to one of the cafes along the street, stood at the bar and had my first taste of authentic Italian pizza with a tiny cup of expresso. Yes, the pizza was excellent and coffee has got the kick (or “kau” as we say in Malaysia) and it cost only 2.70 Euro.So, the meeting? We are bunch of professors from all the Continents (I think) connected through our respective regional associations for planning educators. The network was created at the 1st World Planning Schools Congress in Shanghai in 2001 and since then we have held another World Congress in Mexico City in 2006. The next one will be in 2011 or 2012, venue yet to be decided through a bidding process.The bylaw of GPEAN says that we have to meet face-to-face, once in a while which is about once a year but mostly we communicate by email. Our local host are usually gracious by providing the meeting rooms and complimentary registration for the regional congress. This time it’s the AESOP Congress. So, that’s quite a bit of savings for the individuals of the GPEAN Coordinating and Steering Committees.

As a very young organisation we are still struggling to stand on our feet, financially. So I have tough job ahead of me ‘cause I have just been elected Treasurer for a 4-year term. On the positive side, doubling the kitty will be an easy task!! Got some money to spare?

On the issue of finance, I must thank my bosses in my university for being very supportive in my work to connect globally with other planning educators.

My next meeting is only at 5 pm today, so, Capri Island here I come.7.11 am, while waiting for breakfast and the Internet Point to open. Gotta go book my hotel room for Roma too.

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