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What is the AESOP Young Academics Network (YAN)?
The AESOP YAN is the loosely organised sub-organisation of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP). The main objectives are to integrate the voices of the young planners and academics in AESOP and simultaneously create opportunities for international and interdisciplinary exchange for early career researchers. You can find out more here.
What and who is the Coordination Team (CT) and its Chair?
The CT consists of 6-7 members which are elected by all members of the AESOP YAN. It is a fully voluntary position which lasts for two years. Every registered AESOP YAN member can candidate. Every year, a Chair is chosen from the CT which is the leading and overseeing the activities of the AESOP YAN as well as being the primary link to AESOP and its institutional bodies. The Chair is chosen from those who have completed their first year of CT membership and will remain a third year as a senior advisor. Thus, the Coordination Team is usually constituted of 3 newly elected CT members, 2 second-year CT members, 1 Chair (second year), and a senior advisor (previous Chair, third year).
What does the Coordination Team do?
The activities from the CT range across various domains; from sending newsletters, admitting new members, coordinating the organisation of the annual conferences and PhD workshops, representing the YAN at events, participating in a jury, coordinating with PlaNext, or writing articles on what the CT is about. The core tasks are divided between the members. Furthermore, the Young Academics Network is a platform to develop new initiatives and thus has barely any limits of possible avenues of further directions. While it takes of course some time out of our agendas, we have an open and flexible organisation and are aware that sometimes work or research can get into the way. In short, a few simple responsibilities and the participation in a monthly call are important, everything else is possible when and if you want and have the time and resources.
Why should you do it?
There are many reasons. First, you will get to know a lot more about AESOP, its functioning, and thus get better insights into the European landscape of planning. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to improve you project and time management, as well as international collaboration skills, among many others. Through various projects and reviews, you will have the chance to get to know the work of many other young academics, exchange with them, learn from them, advise others, and contribute to strengthening the leading support network for young academics in planning and urban studies across Europe. Finally, if covid allows, there is the chance to visit the conferences, maybe a workshop or two, and some internal meetings. And even if the CT members are working for free and are not paid, such expenses are reimbursed by AESOP. Summarising, lots to learn, lots of new contact, some work, but also a lot of fun and new insights. You will surely not regret it
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