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Blog post from MM21

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Blogginlägg från MM21

Glossary:
GA = General Assembly, IFMSA:s international meeting to be held in March (MM)
and August (AM) every year.
OGA = Online General Assembly
MM21 = March Meeting 2021.
NMO = National Membership Organization, t.ex. IFMSA-Sweden or NMSA-
Norway.

The digital March meeting 2021, first planned for Northern Macedonia, went off
stack 26 February to 14 mars. It was the federation's second digital GA after
AM20 which would have been in Panama. More information can be found in the report!

When one normally goes to GA, it is as part of a tagged and inspired
IFMSA-Sweden gang. The journey goes to some exciting place that is full of
Students from around the world, where many have interests similar to one's own.
The week that follows is an intense experience with IFMSA from morning to late
Evening (or early morning), large and strong community, cool meetings and
memories for life. Many also participate in social activities a few days before
and after the meeting and thus get to experience part of the host country.
Or yes, I have at least read that in previous blog posts. MM21 was arranged
digitally as OGA and to say that we in the delegation got a different one
experience would be an understatement. As you know, however, is no different
synonymous with boring!

"We" in the Swedish delegation were 12 members from IFMSA-Sweden with
all localities and working groups represented. The amount of experience was
mixed and routine like Adeleine, Chantal and Elin contributed (15+ GA:n
in total?) was invaluable, not least when the rest of us got lost
among candidatures, reports, policy documents in endless Drive Folders.
Like the other participants in the March meeting, we were faced with the challenge of spring
everyday would roll on while the meeting was going on. For several of us, it came
to involve constant clashes with mandatory seminars and VFU. We
did, however, as one always gets to do, the best of the situation and puzzled
with who was to participate was, read candidacies in advance and sat on NMO-
hour from coffee room, including.

The Discord server was in the digital center of the meeting, nicely composed of it
international team with different channels for working groups, social events and
a channel entirely devoted to memes (according to information from meme connoisseurs in
the delegation varied the meme quality from "really sharp" to "meh").
The enthusiasm in the various Discord channels was striking and a big reason why OGA was experienced as fun as it still was. Creativity like that
the international team and various NMOs took on the meeting with impressed, the
applies not least to the digital exhibition hall, more or less
professionally composed videos and a plethora of virtual backgrounds to
Zoom.

26 February was the start date of the meeting. The day included a plenary simulation (read:
test of technology) and Presidents' sessions, where the material for the plenary was up
for discussion. That pattern then continued in the usual order throughout
the meeting – reports, raid, policy documents and other were discussed through on
Presidents' sessions and was then formally decided in plenary. With more
artiga "thank you for that" than possible to count, the discussions went anyway
reasonably smooth, it is noticeable that there is an established structure to
meetings must be effective. Among swaying connections and robot voices broadcast
I, however, several times a grateful thought to the stable Swedish fiber network,
appreciate it far too rarely!

Day two continued the discussions, an event was held for Speed
Networking and SCORA were the first working group to hold their own plenary session.
In this way, the March meeting then rolled on for the remaining two weeks.
Presidents' sessions and plenary continued, the working groups had theirs and here
and social activities such as Game Night were held there, Powerpoint Party and Meme
Challenge. The various activities are described in more detail in the OGA report.

On four occasions, the delegation had NMO hour, thus time set aside for discussion
about activities that have been and to talk to us about voting before the plenary.
As we went through candidacies and other things, fatigue rose and
the vagueness and laughter with it so I could not help but think
how fun it would have been to go to Northern Macedonia and participate in a physical GA
Together. The journey itself, all activities… in short, we are probably many who are a little
sad that the mentioned situation did not allow a physical event.
Men, as the fast Swedish proverb reads - no evil that does not matter
good with him! Students, especially from low-income countries, which normally does not
have the financial opportunity to participate in GA could now connect and be
with. To be in the same Zoom room as participants from Honduras, Tadjikistan,
Zimbabwe and over 100 other countries were cool to say the least
of community and togetherness despite widely differing conditions.

Differences in conditions, and. On several occasions I sat in the Zoom room
along with many of about the same age, which reads about the same
things and who think it's about as much fun with biochemistry as I do - the list
with similarities can be made long. What struck me was that the list of how ours
conditions differ can also be made very long. In the Zoom room sat
students from countries where a regular Love Emergency lecture carries the risk of imprisonment, where corruption does not threaten the system but is the system and where non-profit
commitment is anything but encouraged by the state. In the middle of
the discussions I became grateful for the chance to gain some kind of understanding
for how incredibly different worlds we live in, even though it's a few hours flight
only that which is physically between us. Useful perspectives to say the least!
This is where my experience of MM21 lands - much of it is normal
GA means was missing, but much was also there. Not least
the feeling of how big and unique the organization is. Hats off to that
the international team and all the NMOs who did their best to do this
different meeting was as good as it got!

As a conclusion to this blog post, my strong impression is that IFMSA-
community after 70 year, despite pandemics and internal challenges, continues
contribute to many awesome experiences, friendships and lessons learned. With the light in
covid tunnel in sight, i hope the next blog post is written from a physical
meeting and thanks for the confidence to represent the association at the March meeting
2021.

John Hall