While the last cuppings and get-togethers of the very successful CoLab: Paris were happening, the newly elected Working Group got together for an overnight stay in Paris to discuss and plan BGE's strategic goals and activities in 2016, as well as to give the group a chance to get to know each other and bond over a glass of wine in the evening, and scrambled eggs in the morning. Intense, data- and information-filled sessions were alternated with fun brainstorms and small-group discussions to finally end up with an outline of the strategic goals as well as the activities for BGE in the coming year.
In one of the most important brainstorm sessions of the meeting, the working group members looked at what the strategic goals of BGE should be over the next year and how those translate into different projects and activities. While numerous ideas were (literally) on the table, we agreed to focus on the following 3 goals, all related to the mission of BGE to provide professional and community development to baristas:
- spreading education — BGE will continue to deliver SCAE's Coffee Diploma System courses at Camp, and compile a compendium of freely available 'coffeetalks' recorded at its events. In addition, we will work towards bridging gaps of the CDS covering areas such as cupping protocols and business finance basics, and making these easily accessible for all baristas across Europe.
- career support — Beyond providing invaluable networking opportunities at our events, we will focus on creating an online tool to guide baristas on their path towards a sustainable career in specialty coffee. From CV and cover letter templates, a collection of resources and career perspectives, advice from employers, and even piloting a mentor project, we have lots of ideas that will help develop the barista profession and encrease baristas chances for success.
- sustainability — We understand how fashionable this word has become, and how 'cool' it is to add this to your objectives, but we truly believe that baristas can make a difference too. We all feel that we cannot put this off any longer — this isn't a 'far-from-my-bed' show, and requires our attention now. We're currently looking at the big picture, including economic, sociological and environmental issues and challenges to long-term sustainability in specialty coffee. However, that picture is too big to tackle, and we need to zoom in and identify concrete projects. It's something that needs further thought and clarification — and we'd like you to help us. We'd like to listen to suggestions and ideas from our community. Much like SCAA's #makecoffeebetter, we'd like to open up conversation and incorporate this into what we do as much as possible. Get in touch if you'd like to help or have concrete ideas.
While we build these goals and projects into a timeline for 2016, we can already share that we'll organise another Barista Camp and at least 2 CoLab events throughout Europe. We'll share specific venue requirements for Barista Camp soon, but let us know if you have the perfect venue in mind. And stay tuned for more details!
About the working group
Take a look at your new working group for 2016, these are the people volunteering their time to work on our projects. Click here to read more about each member!
A group of 11 people, consisting of 6 newly elected members joining the Chair, Past-Chair, Executive and 2 SCAE Board Liaisons. Although geographic diversity may be questionable with a strong UK-BE presence (Want to change this? Put yourself forward for elections next year, or convince people in your area to become BGE members so they can vote for you!), the group represents a wide range of experience and backgrounds. With a cafe owner, barista trainers, someone responsible for green buying and qc, baristas in small and big coffee companies, people involved in local events and get-togethers in their community, wholesale managers, and what-not; including people with merely 1 to +10 years experience in specialty coffee, the working group is in a great position to identify needs and desires of the European barista community. Connecting the group is a shared passion and dedication to empowering baristas and the barista profession, as the key influencers to change in specialty coffee throughout the chain.