BEDA GA and GA+ Report 2016

We report on the recent BEDA GA and GA+, which took place in Limassol, Cyprus, at the end of May.

The 2016 event, hosted by CyIDA in Limassol, Cyprus, was attended by representatives from twenty five member organisations. 

President’s report
The BEDA Strategic Policy Plan 2021 is now in its second year; as a means of conveying its five strategic objectives, the organisation has launched a new manifesto, setting out its plans to 2021. 

Having begun with ‘structure’, BEDA is now in the second phase of its Design Europe 2021 project – ‘populate’. This means BEDA is focusing on building capacity, internally through focusing on challenges such as migration, and strengthening BEDA’s offer through clusters, and externally, through BEDA Connects, by connecting with other networks across Europe: Design for Europe, Creative Europe Networks, Cumulus, and ERRIN. 

Other milestones include a new office for BEDA in Brussels, and a new BEDA board. 

Secretary’s report
Deborah Dawton reported on the review of the membership process and fee structure; a new constitution is being developed for June 2017. 

Treasurer’s report
Jan Stavik reported that 2015 was a great year for BEDA financially, in that the organisation overachieved on its targets, and underspent. This puts the organisation in a very good position for 2016. This overachievement is partly due to an increase in membership, which permits an increase in the amount of organisational activity. 

BEDA Board elections
Judit Varhelyi and Michal Stefanowski stood down as board members. Three new board members were elected: Bart Ahsmann of ClickNL, Dr. Miklós Bendzsel Chairman of the Hungarian Design Council (HDC), and Lucas J. Ruiz Díaz of Surgenia. 

New BEDA members
Three new members were ratified: 
• Valetta Design Cluster, Malta 
• Design and Crafts Council of Ireland 
• Lithuanian Design Forum 

BEDA and Intellectual Property Rights
A presentation from Surgenia on Intellectual Property Rights considered current loopholes, such as lack of training and information on the subject, the excessive time taken to register inventions, lack of clarity over copyright on the internet, and the need for stronger control and cataloguing of already-registered designs. Current EU and WIPO initiatives include a public commission on the role of publishers in the copyright value chain, launched in March 2016 by the European Commission; a comprehensive legal and economic evaluation of the overall function of existing design protection systems, launched in 2014; a basic proposal for a Design Law Treaty, in development under the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications. This presentation opened a discussion about BEDA’s role regarding IPR; the recent position paper on the subject from the Professional Working Group was reviewed. 

BEDA’s position
According to the reviewed Position Paper on IPR, BEDA should work to promote: 
- A respectful approach to IPR 
- The introduction of a uniform copyright law and copyright contract law within legal structures of the Member States, thus improving the position of designers with regard to their intellectual property rights 
- Improved education for the general public, commissioners and publishers 
- Improved education for designers on their bargaining position 
- An open dialogue amongst stakeholders on fairer contracts and best practice 
- Lobbying to remove contradictions between national and community law with regard to the attribution of copy and design rights on works made in commission. 

This presentation was followed by a discussion in the Members’ Forum, led by Lucas Ruiz of Surgenia. Remuneration Survey The Professional Working Group presented the findings of the 

Remuneration Survey
The survey was developed for BEDA to map levels of engagement in and practices undertaken by local, regional and national professional designers’ communities across Europe with regard to remuneration levels, structures and standards. 

As European antitrust legislation has made it increasingly challenging to map and publish actual levels of remuneration through statistical methods, as well as advice on how to calculate fees, the survey focused on mechanisms still in use and the barriers posed by this legislation. 

Respondents were also asked about their perception of average fee levels in the design industry relative to their assessment of fee levels in other businesses, and national average income. 

The survey uses data provided by 23 representative bodies across eighteen countries; the results will be disseminated once a framework has been established for this. 

Outline of the 2016 GA+
Following on from the team-building focus at the 2015 GA+ in Milan, this year’s GA+ intended to empower and build capacity amongst members to address key design issues for Europe. 

The morning session focused on the question, ‘What can Design do about the migration challenge in Europe?’ BEDA believes that the design community has enormous and creative problem-solving potential; a workshop on design and migration explored BEDA’s collective and strategic knowledge through a series of activities, culminating in a proposal to the EU Commission. 

The session was moderated by Helena Karlberg, program manager for destination at SVID, Swedish Industrial Design Foundation. At SVID, Helena is responsible for identifying, initiating and implementing new design and innovation projects on a national level. She is a qualified journalist and founder of Magma, a business network for women and one of the leading organizations in Sweden in gender-driven social innovation. 

The afternoon session provided opportunity to further develop the BEDA Clusters Club; Clusters are one of the core elements of the DE2021 project, and the afternoon session was structured to expand on the existing clusters. 

Members were invited to bring their expertise, open minds, and themes that were significant to them, working in an interactive ‘pop-up meeting place’ format to work collaboratively on cluster building. collaborative work on cluster building. 

The session was moderated by Ingrid van der Wacht, an ambassador for Design for Europe and freelance international projects manager for Dutch Design Week. She has initiated projects for the use of design as the driver for social innovation, economic growth and sustainable development, as well as accruing extensive experience in cross-sectorial partnerships between public authorities, industries, businesses, designers and users, with a focus on new co-design methodologies. She was project manager for PROUD Europe (People Researchers Organisations Using Design for co-creation and innovation) and Design Management Europe (FP7). 

A more extensive report on the GA+, including its outcomes, will be circulated soon.

EU Project: