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Thank you and best wishes for 2017

The end of the year invites a pause for reflection. Looking at all the wonderful people who worked with us in 2016 and helped us in moving towards our dream of a better world, we wanted to start this note by saying that 2016 was a great year for Architects for Peace.

But then we remembered all the beautiful people and places who have been victims of unwanted wars around the world. All those who had to leave their home as a result of war and start the journey of finding a “home away from home” in a new country, all those who are not victim of war but can’t find a home in their own country and have to sleep rough in the streets of their city. As architects, planners, urban designers, artist, engineers, environmentalist and above all as humans, we feel sadden and ashamed.

We believe now is a great time to review what we have done, look ahead and continue to work towards our vision of building cities based on social justice, solidarity, respect and peace.

Following is a summary of our activities in 2016 prepared by our President Targol Khorram including acknowledgment of all those wonderful people and organisations who supported us during this year.

Thank you for your support, 2017 will be a better year because of people like you.

Best wishes from all of us at Architects for Peace

President's report 2016

Steering committee
This year the steering committee has been made up of:
·     President – Targol Khorram
·     Vice President – Katherine Sampson / Nicole Mechkaroff
·     Secretary – Anne-Claire Deville
·     Public Officer – Anna Rowe
·     Treasurer – Pauline Ng
·     General Member – Farah Rozhan
·     General Member – Lorenza Lazzati

We were delighted to welcome new volunteers to the team:
·             Christopher Nichols
·             Tony Luo
·             Yang Bai
·             HAOMING XU
·             Heidrun Book
·             Julia Loginova
·             Chun Guo
·             Fernando Estrada

We also had a team of advisers who kindly offered their help and worked with us closely in 2016:
·     Dr Beatriz C. Maturana (founder of Architects for peace)
·     Anthony McInneny
·     Peter Johns
·     Eleanor Chapman
·     Richie Dean

Sponsors and supporters
Architects for peace would like to thank all the individuals and organisations who have kindly supported us by either donating to the organisation, becoming a sponsor or donating their time and meeting with us.
List of our sponsors for 2016 is as follow:
·     Butter Paper Architecture
·     RMIT University, Art in Public space
·     ArchiTeam cooperative

Special thanks to Mary-Ann Jackson from Visionary Design Development for her ongoing support.
A list of all the individuals who had a meeting with the Architects for Peace is available in a separate document.

Implementation of strategic plan
The Architects for Peace vision is to ensure that urban spaces are planned, designed and used in the interests of social equity and environmental protection. In working towards this vision the organisation stopped other activities to prepare a strategic plan in 2014. Four high level goals were identified in the strategic plan.
In 2016 our activities were designed around 2 of these 4 goals:
Goal one: Further build a strong, sustainable and internationally connected organisation, and
Goal four: Stand up for quality affordable housing and the right to shelter.
Keeping these high level goals in mind, the committee decided to choose a theme for our activities in 2016.” Youth activism in the built environment” was chosen as the theme.

Words@building 50, one of the well known and loved activities of Architects for Peace was back in 2016 after being quiet for a while. Special thanks to RMIT art in public space, Dr Maggie McCormick and Ceri Hann for their support, it was great to be back at RMIT building 50, the original home of our talk series.
The strategic plan, provided us with the idea of running each talk as an event where audience become more engaged with the speakers and overall helping us in building a stronger organisation.

We held 4 events this year:
April talk: Youth activism in the city.
Guest speakers: Julie Rudner (La trobe university) and Soumitri Varadarajan(RMIT university)
July talk: Movie night, Freedom stories
Guest panelists: Steve Thomas (Director of the movie), Anoma Pieris (Melbourne school of design), David Nyuol Vincent (Centre for Multicultural Youth), Kate McMahon (Hello City) and Johnny King (Centre for Multicultural Youth)
October talk: Youth homelessness, what is the solution
Guest Speakers: Guest speakers, Guy Johnson (Centre for Applied Social Research, RMIT), Kate Breen (Affordable Development Outcomes) and Mark Watts (Whitelion Group)
November talk: Presenting Architects for peace and our activities in 2016 for ArchiTeam members at ArchiTeam award exhibition.

Editorials and newsletter
Anna Rowe has led the editorial group this year. The team continues to grow, with contributions from A4P members worldwide. We had 6 editorials in 2016, thank you to these wonderful people for sharing their work with us:
·       Alex Hotchin: Stories From the STREAT
·       Paul Gough: Representing Peace: Can peace be set in stone?
·       Tahj Rosmarin: Designing the Temporary
·       Camille Gharbi: The waiting room
·       Solmaz Hosseinioon: Urban resilience challenges, Can learning from tradition of the past help?
·       Ashraf Salama: Urbanity on the Arabian Peninsula: From the Tradition of the Ordinary to the Tradition of         the Elite

2016 UN ECOSOC submission
Since 2012 Architects for Peace holds a consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The ECOSOC represents NGOs entry point into the UN system and provides them with room for participation. Through the consultative status, NGOs can influence the work of the Council and in return the ECOSOC can benefit from the expert advice of participating NGOs.
The ECOSOC requires, as part of the NGO duties, to submit a brief report of the organisation activities every 4 years.
Special thanks to Lorenza Lazzati for taking the lead on this and Eleanor Chapman and Beatriz C. Maturana for their input.
Better Apartment Guideline
A submission was lodged in September 2016 in response to the proposed better apartment draft design Standard.
A big thank to Anne-Claire Deville and Yang Bai for taking the lead on this and Eleanor Chapman, Mary Ann Jackson and Peter Johns who took the time at the complete last minute to proofread and improve the submission with their contribution.

Social Media
We have exceeded 27,000 Facebook followers (51% women 48% men).
This year, our fans were mainly from Iran followed by Australia, India and United States. The most popular languages are English followed by Spanish, French and Italian. Food for thought for our social media and editorial team.
Thank you also to all of our followers in our LinkedIn page and Instagram page.

Pro-bono service
As part of the discussion when preparing the strategic plan, the committee decided to stop the pro bono section for various reasons discussed at the time; however, individual members have always been encouraged to bring in the projects that find interesting and discuss it with the group. This year Lorenza Lazzati introduced an idea about a project in Hastings (Sierra Leon). The project aims to build a local market and connect facilities to reactivate the local community.

2016 has been a successful year in terms of approaching different organisations and individuals and spreading the word about activities of AFP. Thank you to all of you who met with us and shared your wisdom with our group.
Melbourne uni, Interview in March 2016.

Richie Dean has been appointed as the project manager for this project in 2016 and has agreed to continue in this role in 2017. Fernando is our new volunteer who is specialist in user experience and will work closely with Richie in 2017.
Special thanks to Christopher Nichols for his input about soft branding along with the new website. This will be explored more in 2017.

Plans for 2017
In 2017 we will practice listening to the people that don't necessarily agree with us, the current political situation around the world is an alarm for all of us that we need to have proper conversation with people who disagree with us, start listening and challenging what we believe is correct.

Targol Khorram Architects for Peace president, 2016


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