EDEN - A Community for Collaboration

June 9, 2016 by Antonio Moreira Teixeira   Comments (0)

As we approach the end of the special series of guest blog posts by former EDEN Presidents who have kindly shared their visions and experiences, I'm honoured to introduce the contribution of our former President Ingeborg Boe. She led the Association from 2003 to 2007, making her term the longest so far, and prior to that she was also a Vice-President.

Ingeborg's presidency had an impact on EDEN in many ways. Her progressive, optimistic and sensible approach represented at best a time of great expansion for the field in Europe and also for EDEN. She remained a most beloved and respected member of our professional community and a true symbol of EDEN. For me personally, Ingeborg represented from the first moment we've met a most kind and reliable friend who helped me and my University in a very important moment of our history. It was under Ingeborg's presidency that EDEN took the decision to organise an event in Lisbon – this was our first conference in Portugal. More recently, during my time as President, she has also been a wonderful advisor.

Ingeborg's account takes us on an exciting journey to the days of her presidency and beyond. In her very personal open style she highlights the fundamental mission of our Association - to foster collaboration, and also the importance of combing it with the human dimension of our academic and professional community. In fact, it was Ingeborg who first described the EDEN community as a family. This metaphor is still valid today.

I hope you'll enjoy this excellent post by my dear friend, Ingeborg.




My first knowledge of EDEN was received from Erling Ljosa, my former colleague, who told me about the Budapest Platform and the establishment of EDEN. Exciting times. I was at the time director of the Norwegian Association for Distance Education (NADE). In 1993 I was invited to chair the Program Committee of EDEN´s Annual Conference in Tallinn, Estonia, and during the preparation I had my first visit to Budapest to a board meeting in EDEN. When I later was co-opted as a board member and later on elected President of EDEN, the first and only female president, I had the chance to visit this Three Norwegian Presidents: Morten Flate Paulsen, Ingeborg Boe and E rling Ljosaabeautiful city many times. This year I am excited to celebrate EDEN´s 25th anniversary in the same city and am proud to be a member of the Celebration Committee.

To me EDEN is a community for collaboration, both professionally and personally. The EDEN conferences have always been important events for professional development, exchange of experiences, sharing of knowledge. New and challenging ideas have always been searched for in the plenary sessions, parallel sessions and workshops. In planning the conferences EDEN has always wanted to offer a variety of opportunities so both experts and practitioners could find areas for professional development. The atmosphere has always been friendly, open and welcoming and made us feel like a family. The receptions, conference dinners and "book and wine events" have contributed to the good atmosphere. The conferences have always been of high quality, warm and fun.

The professionalism of EDEN has been evident also through the biannual Research Workshops, the journal EURODL and the Open Classroom Initiative. In my time as President we introduced the EDEN Fellow scheme to acknowledge and stimulate professional development and recognition.

The main focus of EDEN has always been its members and what serves them best which has attracted members not only from Europe but from all over the world. Strategic partnerships have been established between EDEN and other regional organizations.

EDEN has been heavily involved in EU-projects, never as the leading partner but as a facilitator for its members and involved in dissemination, evaluation and research. The expertise in the Secretariat is very high. With so many organizations in Europe competing for the same project funds, we tried in my time to establish a round table of heads of some of the major organizations involved in e-learning. It was called "The Liaison Committee". I am afraid it did not survive, but I still believe that EDEN is a collaborating body in the field of e-learning influencing authorities both within the EU and nationally.

The development of EDEN has been a solid one, never giving up the quest for quality and good membership services and at the front of the development within our field. This is most of all thanks to good leadership from the EC and the excellent secretariat in Budapest led by Andras and Anna and now Ildiko. Never change a winning team.



Ingeborg Boe is a former Executive Director of the Norwegian Association for Distance and Flexible Education (NADE), which she led for 15 years, and a former President of EDEN (2003-07).
She is chair of the ICDE Election Committee and until 2014 was a member of the Board of Directors of the European Foundation for Quality in E-learning (EFQUEL).
Ingeborg has an arts degree from the University of Oslo, Norway. Throughout her professional life she has worked within the field of open and distance education in a variety of positions. She started her career as editor at NKS, one of the largest distance education institutions in Norway, and now runs her own consultancy firm.
She has been member of boards of directors of institutions for adult and distance education and is member of several national and international committees. She has been also a member of the international editorial board of the journal LLine, Lifelong learning in Europe.
Ingeborg was a member of the EDEN Executive Committee for two terms (1999-2007) and is an EDEN Senior Fellow.