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3. Internal Ipce Matters

a. Report of the Secretary and Webmaster 
May 2003 May 2004
b. Financial Report 
May 1, 2003 - May 1, 2004 
c. Next Ipce Meeting
d. Ipce discusses Ipce

a. Report of the Secretary and Webmaster 
May 2003 May 2004

" In May 2003, at the start of my sabbatical year, I handed over all my tasks and data, e.g. access to the bank account and the web sites, to two Ipce members who promised to take over the tasks. Regrettably, they did nothing. Therefore, there was no report of the Meeting 2003, no Newsletter, no update of the web sites, no files ready for it and no financial report. Nobody knew where the money was. Depressions were the reason or cause. 

Regrettably also, the computer and all data present here were taken away by police. Electronic data, including my e-mail program, are protected and I would never give the police the pass words (nor did I) - but the paper versions with data were not protected. One of the two members mentioned had deleted all data, the other intended to bring his paper versions here, but, regrettably again, he left the plastic bag with the papers in the train and we have never seen them again.

On December 1, 2003, I ended my sabbatical period and started to obtain all hardware and software again and to reconstruct all data, re-download the web sites, and so on. The financial report could be reconstructed and the money has been returned.

Now, in May 2004 I have again all the hardware, software and nearly all data needed. I was able to organize the Meeting, andmake a new Newsletter and first update of the web sites. The next Newsletter and update will follow after the Meeting.


Ipce has now ninety members in eighteen countries all over the world. Sixty of them are reachable by e- mail. Some are unreachable due to the absence of a correct address. Thirty of them are connected on the protected internal electronic forum IMO, Ipce Meets Online.

Web sites

Ipce has two domain names, ipce.org & ipce.info, and a sub-domain: wanadoo.nl/ipce. The main Ipce web site, < http://www.ipce.org/   > is now hosted at < http://www.ipce.info/ipceweb/   >. Here are the home page, the registers and the main reference pages to articles. The register is by author overviews according to subject will follow next year. 

Due to lack of room, a second library has been opened at [once upon a time: < http://home.wanadoo.nl/ipce/  > but now:]  < http://www.ipce.info/library_2/index.htm  , where the longest files, PDF and ZIP files and the Newsletters are. Similarly, because of lack of room, a third library is at < http://www.ipce.info/library_3/content.htm  >. The three web sites are connected with a large number oflinks. The three web sites amount to more than 1000 files on 32.5 MB web room. The counter on ipce.info counts nearly 70.000 visitors since 22 July 2002, about 75 each day. The search engine on the home pages has about seven visitors each day.

Another web site is the IMO Forum and an archive, which is not public and only meant for internal communication. The kind of Forum and the URL has changed several times in the course of years. Since 25 November 2002, we have used a system on which more than 1000 messages have been exchanged.

I am able and willing to continue my tasks during the next year. 

The meeting accepts this report, and thus the policy behind it, thanks Frans, and appoints Frans to be the Secretary and webmaster during the next year. 

b. Financial Report 
May 1, 2003 - May 1, 2004 


Starting balance

 Euros  ->










Other: rent



Total income






Start + Income











Secretarial costs: Postbox & stamps



Website: provider



Web site: Other costs



Various costs



Total costs






Final balance






ASN Account



Postbank account







This report, the cash book and the bank accounts have been controlled by Titus Rivas, and found in good order.

The meeting accepts this report, thanks the treasurer, and chooses Frans to be the treasurer during the next year. 

c. Next Ipce Meeting

This meeting will be held at the end of May 2005 on one of the Greek isles. 
Because travelling and hotels might be more or less expensive there, a vote was asked for this decision. The vote showed a majority for the decision. 

d. Ipce discusses Ipce

The newly appointed secretary chose to pick up on a theme that had been discussed for a while on the previous day: What is Ipce, What is it not?


As an introduction, he said, "I will mention that this is the 17th Ipce meeting. I want to call back in memory the meeting we had in 1998 in Athens. There were only a few members, but there have been made important, and supposedly wise, decisions: important changes in Ipce itself. 

Before 1998, it was "IPCE", since 1998 it is "Ipce": name, historical name, no abbreviation. Before, Ipce was 'an association of associations'. People present were delegates from their organizations: they were not present as a person, but as a delegate. Since 1998, Ipce is a Forum for persons. Members present at the meetings are there as a person, not as a delegate. Members are persons, not organizations. Guests may be invited: as a person or as delegates. 

Ipce is not an action group, it is only a Forum. As a Forum it undertakes no action, except making a Mission Statement and doing what is said in that statement: making and maintaining a web site, a Newsletter and an archive of texts (texts only, no images), exchanging documents and organizing meetings. 

I know there are always people, especially young ones, who ask for "Action!". Nevertheless, Ipce keeps to be a Forum only. Action is to be taken by the members and their groups themselves. 

Because Ipce is a Forum, there is not 'one and only true Ipce opinion': a forum allows a collection of opinions. Important opinions are collected on the web site in the chapter "Statements". These are not "Ipce Statements" in the meaning of: 'Ipce has voted about these texts', but only in the meaning of 'These statements, made by members, are felt as being shared by most other members'. Ipce does not vote about statements, except its Mission Statement. 

BTW, Ipce is not a formally registered organization. In the Netherlands, there is a formal Register of Associations, Foundations and Companies, but Ipce is not registered in this way. The consequence is that Ipce cannot open a bank account with its name. Both bank accounts mentioned are set on the name of the treasurer and secretary. Also, the domain names and the provider accounts, are set on the name of the webmaster." 


As during every meeting, there was a proposal to change the name. However, the secretary referred to the argument at the Athens Meeting that said that the name Ipce is so well known all over the world, that it would not be wise to change it. As the webmaster, he added to it the argument that there are hundreds, maybe thousands of links everywhere on the Internet that refer to the "Ipce web site", and also hundreds of links within the three libraries of the Ipce web sites themselves. The name is too well known and used to be changed. BTW, if you type "ipce" in Google, you will see hundreds of links to organizations with more or less the same name. The "I" may stay for "International", the "P" for "Priests" or "People" or "Phone", the "C" for "Company" or "Christian", the "E" for "Electronics" or whatever. So, the meeting again decided not to change the name. 

Indeed, as during every meeting, young people asked for more "Action!". However, a grey member said that this is not especially a difference between the generations, but a difference in opinion. If we undertake action as a group, we are as a group responsible for it. Being only a forum, we are not responsible for what the members do: they are responsible for their own actions, which is a far better basis on which to undertake any  action. If we do not undertake action as a group, that is not a reason to avoid discussions about ideas and plans. The group might inspire its members, give ideas and criticism, and may inspire the members to help one another. If there are good ideas but no one picks them up, it is a pity, but that's up to the members themselves, and not a shame for the group.

Some members referred to other groups, like those in Berlin, who operate quite effectively without any formal registration or even members' lists. Informal groups can work quite effectively. Help can be better given from person to person, not as a member of one group to a member of another group. 

Otherwise, to make such a Mission Statement as we have, to gather statements from members, to make a web site and a newsletter, and so on to do such things is a kind of action in fact, a political action with a political agenda. Inspiring the members is also a kind of action with an agenda. 

Other members said they hate to be pressed into any action, or to be labelled with any opinion on what is voted. The way we are working now is a good way: it gives freedom as well as ideas and inspiration and courage. They said they appreciate feeling this freedom, inspiration and courage. The (young) members asking for Action! agreed with these views on Ipce and its policy.

Some members personalized the way Ipce works by pointing to Frans, saying words like: 'Ipce was dead if Frans did not exist and worked as he did'. They refer to the last year, in which his replacements appeared to have been unable to do anything. Frans should search for 'back-up persons' or substitutes, and search for trainees to learn this way of working with a great and worldwide group like Ipce. It asks for much know-how, social skill to manage such a group without conflicts, and technical skill to manage the mail and the web sites.

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