INF to re-think its vision & mission

On the final day of the working weekend, the Central Committee members went out for a dinner including their spouses. In this picture the CC members are from from left in the back Helga Panglisch - secretary of the meeting, Rolf Beat Hostettler - Vice President, Treasurer, Sieglinde Ivo - Acting President, and far right Gregers Moller - Assessor for Non-European Countries. In the front row second from left is Huub Giesen - Assessor for EU Countries, and second from right Jean Peters - Vice President, Secretary.

Several action points to move naturism forward world wide were adopted at the Central Committee meeting of the International Naturist Federation INF-FNI in the weekend of 21 - 22 April in Camping Almanat near Malaga in Spain. An important working group was created with the urgent task to immediately start developing a clear future vision and mission for the INF-FNI. This group will be led by the newly elected CC member Gregers Moller from Naturist Association Thailand and Huub Giesen from the Netherlands Naturist Federation, who joined the CC only last year.

Part of their commission is to look into the current benefits of the INF Cards and yearly stamps and possibly develop a smarter eCard solution to the benefit of both naturists and naturist resorts and clubs, where members are currently requested to show their INF Card in order to enter.

A dispute about the legality of expanding the EC to legally include all members of the CC and not only the three members of the Executive Committee was solved pragmatically, as it will now be attempted to register the full CC in the Austrian association register. If it is accepted, the issue is solved. If it is rejected, the rejection will be circulated to the members.

Work is also underway to expand the leadership of the INF with two new positions - one to protect naturism and another to promote naturism. The meeting decided to select Professor Dr. Volkmar Ellmauthaler, a highly distinguished academic proponent of naturism, for the first position. One of his tasks will be to organize the collection of proposals from federations around the world for a new research grant made available at the latest World Congress. He will also finally together with the CC select the best proposal from around the world to receive the grant - each step of the way offering great opportunities for PR and in the end giving hard evidence to the claim by naturists for years, that spending more time nude is not only pleasant, it also offers physical and mental benefits.

The right person has still to be found for the equally demanding task of assisting the federations with local PR tasks including improvements of their websites, SEO work, newsletter creation, social media visibility and converting all this to an increase in membership. A new round of search for a candidate for this job with a complete task description will be circulated shortly to all federations who will again search among their probably younger members for a person fitting this description.

To ensure that all this not just remains empty talk, all committee members were divided into 14 different action groups with each member taking responsibility for five or more of these tasks. All tasks must be completed between now and the next CC meeting in November - although some major decisions will only result in recommendations for the Naturist World Congress in 2018 to decide on.

It is a complicating factor, that a so-called "re-opening" of the World Congress will take place in July in Wien, Austria to finalize election of the President for the next four years, because of a procedural mistake made during the Congress in Wellington. But the INF has certainly not been paralyzed by that. Over the past half year since the World Congress in Wellington in November, among others two new federations have been approved - one in Malaysia and one in Malta. Likewise, the INF has managed to appoint Ms. Daniela Schleicher from the German naturist federation to the impiortant and highly visible post as leader of the Youth and Sport section of EUNAT, a special European naturist organisation for federations in Europe established under the INF.

The dire need for action was underlined by the treasurers report which showed a decline in income from INF stamp of 20.000 EUR - a direct result of the decline worldwide in membership of 15.000 naturists between 2015 and 2016 alone. The decline equals almost a 15 percent reduction of members of naturist federations world wide.

According to Acting President Mrs. Sieglinde Ivo, the decline is paradoxically due to the success of naturism in particular in Europe.
"There are probably more naturists than ever in the world today, but in Europe the opening of beaches and natural resources for naturists to freely use without clothes has made it unnecessary to become a member of a local naturist association - thereby undermining our strength."

The turnaround of this trend is the task at hand.