ICAReAlumni Conference 2019 at Riga Technical University, May 16-17, Riga, Latvia  

16th May 






Opening Session 


Session I

How to break through the noise with your message?

Ivars Svilānscommunications’ professional with over 25 years of experience in media, banking, retail

Do you feel the same? Do you feel more confusion, less focus, more noise all-around you? Breaking through with your message becomes more and more difficult? Habits of consuming, making opinions and sharing information are changing?

We go into a totally different structure of reputation and opinion building – where every employee acts as a press secretary of the organization and every student or alumni can become a media. Where short term crisis can make long term harm to your business. Where large organizations become a media itself.

That means a change in communication management perception – from “gatekeepers” to internal trainers and smart advisors to strategic decisions. More attitude must be focused to value building and promoting inside the organization and values become the most powerful engine in external communication as well. 

11:30 Coffee-break and Networking
12:00  Session II

Alumni Relations at the Heart of Philanthropy: Exploring volunteering and volunteer management opportunities 

Maria L. Gallo, Director of Lifelong Learning at St Angela's College, Sligo, Ireland

‘Friend-raising before Fundraising’ is a common phrase used in advancement work, implying that building relationships with alumni within our Higher Education Institutions is a pre-cursor to the ultimate effort of securing donations. In this keynote presentation, I hope to dispel this myth and demonstrate why Alumni Relations in and of itself is at the heart of philanthropy, in particular, through the interface of alumni and volunteering efforts. Throughout this interactive and energising session, I present academic and professional research literature, in both alumni relations and volunteer management, to show the central place of Alumni Relations to realise the philanthropic aims of our institutions. Philanthropy comes from the Greek ‘for the love of humanity’ and it is from this simple definition that Alumni Relations can reclaim its prominent and rightful place at the core of philanthropic work. Philanthropy concentrates on the giving of time, talent, treasure and ties, all of which can be fostered effectively through Alumni Relations. This “4Ts” framework also reveals the role of volunteer management programmes and engaging alumni as volunteers in a strategic, concerted and diffused way across our institutions. We will explore, through research evidence and case studies, the ways that these “4Ts’ of philanthropy promoted through volunteering can build the 4Is: interdependence, integration, identity and inherence, for lifelong value to our institution and especially for our alumni community. By the end of the session, I invite you to reflect on the following questions: What key strategies can I undertake—the small steps— to raise the profile and value of Alumni Relations as the heart of philanthropy within my institution? And, how can I enhance my volunteering initiatives to maximise the time, talent, treasure and ties by and for my alumni community?



14:30  Session III

Call for papers



16:30 Session IV

Call for papers

18:00 Exhibition


Social Dinner

17th May
  Session V

The first 10 years: Secrets for developing an effective alumni relations programme

Following - case discussions of alumni relations best practices

Nena Grceva, Head of Alumni Relations Office, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary


Your mom wanted you to become a lawyer. Your dad dreamed of having a doctor in the family. You somehow ended up doing alumni relations instead.  And now you not only need to deal with blank expressions every time you attempt to explain what you do, you also need to set shop, reach some alumni engagement targets and impress your leadership.

Sounds like you?  Wonder where to start? As a relatively new professional field, alumni relations provides ample opportunity for creativity and experimentation, but can also make you feel isolated, uncertain and slightly overwhelmed at times. Join this interactive session to explore ways to approach the exciting and daunting task of setting up your alumni relations program and transform it into a rewarding experience. We will talk how to set SMART priorities and succeed by utilizing your team’s existing skills, applying best practices from other universities, maximizing your limited budget and getting leadership support. All this while maintaining the enthusiasm for your job and staying sane. Sounds like a lot, but you need to start somewhere, right? I hope this session equips you with the basic tools and peer network necessary to persevere and be successful in our extraordinary and multifaceted field.   

10:30 Coffee-break  


Session VI Call for papers
12:15 Awards session  
13:00 Lunch  

Walking tour in the city of Riga - 2 hours