The Spring Academy learning community is literally a community.
The structure and function of the Association is expanded with the Guidance Document and the Circles.
The Association does not have a pyramidal organization. Full membership and decision making power is spread equally across the community, tο all ages.
The Board of Directors does not have a pyramidal organization and does not have a decision-making and implementation role but a coordinating role.
ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION
Τhe cultural association, named “Ακαδημία Άνοιξης Πολιτιστικός Σύλλογος : “Κοινότητα Διαγενεακής και Διαθεματικής Μάθησης χωρίς σύνορα” is established in Corfu according to the provisions of the Civil Code. The English name is “Spring Academy cultural association: Intergenerational and Interdisciplinary Learning Community Without Borders.”
The seat of the Spring Academy is Corfu and in particular the buildings of the hotel-complex Casa Lucia located in the area of Sgombou, Corfu, Greece.
The aims of the Spring Academy are:
- To act as a global, democratic, agile and self-directed learning community for all ages and socio-economic situations with multiple actual localities and a digital locality.
- To provide educational services, in the context of formal and non-formal democratic, agile and self-directed approaches to learning, that are used according to the user’s wishes and needs. Services that are accessible to all ages, to unschoolers, homeschoolers, worldschoolers, pupils, students, adults, refugees.
- to be educated in non-accredited (initially) educational structures providing programs for formal validation of their studies
- as extracurricular education or as an alternative to school
- as specific vocational training
- to complete higher and further education autonomously with the relevant permission of the competent state services
- for those who have been stricken, persecuted, expelled, abused, marginalised.
- To create an Online Spring Academy which functions as a coordination node for the global learning community and as a digital centre for intergenerational and interdisciplinary learning.
- To practise and simultaneously institutionalise the right to non-formal education by integrating various modes of education into formal education; for example unschooling, self-directed education, forest schooling, worldschooling, agile learning centers. Based on the right of free choice in the kind of education as stated in the Greek Constitution (in particular article 5), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations: (article 26), the Convention of the Rights of the Child of the United Nations, (articles 5 and 12 amongst others), the ICCPR, (article 18 par. 4 together with article 4 par. 2), the EU Charter of Fundamental Human Rights (article 14 par. 4.).
- To have a dynamic, active relationship with the public sector by being open to the public, including schools; offering appropriate and special programmes, prepared specifically for schools, universities, educators, schoolchildren and students in the public system and taking part in public sector programmes.
- To propose to the IEP (Institute of Educational Policy) that Spring Academy programmes be approved for inclusion in all levels of public education.
- To offer a prototype legal framework for open use in alternative educational initiatives of various kinds both within and outside Greece. Initiatives could range from small learning communities to educational institutions and can function as partners or affiliates.
- To achieve the legitimisation of learning communities as public educational structures with access to any educational process and provision chosen by each community.
- To be integrated into public education.
- Τo create new work opportunities in the field of learning and to be sustainable for both those who serve it and those it serves.
- To undertake international cooperation with cultural and civil society organisations such as research centres, universities, university foundations and networks, scientific companies and societies, public and private authorities, schools, institutes, workshops, laboratories, higher and technical education institutions, social cooperatives, NGOs, Local Government Organisations, agricultural organisations, providers of education, training, cross-sectoral-vocational training and any formation and structure in order to achieve the mentioned goals.
- The creation and implementation of proactive programmes in the areas of protection of human rights, the rights of women and minors (according to the articles of the Constitution and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child but also of Human Rights in general), humanitarian assistance, social care and welfare, education, vocational training and professional career guidance.
- Promoting measures to create methods of direct support to vulnerable, excluded and marginalised people and communities (special needs, Roma, LGBT, migrants, survivors, children and others.)
- To offer refuge/accommodation wherever necessary (to adults, minors, unaccompanied minors, refugees, the homeless, abused women, et al) in any case where it is required and there is a need.
- To operate on a nationwide basis as well as in any country outside Greece.
- To establish branches in other municipalities of Greece and abroad as well as to be able to participate in the establishment of other associations with the same or similar purposes and in non-profit companies and other organisations both in Greece and abroad.
- To be able to award certificates of attendance to participants of Spring Academy activities.
- To facilitate the certification of qualifications and the identification, recording, evaluation and certification on the basis of learning outcomes, as regulated by the mechanisms of validation of non-formal education and non-formal learning (EOPPEP, CEDEFOP etc.) undertaking educational activities in university and non-university context.
- To pursue in general all the purposes described in article 3 of the Articles of Association of the Academy with all the means defined in article 4 of the the Articles of Association of the Academy.
In order to achieve the above the Spring Academy has the power to use amongst others all of the below:
- Οnline and live activities of various lengths: year-, month- and week-long:
- Performances, concerts and performance projects
- Presentations and exhibitions
- Sharing and discussion circles
- Film projections
- Online interaction and learning services
- Learning Communities and Study Groups
- Research projects
- Symposia, festivals, meetings, conferences
- Global Youth mobility programs
- Βirth, health, therapy and palliative care services
The learning that takes place at the Spring Academy is:
- embodied, the body is fully involved
- ecological, it is founded in ecological living principles
- combinational, it combines different approaches and remains in evolution according to cultural and individual specifics. Democratic Education, Agile learning and Self directed learning are the main guidelines for Spring Academy’s principles.
- interdisciplinary, without separating boundaries between disciplines, allowing interaction, information and evolution between them
- hybrid, a combination of live and e-learning.
- inclusive, equally accessible to the elderly, people with chronic diseases, people with mental, cognitive, emotional, physical, communication, mobility disabilities and to individuals and groups who have been stricken, expelled, marginalised such as refugees, unaccompanied minors, the poor, minorities, survivors.
- intergenerational, it restores the coexistence of generations and different ages within the same generation. It reconnects, within the learning environment, those who are usually separated into age groups.
- multi-cultural and multi-lingual, learning across borders. Usually specific, limited groups of people exchange with other specific, limited groups of people. These relational limitations open by bringing down barriers that exist in culture, language, geography, economy, academic, society, disciplines, physical/mental conditions and age.
- Collaboration with accrediting bodies, e.g. the International Baccalaureate (IB) and on-line/distance learning courses for accreditation of learning in Spring Academy.
- Production of informative material, printed and online. Publication of the above practices, publication of a Newsletter (electronic or printed), publication of a Scientific Journal (electronic or printed), publication of written works, individual or collective, translations, publication of books and all kinds of electronic multimedia (sound, video etc).
- Creation of a library and sources archive (printed and online).
- Collaboration with equivalent bodies and making use of proffered community tools, funds, programmes and initiatives, methods and networks; and in general every available and legal means of promotion and achievement of the projects and aims of the Spring Academy.
- Establishment of structures and means of spreading the activities of the Spring Academy on local, national and international levels.
- Undertaking research projects and collaborating in research projects and programmes.
- Providing advisory/consultancy services.
- Participating in subsidised programmes.
- Support, development and networking of independent research and educational communities and arts foundations within and outside Greece.
- Support (practical, moral and legal) of all those who choose alternative means of education.
- Carrying out events for financial support or similar activities to achieve the goals of Spring Academy or similar bodies, associations, groups etc.
- Participation in international, European and Greek programs and entities related to the nature and purpose of the association in order to achieve its goals.
- To receive assistance from volunteers for the provision of services related to the purpose of the Association, for which it may maintain a relevant list – register.
The list of the above measures is only indicative, since the Spring Academy has the power to achieve its aims by any legal means.
- Members of Spring Academy are distinguished into regular and minor.
Regular members are registered, upon their application (either in person or through a specially designed digital platform) to the Board of the Spring Academy. They can be of any nationality, of 18 years of age and over who accept the purposes and principles of the Association, after first studying the Articles of Association and the Guidance Document.
- Μinor members under 18 years of age of any nationality, gender, etc. can be members of the association and can attend and participate in any of the association’s activities appropriate to their age that they wish to.
- Registration of members takes place by decision of the Board at their request. Only regular members have the right to vote.
- The annual subscription is determined by a decision of the General Assembly and the right of registration of the regular members of Spring Academy is determined each time by a decision of the Board of Directors, with the restriction that it cannot be less than fifteen euros per year. While in order to support the purpose and viability of the association it is stipulated that members (regular, minor and extraordinary) if they choose to attend or participate in any of the activities of the association that require specialised equipment, media and staff to take place, pay a symbolic amount that concerns only the coverage of these expenses for the respective activity. These expenses will be described in detail based on a list of expenses drawn up and approved by the Board of Directors, in the Guidance Document and it is the member’s choice if they participate or not.
- Any member who does not fulfil his/her obligations to Spring Academy, to the regulations of the Articles of Association, to the decisions of the General Assembly and behaves in a manner incompatible with the aims of these will be expelled by decision of the General Assembly. An appeal is allowed against the decision as set up in article 88 of the Civil Order. Also, any member who is inactive and is not interested in the issues of the Association as a result of which s/he is unjustifiably absent from three or more General Assemblies is deleted by a decision of the General Assembly. An appeal is allowed against the decision, pursuant to article 88 of the Civil Code.
- Any member can request in writing their deletion from the membership book at any time. Subscription fees are non-refundable. Regular and cooperating members may resign from any office to which they have been elected or offer their services in the form of a written resignation by email or post. The resignation is valid 2 weeks later and only after the assignment of their role / responsibilities to another member, the delivery of material / work done / codes / contact lists or other important items to the replacement. The resigned member must remain available to support the replacement for as long as needed upon mutual agreement. The material emerging from the work of any member belongs to Spring Academy.
- Regular members of the Spring Academy have the right to take part in the General Assemblies, to speak, to vote, to stand for office and to be elected members of Council after their registration.
- The refusal or delay in paying the annual subscription by a member of Spring Academy bars her/him from taking part in the General Assemblies and could lead to expulsion from the register of the Association, should the General Assembly so decide (mentioned above).
- In case a member is accused of immoral behavior, offenses against sexual freedom and / or offenses related to racist behavior then by decision of the General Assembly s/he is expelled from the association.
Bodies of the Spring Academy are the General Assembly, the Board of Directors, the Audit Committee and the Election Committee
- The General Assembly is the sovereign governing body of Spring Academy and decides on any case, which does not fall under the jurisdiction of another body.
- The General Assembly is in quorum if at least 1/4 of its active, paid-up members are present. In case of non-quorum, the Meeting is repeated in exactly one week, at the same time, in the same place and with the same agenda without further notice. The second time the body is in quorum regardless of the number of members present.
- The General Assembly elects every one (1) year the members of the Board of Directors and the Audit Committee, decides on the expulsion of members, upon proposal of the Board, as well as the denial of this according to article 88 of the Civil Code. It approves the annual budget, balance sheets, accounts and reports. It decides on changes to the goals of Spring Academy, on its dissolution and on amendments to the Articles of Association.
- The General Assembly supervises and checks the other organs of the administration, having the right to overrule and terminate them whenever such overruling/termination is dictated by a serious reason especially due to a serious infringement of their duties or by their inability to properly manage Spring Academy projects and matters. For the overruling or expulsion of members at least ⅗ of the registered members must be present in the General Assembly.
- The General Assembly is made up of regular members of Spring Academy.
- The General Assembly meets regularly twice a year on any day of the first and third quarter of each year, and extraordinarily, when the BoD deems this necessary, for the sake of the interests of Spring Academy or wanted by at least 1/5 of its current regular members, with a written request addressed to the Board of Directors and listing the issues to be discussed. In this case, the meeting must take place within a period not exceeding fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the request.
- The members are invited to a General Assembly by the Board of Directors by individual invitations (which are either sent by e-mail or by post) or through newspaper announcement at least ten (10) days before the date set for the meeting. The invitation lists the items on the agenda and determines the place and exact date of the meeting. The agenda of the issues to be discussed at the General Assembly is prepared by the Board of Directors. The meeting can be attended by members through an online platform if they are prevented from attending in person. Electronic voting is valid as long as it’s implementation has the approval of the majority of the members of the General Assembly.
- The decisions of the General Assembly are validly adopted by an absolute majority of the members present who may be present either in person at the venue of the meeting, or through a specially designed digital platform, which members can join with personal codes in order to identify the person and to ensure the integrity of the process.
- If at least ¾ of the active members agree in writing to a particular proposal, a decision can be adopted without an assembly of the members.
- At every meeting of the General Assembly, before each discussion, the regular board of the General Assembly is elected, composed of: the Chair, the Secretary who is obliged to keep detailed minutes of the meeting, and one member.
- Members in all cases, as well as nominations, can participate by voting either in person , or by letter voting or through a specially designed digital platform, where the inviolability and integrity of the voting will be ensured.
- The rules of article 98 of the Civil Code are followed in each ballot of the General Assembly.
- In case of resignation or absence of the Board for whatever reason, ⅕ of the regular members can request an extraordinary General Assembly with the aim of electing an interim administration of Spring Academy with the aim of proceeding with nominations and elections. These members undertake the care of invitations to all members.
- Only regular members have the right to be elected to the administration of Spring Academy, provided that:
- they have full legal capacity
- they have not been deprived of their civil rights
- on the day of the elections they have paid their subscription to the Spring Academy
- The Spring Academy is governed by a five-member Board of Directors, elected every year during the first quarter of the year, by a majority of the eligible regular members. Voting is by secret ballot and is done either in person with ballot papers or by letter ballot or through a specially designed digital platform. The Board of Directors consists of the Chair, Vice Chair, General Secretary, Treasurer and 1 member / advisor as well as two alternate members.
- The Board of Directors administers and manages the interests and property of Spring Academy, in accordance with the provisions of the Articles of Association, prepares the report of the management of the previous year as well as the budget of the next year, which the audit committee submits to the General Assembly for approval.It is responsible for the accountability of the proceedings at the end of each year. It forms various committees, temporary or permanent and assigns to them the study and execution of various issues and activities of the Association.
- The Board of Directors meets regularly every two months, and extraordinarily, whenever deemed necessary by at least three members of the Board of Directors.
- The decisions of the Board of Directors are taken by a majority of the present members, and it is in quorum when three of its members are present.
- For personal matters and matters of confidence the vote shall be by secret ballot. The minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors are signed by the present members, after reading them at the next meeting.
- A member of the Board of Directors who is unjustifiably absent in two consecutive meetings of the Board of Directors or in three non-consecutive meetings in the same year, loses the status of member of the Board of Directors and is replaced by the first alternate member based on the votes of the nominations and so on.
- In case of death of a member or impediment due to force majeure, the member is replaced by the first alternate member in succession based on the votes of the nominees and so on.
- The Board of Directors meets at the headquarters of Spring Academy or elsewhere or online(conference call and other possible ways), following a decision of the Board of Directors.
- The Chair Of the Board of Directors coordinates the work of Spring Academy, in accordance with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Board of Directors, the terms of these Articles of Association and the provisions of the laws.
- Represents Spring Academy in the Courts of all degrees and jurisdiction, in the public, Municipal and other authorities, in the legal entities of Public and Private Law and in general judicial and extrajudicial areas or entities.
- Coordinates the meetings of the Board of Directors, co-signs with the present members the minutes of the meetings, supervises and ensures the observance of the provisions of the Guidance Document and the execution of the decisions of the Board of Directors and the General Assembly and controls the General Secretary, the Treasury and management.
- With the General Secretary and the Treasurer s/he prepares the annual balance sheet, budget and report as well as the report of the activities of the Board of Directors, which s/he, after being approved by the Board and audited by the Audit Committee, submits for approval to the General Assembly at its first regular annual meeting.
- Responsibilities of the Vice-Chair: Replaces the Chair In the full extent of his / her duties when s/he is absent or disabled. This replacement is always made with the knowledge of the Chair, otherwise it is considered illegal. Representation of the association vis-à-vis the State requires the relevant authorization of the Chair.
The Secretary acts and handles the correspondence of Spring Academy, receives the applications and after their approval processes the registrations of the members, keeps the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors, keeps the stamp, co-signs with the Chair Spring Academy’s documents, keeps files and protocols. S/he, with the Chair, administers the Treasury and the management. S/he also co-signs with the Chair the receipts and payment orders, if the Board of Directors decides so.
The Treasurer keeps theTreasury, and is obliged to deposit in a Bank the amount of cash in excess of a certain amount, the amount of which is determined by the Board of Directors. S/he makes the payments, supervises, personally or with a collector authorised by decision of the Board, the receipts of the members’ subscriptions and signs every receipt of money. S/he keeps the accounting books, the required accounting books as well as the auxiliary ones and s/he is personally responsible for their keeping, as well as for the money entrusted to him / her and the other property of Spring Academy.S/he submits, every four months, a summary report of the financial situation of the treasury and its management in general to the Board of Directors.
Responsibilities of the member-advisor are: To participate in the meetings of the Board and to replace other members of the Board, the realisation of Spring Academy events, banquets, celebrations, seminars, lectures, excursions etc. the coordination of the committees and the supervision of the relevant work.
- The resources of Spring Academy are divided into regular and extraordinary, and are as follows:
1.1. Regular resources are the registrations and subscriptions of the members, the amount of which will be determined by decision of the General Assembly.
1.2. Extraordinary resources are emergency contributions which the Board deems necessary in case of emergency.
1.3. Optional contributions or donations from members or third parties and grants from natural or legal persons under private or public law, provided that they do not bind Spring Academy in any way.
1.4. Proceeds from festivals, lectures, excursions and other events and activities.
1.5. Any other income legally attributed to Spring Academy.
- The management of the finances of Spring Academy is based on the revenue and expenditure budget, which is prepared by the Board of Directors and approved by the General Assembly, and is valid from January 1 to December 31 of each year.
- Until the budget of the new year is approved, the receipts and payments can be made, based on the budget of the previous year.
- The balance sheet and report of each year, as well as the report of the Audit Committee, must be submitted for approval to the General Meeting within three (3) months from the end of the financial year.
- The resources are collected, after a duplicate receipt is issued for each case, stamped with the seal of Spring Academy, signed by the Treasurer.
- From the resources money in cash, by decision of the Board, is kept in the treasury of the Spring Academy and the rest is deposited in a Bank.
- The withdrawal of money from a Bank is done by any person (member or not of the Association) after a decision of the Board of Directors.
- Payments by and for Spring Academy can be made with cash, remittances and payment orders and checks, signed by the Chair of the Board and the Treasurer or any legal representative of the Association.
- Expenditure over € 3,000 is considered valid, if a decision of the Board of Directors has been taken for it. For expenditure over € 50,000, a decision of the General Meeting is required. In any case, the treasurer and the Chair of the Board of Directors and generally anyone who performs financial transactions on behalf and in the name of the Association must inform the members about the expenses incurred, during the meetings of the Board.
Candidates for an office cannot be members of the Election Committee.
The Election Committee is elected by the electoral assembly and after the end of the voting, closes the voting protocol, prepares a report, in which it registers the votes of each candidate and announces the first five (5) in a row, as members of the Board, the alternate members and members of the Audit Committee. Within eight (8) days from the General Assembly, with the responsibility of the majority of directors, the Board of Directors meets and elects the Chair, Vice-Chair, General Secretary, Treasurer and Member-Consultant.
The Audit Committee is elected by the General Assembly during elections as is the BoD, with a one-year term. It consists of three members. These members elect a Chair and a Secretary by secret ballot. The AC is entitled to always be aware of the management and assets of Spring Academy and to check the Board at any time, whenever it deems appropriate and regularly at the end of each year. Every year, when the term of the Board of Directors expires, the AC submits a consolidated report for the overall management of the outgoing BoD throughout its term which is read at the General Assembly after the report of the outgoing BoD. The AC has the right to convene a special General Assembly in order to inform members of any mismanagement it finds during an audit. In case of disagreement between its members, the dissenting party prepares a separate report and the General Assembly decides.
- For the amendment of the Articles of Association, as well as for the dissolution of Spring Academy, the General Assembly decides, and the presence of at least half (1/2) of the members and the majority of three quarters (3/4) of the present members.
- Spring Academy is dissolved in the cases stated in article 105 of the Civil Code or when the General Assembly decides to do so by a decision taken under the terms of the previous paragraph.
The decision to change the purpose of Spring Academy requires the consent of all members. Absentees can consent in writing.
The association is governed by internal regulations (laid out in the Guidance Document) which have been approved by all the founding members and analyses the appropriate attitudes of members among themselves and towards society as a whole. Members must read the Guidance Document as well as the Articles of Association (and the hyperlinks included) before joining the association in order to understand its purpose. The Guidance Document and the Articles of Association have been accurately translated into English by an accredited translator, in order to be understood and clear to as many nationalities as possible. The Guidance Document may be amended upon the proposal of the Board of Directors or 1/4 of the members of the General Assembly, when it is found that it does not meet the needs of the association and its members. All members can propose amendments – changes which will be voted on and approved by a majority of members and will be the new Guidance Document. The Board has the right to draw up internal regulations, which will define in detail the procedures by which the various activities of the Association will be carried out and the way its various sections will operate. The internal regulations do not apply before they are approved by the General Assembly and may not amend the provisions of the Articles of Association.
The property of Spring Academy in case of dissolution is not distributed among its members, but is distributed to similar associations by decision of the General Assembly.
Spring Academy has a stamp which bears the name, the year of foundation and the mark in the centre.
Spring Academy Books The books kept by Spring Academy are divided into mandatory and optional.
- Register of members. All members’ details are entered in it.
- Book of Minutes of the Board of Directors.
- Book of Minutes of the General Assembly of the members.
- Receipts – Payments Book.
- Protocol of Incoming and Outgoing documents.
- Book (archive) of Incoming and Outgoing documents.
- Book of attendance of members at the General Assembly.
- Book of consumables.
Spring Academy can keep other Books depending on its needs.
- Spring Academy is entitled to participate in broader and / or similar associations, internationally, according to the decision of the General Assembly of members. For the representation and the relationship of Spring Academy with these bodies by decision of the General Assembly, representatives are elected by the process of secret ballot in Spring Academy elections or the General Assembly entrusts the duties of representation directly to a member / members. The provisions of these Articles of Association and the relevant laws are applied proportionally.
- Actions of the bodies of Spring Academy are legally binding, as long as they are decided within the framework of their responsibility and during their term of office.
- The association is generally represented judicially and extrajudicially by its Chair and where the above is hindered by the Vice-Chair and when the latter is hindered by the Secretary, but for certain actions it is possible for the representation to be assigned to a third party member of the association or not, depending on the case, after the relevant approval of the Board of Directors.
The First Ordinary Assembly, which will elect the members of the Board of Directors, will take place no later than three (3) months from the approval of these Articles of Association and the registration of Spring Academy in the Books of Associations of the Corfu Court of First Instance. Until then, Spring Academy will be governed by a temporary five-member Steering Committee / temporary Board of Directors.
The financial burden of the members of the Spring Academy, until a different decision is taken by the General Assembly, is determined as follows:
- Annual subscription of regular members: 25.00-100.00 Euros. The period of validity of the annual subscription lasts a year and begins with its payment in the first 10 days after registration.
These Articles of Association consist of twenty five (25) articles, drafted and after being read, approved by the founding members in Corfu and signed as follows: