how can we do
It is our custom at year’s end to offer some thoughts that can help us in the future.
The year 2009 has proven to be a year of ‘keeping afloat’ with just a slight increase in membership due to the usual high turnover. However some very positive events occurred that can help us enhance the growth of our organization. We should also take into account that this year, for our naturist movement, it is the 45th anniversary of the foundation of the two largest Italian naturist associations. Established at the same time, they have been moving along parallel but distinct lines till now.
The two founders had different personalities but both had the same goal: to spread naturism. One was trained in France and the other in Istria (modernday Croatia). One tended towards international naturism while the other focused mainly on events in Italy. Perhaps they had two different visions for spreading and developing the naturist idea.
In fact the two associations have grown since their foundation by taking parallel but not integrated journeys. Other associations were founded at the beginning of 1964 and land was acquired for the practice of naturism. Finally in 1971 the Federation was founded but only as late as 1997 was it constituted by public deed. Nonetheless, the dualism between the two associations persisted. In the meantime naturism became more popular; today Italians are among the best patrons of European naturist sites.
On the Internet many websites speak about naturism, though some use naturism as a ploy for their own inappropriate aims. Over the years the aforementioned dualism gave outsiders the same impression as politics: they are always fighting.
But now we would like to announce the first piece of good news for 2009: the two associations are in agreement and their parallel paths are converging! Perhaps it is a windfall brought by the enthusiasm of the younger generations; or maybe it was a surrender caused by the utter exhaustion of repeating futile debates; or maybe we are all just becoming more understanding. The two associations must have noticed that, notwithstanding all their efforts and methods, membership growth continues to be slow.
Maybe they finally understand that the tendency to join associations is waning and the only sites and associations that get ahead have been (and are still) the ones run for profit. And also that by being united we can stand strong… and conflicts can be useful only where there are economic interests, while the same does not apply in cases of not-for-profit facilities.
It would seem the latter is true. Perhaps there are still some veteran members or those with a rigid mindset who are incapable of overcoming an antagonistic approach, and who think in terms of power.
The problem is that power, when devoid of any genuine interest or vision, fails to expand because it is vacuous. So the good news for this year is that we have a shared purpose and understand that growth is helped enormously by joint efforts.
Another two positive events occurred in 2009:
- the GIN (Giovani Naturisti Italiani) was founded, and
- we got a great start on the preparations for the next World Congress which will be held for the first time in Italy since the establishment of the International Naturist Movement in 1951.