Friluftsfrämjandet is today Sweden's largest outdoor organisation with over 100,000 members, 7,000 volunteer leaders and 10 million hours of outdoor activities per year. Every year a number of regional meetings need to be held but due to the current situation it was not possible to hold them physically.
When the situation arose, Friluftsfrämjandet made a quick analysis internally, what needs they had to be able to conduct the meetings digitally and turned to AddPro with the challenge.
"There are good digital solutions out there but they are often expensive and we didn't have the budget as this situation came up very quickly. We had to try to start from what we had and make the best out of it ," says Erik Ehrner, CTO of Friluftsfrämjandet.
Close collaboration contributed to a quick turnaround
AddPro quickly put together a team that got the requirements specification and wishes. As parts of the team had worked with the Outdoor Association before, they were also familiar with the current platform used by the Outdoor Association. In a very short time, an idea was formed on how to use features of Microsoft Teams together with other Office 365 tools such as Microsoft Forms.
"Once the theoretical solution was in place, it was time to test it live. We selected a number of members and invited them to test tunings where everything was tried out. We had up to 4 test tunings with the same group to redesign and improve our thinking and flow before we were done. It was important for us to make sure that everyone felt comfortable with the change" says Erik Ehrner.
Arman Zaman, one of AddPro's consultants in the team says: "We had a short time but as there are clear regulatory requirements around a lawsuit, we challenged Friluftsfrämjandet in many of the wishes and requirements. What are the key needs, what is the minimum that needs to be done to still ensure the requirements are met while keeping the process and solution as simple as possible for the participants?
For example, we demanded that only those who have an MS Office licence from the Outdoor Federation could vote (eligible to vote) and not everyone who attended the meeting. This was done through a private channel called voting, where only the delegates were invited. This vote counting was managed by appointed tellers who made sure that everything was done correctly and according to practice" continues Arman.
Friluftsfrämjandet is impressed by the willingness of its members to change, how they quickly stood up and understood what needed to be done in order to carry out these important meetings. The AGM is important for the democratic process and is often the member's window and opportunity to influence the work of the organisation going forward.
"It means a smaller environmental footprint and lower travel costs, leading to more time in the forest"- Erik Ehrner, CTO Friluftsfrämjandet
New way of working leads to new opportunities
In the future, this new way of working will continue to be used, for example in the northern region where they have previously faced great challenges in meeting physically due to the great distances involved.
"There will also be many other positive consequences. There will be a smaller environmental footprint and lower travel costs, leading to more time in the forest. Above all, it has strengthened the democratic process as everyone can participate, even if you are sick, on holiday or for some other reason cannot physically be there," says Erik Ehrner.
"When we give our members the right conditions and tools, end users come back with even more ideas and imaginative solutions to everyday problems. Future meetings will probably go back to physical meetings to a large extent, but in order to increase inclusion, they will continue to be broadcast live" concludes Erik.