European Mensa Annual Gathering

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The European Mensa Annual Gathering (EMAG) has been held since 2008 in different locations in Europe. It was originally designated "European Mensas Annual Gathering" with a plural "s" (since it was a coalition project of multiple national Mensas), but the sites for the latest ones appear to have dropped the "s", which was usually omitted by most people referring to it anyway.

Between 30th July and 3rd August 2008 the first European Mensas Annual Gathering under the patronage of Mensa International and the Lord Major of Cologne Fritz Schramma took place in Cologne. It was a pilot project, which was held that year in Germany and is to be held thereafter in annually changing European countries. The aim is, in continuation of all successful annual gatherings in National Mensas, to establish a cross border network for people within the upper two percent of the general population on an intelligence test. By doing so, highly intelligent people of various countries will present key aspects of their activities to other Mensans and guests. The spectrum will be manifold, consisting of scientific or applied research, artistic and Mensa specific themes.

EMAG stands for European Mensas Annual Gathering. Read it backwards and it's GAME, meaning not only ‘to play’ but also ‘to join in’, ‘be part of it’ and ‘be ready for it’, making out of the EMAG name a theme. The main event of the EMAG, which should enable a European network, is the “Forum Mensanum”. The organizing team supplies the operational framework plus some local sightseeing and ‘entertainment’. During three days Mensans from all over Europe offer on parallel tracks “Intelligent Entertainment”, in the form of (mainly in English) lectures, presentatations or workshops. There will be also a local social programme and at the end of the European Mensa-Meeting a Dinner dance, which in the inaugural EMAG was presented in the typical Cologne style, inspired by the “Fifth Season of Cologne”, the traditional Karneval (Carnival).

The idea began at the 2006 Mensa's Diamond event in Nottingham, England, where contributors included Christine Warlies, Maya Zimmermann and Heike Hefner of Germany, Hennie Groot Lipman of Netherlands, and Andy Farrell of Britain. The project started in August 2007 managed by Christine Warlies (member of german board) and Haug Leuschner (LocSec of Cologne) who is responsible for the local organizing team in Cologne.

The 2011 EMAG, originally announced for Metz, France, was moved to Paris.

The concept of continent-wide gatherings has spread to Asia, which now has the Asian Mensa Annual Gathering. When American Mensa combines its Annual Gathering with Canada (as has happened a number of times), the Annual Gathering of American Mensa is a North American continental gathering as well.