Monday, March 21, 2011

Trainers' Forum

Two weekends ago, from 3-6 of March, the Trainers' Forum took place in Vienna. This event, organized by BEST, is aimed at gathering trainers from different international youth organizations to share trainers' experiences, best practices and materials. In the weekend there were almost 100 trainers and more than 15 organizations present. There were even two guys flying in from Canada to represent their association! It was an amazing weekend, being part of a group with so much potential and so much passion for the same thing: training.

The program beforehand was basically empty. When so many passionate trainers are gathered together, it would be a waste not to use their experience. For the first day everybody could send in topics before the event for a workshop or training that they would like to give. The second and third day were entirely devoted to the OST: Open Space Technology. This meant that there was no program, we spontaneously made it on the morning of the second day and during the two days. On both days we had discussions. All the discussions were centered around the general topic of 'How can we assure the quality of the training and the trainers' development'. All the participants could think of a topic, write it on a paper and put it in the big schedule on the wall. At the end of the event, 67 topics were discussed and all the results were gathered in a wiki.

One of the topics that was discussed was about the ethics of a trainer. A lot of effort was put into writing an ethical code for all trainers untill the discussion got stuck at the question about the ethics of starting a relationship with a participant. Another example of a discussion was about debriefing after a training, how to properly debrief and how to teach debriefing at a T4T. There were even two ideas for starting a company that evolved from the discussions!

Beside the many discussions, there was a TEDx-like evening where seven trainers told a personal story or something they wanted to let the others think about. One of the speakers was our own Kamila, she gave an inspiring talk about Fear. Of course there were also parties and
alcohol and a lot of opportunities to get to know the other associations and their training systems. It was an inspiring event where I personally learned to see AEGEE in a different perspective and got a lot of new ideas on how to improve the Academy. Being part of this world of trainers was a new experience for me and I learned a lot from it. Next year it will be organized again, so don't hesitate to apply when you see the open call for participants coming by!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Welcome to the trainers. Now time for participants!

PRES2 has already an amazing team, be ready and enjoy them if you are one of the lucky ones attending this event!

PRES2 Novi Sad trainers team:

- Anita Kalmane - Main coordinator - AEGEE-Riga & AEGEE-Ogre
- Alexandra Tomescu (case manager) - Zero Generation & AEGEE-Academy, former AEGEE-Oxford & AEGEE-Cluj Napoca
- Isaac Andela - AEGEE-Utrecht & Public Relations Committee
- Bogdan Markovic - AEGEE-Novi Sad
- Goran Igic - Habitat for Humanity Macedonia
- Adi Shrimron - independent trainer
- Michael Makowiecki - CD representative as Communications Director
- Miguel Gallardo Albajar - AEGEE-Academy representative

We are ready to PRES2! What do you do?
Yes, exactly you!

We live only once. We also die only once. So why not make the best you can out of your life and do something you love?

Do you want to communicate across borders? Are you involved in a European-wide youth organisation? Do you love PR and communications and want to get even better at it? Are you free on May 8-15? And - the most important thing - do you PRES2 with us?

If you shout out loud YES, then there is only one answer - you are ready to participate in Public Relations European School 2(PRES2) Novi Sad and learn more about PR on a European level.

What? Public Relations European School 2 (PRES2)
When? May 8-15
Where? Novi Sad, Serbia
For whom? For you and 24 other young Europeans, who are already working or about to work in communications/PR on a European/international level in their organisations
What is the focus? Communications/PR on a European/international level
How much does it cost? 90 euro, including full program, knowledge, fun, accomodation and meals
Is there travel reimbursement? Unfortunately no

How to apply? Fill the form on till March 18 23:59 CET and press the button "submit". The results will be announced within 10 days and you will receive a personal reply from us by March 29.
In case of any questions - write to and!


Anita, PRES2 manager, and her amazing team

Monday, February 28, 2011

Open Call for PRES2 Trainers

You! Yes, exactly you!

We live only once. We also die only once. So why do not make the best you can out of your life and do something you love?

Let's say... You love giving trainings and seeing the new generation gaining the knowledge you are giving them. You love PR and communications and you are sure that you are good at it. You have time to come to the middle of Balkans on May 8-15 and share your knowledge and experience. 

Well, in such a case there is only one answer - you need to apply for a trainer in Public Relations European School 2 (PRES2) Novi Sad and join the amazing team of trainers! It will be you and just you who will show the enthusiastic AEGEE (and not only) members what does PR in a European-wide organisation mean.

I personally can guarantee that it will not be just work, but also fun working and relaxing together! You will teach others and learn yourself. You will receive a certificate stating that you were a part of trainers' team of PRES2 with a list of concrete workshops you have delivered. Participants will fall in love with you and other trainers will miss you as soon as the event will be over.

Of course, nothing is perfect in this world. Although we can't offer you salary or travel reimbursement for the journey you are going to make, we offer you a unique chance to shape the future PR gurus and guide them! We will provide lodging and food for the time you will spend in PRES2, we will have wonderful time together and you will develop not only others, but also yourself!

All you need to do - fill the form which you can find in till March 6 23:59 CET and press the button "submit". The results will be announced within a week, so till March 13 you will know if you are in or no.

In case of any questions - write to and!


AEGEE-Academy, AEGEE-Novi Sad and Anita Kalmane, PRES2 manager


Short FAQ:

- What? Public Relations European School 2 (PRES2) 
- When? May 8-15 Where? Novi Sad, Serbia 
- Who are the participants? ~20-30 young people from several European organisations, who are already working or about to work in communications/PR on a European/international level in their organisations (project teams, working groups, committees etc.), not on a local level anymore 
- What is the training focusing on? Communications/PR for organisations and people who do not live in the same city/country and whose target audience is all over the world 
- What is the program? N/A - you and other trainers will be the ones creating, not only implementing it! We are flexible to design the course according to the skills of our trainers

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Academy workshop @ EBM Riga!

Dear blogreaders!

For all of you who are going to Riga for the European Boards’ Meeting, the Academy will give an (attr)active workshop! The topic will be Human Resources, one of the Focus Areas and of course the topic of the HR Working Group:)

Motivation is the basis of a good working HR. Especially in voluntary work, motivation is the thing that keeps you going. The first two hours of the workshop will be devoted to motivation: how to motivate members and how to motivate yourself. Is there a difference between motivating people to become members or motivating members to become active? Which tools are there to motivate someone, or does it just depend on your personality? We will use one tool for motivation: Maslow’s pyramid of motivational needs. During the workshop we will create a customized AEGEE pyramid, including what is necessary to fulfil every step towards motivated members.

The second part of the workshop will focus on the Human Resources structure in AEGEE. There are a lot of improvements to be made in this area, both on local and on European level. The Academy has developed a new structure during the Strategic Planning Meeting. Together, we'll discuss this structure: what is needed for it to work, how can it be implemented in the most effective way? Designing the strategy is useless unless it will be implemented, so let's make sure that it will work!

See you in Riga:)

PS, the Workshop is called: “Motivate your HR to the top” and will be in the first day of the EBM.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SPM weekend in Brussels

Finally that weekend arrived, and almost the whole ACA board could gather again as a family, but this time the family was bigger! We were accompanied by CD members, local Board members, Chair and ACA-members.

Some planes and train from whole Europe had the same destination: Brussels. Once there some of us went to the supermarket and bought food and more food to survive during the next three days. The amount of it was showing that it was weekend an maybe we were not going to be able to find an open supermarket anymore… but it was actually that we were not going to be able to go out of the CD house anymore!

More and more people arrived and dinner was ready. We used that moment to talk to each other and get to know the new ones, as well as to introduce the concept of the SPM and the previous ideas of the Academy Board to the others.

That night went on with different chats in the basement with the CD members that wanted to forget a bit about their non-stop working day.

Next day, even if it was Saturday, it was a hard working day, so we woke up at 8am. At 9 we were already in the social room and the discussions, SWOT analysis, post-its, beamer projections, flipcharts, skype connections, and others came back to life.

The working day was supposed to be finished around 7pm, but we seems to enjoy so much that we decided to stop only for lunch and later on continue with it until late 10. The day was incredible productive, but also mind-tiring! That’s why as a good Saturday night we were enjoying our social part around the house. And yes, I mention around the house because it was not a party in the kitchen for example, people was around chatting and having some drinks.

The second working day was, I could say, even more productive as we could already work on something that we all now had in mind. It was actually the day to look for methods, so we had to be creative alter previous night, and I can say that we succeed!

The SPM was officially finished and after some group hugs to those leaving, we decided to go for a kebab in order to take some fresh air, and clear our mind up! But we ate it back in the house so as some of us were willing to have some more fresh air, decided to taste the Sunday night life of Brussels for some more hours.

Personally, it was really intensive and productive and I have the feeling that I really learned a lot, being it my first Strategic Planning and that I totally came back home with a clear idea about it. If you want to know more about the outcomes and follow the discussion visit the forum.

Now… it’s time to focus on implementation. Hope to see you around!

Monday, February 14, 2011

“Treasure Hunt” – funding for youth initiatives

1st of February was a very important day. It was the deadline for the submission of the YiA application for FRES (Fund Raising European School). As we all know deadlines are always stressful, and this one was also one of those.

As most of you may already know FRES is, among others, a training course where participants are able to learn new techniques to fund raise, to know how to deal with sponsorship letters, learn how to handle Youth in Action applications and other grants and share experiences from their own associations. But that’s not all, apart from that they can also get to know about how voluntary actions can be effective and useful and that with the right knowledge, they can achieve strong aims.

Besides, this event will be somehow special as it’ll be the first joint event organised by AEGEE and BEST. That’s why AEGEE-Academy and TiGro (the Academy of BEST) started to work together already some time ago and even some of their members had a meeting in Brussels.

In that meeting some agreements were made: dates, how to handle the training, managers, fees, contact persons between the two organizations…

Finally, after a long way through different antennae, AEGEE-Zaragoza was selected as host local. A Youth in Action (YiA) application was something new for most of the current board but they were brave enough, and their enthusiasm and hard work helped a lot. But not only that, also the big effort from Mirek, the External Relations of AEGEE-Europe, and the non-stop emailing of the whole AEGEE-Academy Board, Mirka from the CD, included, was absolutely necessary.

Finally 1st of February everything was ready, and with all the Parts III of the partner associations, AEGEE-Zaragoza handed in the application in the local seat the Spanish Youth Council.

Now it’s time to cross our fingers and wait for a positive answer. Stay tuned and keep the week from 17th to 24th of September free!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

ProTrain’s matching results published

First of all: What’s ProTrain?
ProTrain programme encourages and supports active, competent and motivated AEGEE members to acquire training skills. The programme is based on the acquisition of competences and continuous feedback from an experienced mentor, who helps the mentee to develop as trainer.

That’s it, two days ago this matching happened in the second edition of this project. Mentees finally got to know their mentors and everybody seems to be happy! What will happen now is that both sides will meet (online supposedly). It is supposed that most of them selected each other, so on the one hand, they might know each other already and now this regular relation will make them feel closer, or on the other hand, this experience will create a new tie between them. This time we counted with the applications of some external trainers too. Moreover, Sandra Geldmacher, Project Manager, will send them a first task to the mentees, in order to guide them a bit in the beginning, and will wait input from mentors in order to know what’s the best way to follow with this new ProTrainees. In any case the development is totally up to the mentee and the mentor, as assignments are just a helping tool.

The process to apply is easy. First both sides are request to fill in a survey with their personal and professional data, experience in AEGEE, motivation… But also their plans for self-assessment, goals for personal development etc. Later on this info is shared with the opposite side and both mentees and mentors state their preferences, who to work with. Finally when the matching process is over it’s time to start working! New experiences are waiting there outside for the next 6-12 months (it all depends on THEM): leading interactive workshops, facilitating discussions, designing training concepts… Little by little the mentee will be encouraged to accomplish some tasks as: leading some WSs (3 would be a good number both in local and European level), leading some training sessions, creating a training concept together with some fellows, participating in a T4T…

Good luck, and hopefully see you soon, mentees, in the Academy!