After another year, the European Democracy Youth Network (EDYN) ambassadors met in person in Tirana, Albania, where this year’s Annual Membership Conference was held. During these 3 days, 48 ambassadors and members from 12 countries were involved in numerous fruitful discussions on EDYN’s Vision for the coming years.
On the first day of the Conference Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj personally welcomed EDYN Ambassadors and outlined the perspectives for future cooperation. Michal Kovacs (EDYN Executive Director), Lubica Kovacova (EDYN Program Officer) and Lucia Husenicova (EDYN Communications Officer) introduced the EDYN’s Organizational Updates as well as the vision for the EDYN HQ moving forward.
Then ambassadors split into three breakout groups based on their background and interests to brainstorm the EDYN role into such topics as Political Party, Civil Society, Diplomacy & International Institutions.
Brock Bierman, Chairman of EDYN Board of Trustees, moderated the Panel Discussion “Learning from the Past: Connecting Generations of Democratic Leaders” that was attended by Amb. Daniel Fried (Weiser Family Distinguished Fellow, Atlantic Council), Paige Alexander (CEO, The Carter Center), Ken Wollack (Chairman, National Endowment for Democracy) and Dr. Kent Hill (Co-founder and Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute).
On the second day ambassadors had panel discussions with experienced professionals on combating brain drain, environmental threats, disinformation, effective youth activism and so on.
Genti Selenica (CEO & Co-Founder – BABOON), Erlis Linza (Owner & Administrator – BestSeller Albania) and Dr. Ermal Hasimja (Board Member – Open Society Foundation for Albania) shared their experience on combating brain drain through entrepreneurship.
Violeta Vajda (Resident Program Director – NDI) delivered her speech on the environmental threats to EDYN ambassadors as well as outlined the ways how we can overcome them.
Sorin Ionita (Expert in Public Administration Reform and Development – Expert Forum), Lorant Gyori (Geopolitical Analyst – Political Capital) spoke on the political consequences of disinformation.
Furthermore, Michal Kovacs framed EDYN’s engagement in the Summit for Democracy and introducing EDYN’s Handbook for Youth Engagement to the ambassadors.
During the third day of the Conference, ambassadors and members discussed EDYN’s vision for the coming year.
Moreover, they broke into groups by region to brainstorm on topics including internal communications, cross-border collaboration, engaging members in network activities, recruitment, etc.
After that we had a session with Lucia Husenicova, EDYN Communications Officer about how EDYN can help elevatе your voice. During this session ambassadors had a chance to share their experiences in communications, working with social media.
Final big session of the day was about success stories from the ambassadors after which we had small sessions about the Board of Trustees and upcoming EDYN President and Leadership Council elections.
It was great to have an opportunity to meet up with all of the ambassadors and share the experience between different EDYN chapters. The key result is that we continue our journey to make the network more sustainable in order to have a bigger input in building true Democracy in our countries.