In April 2019, EDYN held its inaugural Members Conference in Struga, North Macedonia. The conference hosted 44 participants from 14 countries – Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, BiH, Estonia, Georgia, Kosovo, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Serbia, and Ukraine. The conference served as an opportunity to introduce EDYN to the new members as an organization that will give space for youth across the region to discuss the challenges that matter to them, leverage peers as the source of solutions to those challenges, and plan the network’s activities. The participants also debated the most effective ways how to direct EDYN resources through its internal structures and initiatives, including the Committees and Membership Engagement Fund. During the conference, members attended expert-led trainings and lectures on topics such as leadership and motivation, effective messaging, media training, fundraising, working with volunteers, youth entrepreneurship, equality and access, disinformation and malign influence, and new approaches to historical conflict. Additionally, they participated in small group sessions on topics such as “What are the threats to democracy,” “How can we help each other as changemakers,” and “What problems are we trying to solve.”
During this conference, the participants established the five committees responsible for executing EDYN’s day-to-day functions: the Communications Committee, the Finance & Partnerships Committee, the Program Development Committee, the Elections Committee, and the Membership Committee.