It was a great honor for IAESTE Poland to organize the 6th LEAP Conference (LCs of Europe are Partners) for the first time in our history. We were pleased to welcome 59 participants from 13 countries in Łódź between 5th – 8th September 2019.
LEAP is the conference for experienced members and for those who want to change things, tackle new challenges together, and strengthen the exchange of the knowledge and experience between different member countries. The conference also offered a perfect atmosphere for country representatives to work on creating bonds and for discussing topics, which are relevant for the whole IAESTE and communicate current work to all members of the region. The challenge & goal is to implement new projects into IAESTE, improve our current projects on local levels, make the work afterward easier, and to maximize the potential of all LCs in Europe.
This year’s edition was special for IAESTE Poland – celebrating 60th Anniversary this year, but also because we developed the formula for the conference. First of all, we invited experienced members from other countries to work on workshops, case studies presented during the conference, and T4T (Training for Trainers). For this reason we appointed LEAP 2019 Workshops Planning Committee that was formed by following members: Marcin Jaworski (IAESTE Poland), Mark Feichtinger (IAESTE Austria), Martin Zimmermann (IAESTE Austria), Berend van der Mersch (IAESTE Netherlands), Jan Zajíček (IAESTE Czech Republic) and myself to coordinate the work. The result of our work were case studies for participants. The topics for this year’s edition were picked up from the variety of the IAESTE challenges we tackle in our daily business: realizations & quality control, marketing of the offers, Alumni & IAESTE Ambassadors, country network, onboarding, keeping IAESTE going nationally and cooperation with the third parties. All the working groups were asked to present their outcomes that we hope to be implemented with the support of the countries from our region. Also, on Sunday, we organized the panel discussion that was focused on Strategy 2025.
The new thing was a new formula for Training for Trainers. Especially in student-run countries, there is a need to organize many pieces of training for members to work with them and help them develop and grow in IAESTE. Hence, we, as IAESTE members, need to acquire all the skills required to provide relevant workshops and presentations. We were happy to train 10 participants this year. We hope that this training will be a valuable lesson to work in Local Committees with members.
Following the tradition – besides the days filled with workshops and group work, we also offered the social program. During the first evening, we took our participants back to the 90-s. The next day we invited them for the Polish wedding, and on Saturday evening all the participants took part in the International Evening, which was an excellent opportunity to get to know and interact with other countries.
I hope that LEAP conference was a valuable experience for all participants and the dose of motivation to work on many new IAESTE projects! We want to thank you all 13 countries that decided to send their representatives, but also for all the support we gained as the organizers!
LEAP 2019 Main Organizer & Exchange Coordinator