Monday, August 8, 2016

New KFOS project kicked off in Thessaloniki

On 13th-14th July 2016 a new project sponsored by Kosovo Open Society Foundation was launched in Thessaloniki. It is aimed on building knowledge of new statehood in Southeast Europe, focusing on creating and disseminating policy-relevant new information about Kosovo.

16 young researchers from Slovakia, Romania, Greece, Albania, Cyprus, Serbia, FYROM, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina gathered on 13th of July in the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki to work on their research projects with their supervisors. The skilled researchers based on universities from all around the world – Arolda Elbasani, Nikolas Tzifakis, Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Agon Demjaha and Elton Skendaj – gave the younger ones precious advice regarding research plans, relevant literature and helped them to specify their research questions.

The sessions were complemented by master classes about research design and methodology in political research by Kostas Gemenis from University of Twente; about Kosovar diplomacy after independence by Agon Demjaha from South East European University; and by informal discussion on Brexit and its consequences for Western Balkans. In the afternoon of July 13th researchers also visited the Thessaloniki City Hall in order to meet with progressive Mayor Boutaris, who did great job in opening the city and reviving its Jewish heritage. Unfortunately, some serious events prevented mayor from coming, so just his deputy expressed warm welcome to the group and shortly outlined the cornerstones of successful policy of Mayor Boutaris.

Aim of the project is to create a publication with new ideas and information about Kosovo by February, with thematically varied chapters in the highest academic standard – from security and IR perspectives on western Balkans, to anthropology, sociology and economics. From March onwards the phase of dissemination will begin, where the aim is to bring the new knowledge to as wide spectrum of citizens as possible.

  Two days full of hard work on research and dissemination plans, networking and learning were just an initial phase. Next few months will be spent in research from behind the desk and in October researchers will be able to gather more information on field trip in Kosovo.

Energy Summer School

One month has already passed since the end of a very special event – Energy Summer School powered by Slovenské elektrárne and its partners and GLOBSEC Academy Centre was a part of this energetic ride.

The Energy Summer School was organized under the auspices of H.E. Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission for Energy Union, who decided to personally meet the students and discuss with them about their ideas on Europe’s energy outlook.
In 2016, Energy Summer School welcomed a 20 excellent university students regardless of their field of study or degree and the team behind the Energy Summer School further extended its reach to include participants from all Visegrad 4 countries and also participants from Lithuania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Uganda and Albania.

The 2016 program was full of interactive workshops and discussions with high level representatives of the European and international energy sector, energy experts, analysts and journalists, while organizing visits to several power plants and installations that are normally off limits for public, with trainings and various social and networking activities.

The overall impact and atmosphere cannot be better described than using following two quotes, one from the panelist Adrzej Anczgier, Climate Analytics, saying that: “This school is fascinating especially when I listen to the questions, which are extremely sophisticated and at a very high level. To answer them is also difficult for professionals. But there is much more that goes into the school because we need more elites, new elites. We need new leaders and those leaders are being created here. This school is great and we need more of this.” And another one by Jan Málek, Participant of Energy Summer School who added that: “It was extremely powerful experience in the sense that I have met a lot of people who are absolutely into the topic, who want to be active in the field of energy in the future and these contacts will be very helpful in the future.”

Project manager of GLOBSEC Academy Centre Martina Šinkovičová took part in this extraordinary series of debates, trainings and visits as well and also presented the work of GLOBSEC Academy Centre to participating students.

To make a long story short – Energy Summer School team, you did a great job! And GLOBSEC Academy Centre strongly recommends to all student with vivid interest in energy topics to participate at Energy Summer School 2017!

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