The Charter on the Rights of the Gifted Students document has been finalized recently; this was the first mutual project of the gifted youngsters arriving from the first 14 European Talent Centres to take part in the first Youth Summit which was organized parallel with the ECHA Conference held in Vienna (Austria) from the 29th of February to the 5th of March 2016. After the Summit the Youth Platform ( http://youthplatform.etsn.eu/ ) of the ETSN was formed by the youngsters, right now the Platform has about 80 members coming from 20 different countries. Since their Budapest Summit (2017 March) they have begun several new projects; some of them are also in connection with gifted and talented education. When finalizing the Charter the supervision was done by Monica Parodi, Ph.D., specialist in Political legislation and by Anna Maria Roncoroni, Ph.D. who was also the organizer of the first Youth Summit in Vienna.
The document intends to call the attention and action of all parties involved in making the life and the educational environment of gifted and talented students better, be them politicians, teachers at any level of the education system, potential mentors, tutors, parents and all members of the societies in Europe and other continents. This Charter wants to contribute to the process of making these societies more and more supportive for helping the gifted and talented youngsters as they are they are the actors of solving the unprecedented challenges mankind faces in the 21st century.
The document – among others – speaks about the following topics: talent identification, adequate educational opportunities, nondiscrimination, international cooperation in matters relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy etc. The document is downloadable here: Charter of the Right of gifted and talented students
The second European Youth Summit took place in Budapest from 29 th March to 2 nd April, 2017. The Summit was organized by the European Talent Center Budapest in collaboration with the Youth Platform of the European Talent Support Network. It brought together talented young people from different Talent Centers and Talent Points from all around Europe and other countries like India, Iran to foster enduring international connections and collaborations beneficial for both talented youth and society.
It was a wonderful opportunity for participants to meet like-minded individuals from different parts of the world having undergone a variety of talent development programs. There were 64 participants from 17 countries representing a total of 20 nationalities from the age of 14-26. The five days were marked by interactive sessions with eminent figures in the field of giftedness and workshops on future projects along with a taste of Hungarian culture.
Prof. Peter Csermely’s opening presentation on ‘Networking Day’ helped participants understand how to best use their intelligence and creativity along with guidance for creating a strong network for the Youth Platform over the course of time. This was followed by a series of ‘Lightning Talks’ – short Ted-talk style presentations where participants introduced their Talent Centers and Points to the group. It also provided participants the space to express and share their most cherished pursuits and accomplishments, which proved inspiring for everyone present.
On ‘Talent Day’, Dr. Ziegler introduced participants to different concepts of giftedness as well as the extensive scope of research being done in this field. Dr. Szilvia Peter-Szarka offered participants a chance to understand the complexities of defining giftedness and the ensuing difficulties in determining rights for gifted and talented students. Work on the EU Charter on Rights of Gifted Students continued with different groups providing suggestions for different sections of the Charter. William Benkő also conducted an extremely useful workshop on public speaking, helping participants realize the importance and most efficient method of conveying their thoughts.
And lastly, ‘Innovation Day’, which was partially conducted at the Central European University in Budapest, proved to be a beneficial platform for participants to find creative solutions for ongoing and future Youth Platform projects. The bonds formed over the past few days along with enhanced knowledge of giftedness enabled team work on crystalizing ideas into structured projects such as an International Mentoring Program, Cultural Exchange Program etc.
All this along with enjoyable activities such as a boat ride on the Danube river and learning Hungarian folk dances made for an incredibly eventful as well as enriching five days. It was a structured yet organic journey of getting to know other Youth Platform members, understanding our common platform and rights, and exploring what we can do with it to bring about effective change in the field of talent and giftedness.