TalentWeb Newsletter Issue 2

Words from the Chairman

One of the most influential ideas of the entire European culture and intellectual history was Descartes’s cogito, ergo sum (“I think therefore I am”). In gifted education, we still feel its enduring resonance in concepts of giftedness that are top heavy and that neglect humans’ non-cognitive side. In the age of networks and gifted advocacy, however, an updated version of Descartes’s Cogito would be, “I am seen, therefore I am.” More recently, at least within the context of high ability studies, this proposition has evolved: “We are seen, therefore we are.”

This metamorphosis from the singular I to the collective we is most apparent in the development of ECHA’s brainchild: the European Talent Support Network (ETSN). Like ECHA, ETSN is a gifted advocacy group. However, whereas the parent organization boasts persons as its members, the ETSN is a coming-together of institutions. While both associations have a comparable number of constituents, several of ETSN´s institutional affiliates have amassed more individual members than the whole of ECHA. It is my hope that the ETSN’s strength will ultimately fuel ECHA’s assertiveness in the field.

Nonetheless, ETSN is still in its infancy; it is a rapidly growing, academic network with European Talent Centres and Talent Points as its hubs and nodes, respectively. As I write this, the network has recognized 24 Talent Centres and more than 350 Talent Points across 42 countries around the world. This year, Belgium, Croatia, Portugal and the UAE have joined as Talent Centres – magnifying the network’s global reach.

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the following two points. Firstly, the next election of Network Council members will take place this fall. I encourage our members to offer themselves as potential candidates and of course, to mobilize their votes, too! Secondly, I want to invite all Talent Centre and Talent Point representatives to join the General Assembly held in Dublin on Friday, August 10th alongside the 16th annual ECHA conference. See you there!

Albert Ziegler, Chairman ETSN

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