GapSummit 2022

Are you a high-achieving student, early career researcher or early career professional who wants to explore diverse career paths in biotech?  

Would you like to join a global community of talent in biotech?  

Do you have an innovative biotech solution to develop?  

Apply here now to be a Leader of Tomorrow at GapSummit 2022 in Cambridge, UK on September 5-7th, 2022! 

Each year, 100 Leaders of Tomorrow (LoTs) from all around the globe join GapSummit to expand their knowledge of biotech, bridge the gaps within the bio-economy, and enjoy exclusive opportunities to network with current leaders in biotech, including Nobel Laureates, CEOs, executives, and entrepreneurs

In addition to panels, keynotes, and workshop sessions, GapSummit proudly offers the “Voices of Tomorrow” bio-innovation competition, which gives LoTs the opportunity to ideate innovative biotech solutions to real-world challenges. LoTs engage in entrepreneurial workshops, discuss solutions with mentors, craft business plans, and prepare business pitches for assessment. The finals of this competition will be held in person at GapSummit 2022, with the potential for high-performing teams to pursue their idea with a mentor or accelerator afterwards. 

There are two essential characteristics that we seek in our successful applicants

  • Proven leadership and relevant soft skills: we seek well-rounded individuals with a passion to learn, grow and make a difference; 
  • Dedication to the field of biotechnology: breadth of understanding of global bio-economy beyond their immediate study or work. 

Apply here today and secure your place for GapSummit 2022.  

For further details, click here for our flyer (pdf). If you have any questions, please visit our website or contact us: 

We look forward to seeing you join this growing international community!  





ECHA 2022: Call for abstracts



With great pleasure the National Talent Centre of the Netherlands would like to extend you a warm welcome to join us next year in The Hague, The Netherlands, as we host the 18th Conference of the European Council for High Ability on 31 August – 3 September 2022. Abstract submissions are welcome for consideration and can be submitted via the conference website until Tuesday 1 March 2022, 23.59 hrs. CET. 


  • Innovative Educational Practices
  • Creativity without Limits
  • Supporting Talent Development & Personal Growth
  • Connecting Research & Practice in Meaningful Ways
  • Engaging Every Learner: Motivation & Flow
  • Pupil’s voice
  • Creating New Traditions
  • Giftedness across the Lifespan


Abstracts can be submitted through the online submission form only.

The deadline for the online submission is 1 March 2022, 23.59 hrs. CET.



There is so much to see and to experience in the city by the sea, you certainly will not get bored. With the most historic sites per square meter in the Netherlands, The Hague oozes culture and history. Visit The Hague monuments such as the Binnenhof, Noordeinde Palace, and the Peace Palace. Take some time to visit one of the many beautiful museums. Or just go to the beach for a relaxing moment.

For more information: click on the green button   

Feel free to share this newsletter with others who may also be interested in ECHA 2022 by forwarding this email or by sharing it on social media.



+31 71 2020 303  |

European Science Festival during the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU

The European Science Festival will take place from 9 to 11 November 2021 under the leadership of the Slovenian Science Foundation (SZF) on the occasion of World Science Day for Peace and Development (10 November), as an associated event of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The European Science Festival aims to showcase Europe’s diversity in science, the excellence achieved in science communication, to promote the deepening of the European Research Area (ERA), and to promote European values in establishing and maintaining a lasting mutual dialogue between the European scientific community.

It is the umbrella event of the science festivals in Europe and is unique in that it brings together top scientists, academics, Nobel Laureates and talented students, as well as high-profile, award-winning journalists in the field of science and the understanding of science in everyday society. The event will be a one-stop-shop for European science, showcasing European science as a core European value.

Top scientists will present their work at the festival, thereby contributing to the promotion of research in Europe and beyond, while influencing the development of science policies to develop and effectively use science diplomacy to address global crises. The festival will take place on the occasion of World Science for Peace and Development Day and will focus scientific values on the cohesive politics of peace, ethics and a better future.

Andraž Ivšek,

Director of the European Science Festival

Global Talent Mentoring: A Hub for the World’s Most Talented Youth in STEMM and “One of the Best I’ve Experienced”

“One of the best I’ve experienced”—such is the praise for Global Talent Mentoring by Dr. Ruben Fair, magnet group leader of experimental nuclear physics at the respected Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in the United States. Dr. Fair is one of the many distinguished STEMM experts from around the world who is volunteering his time and expertise to mentor an exceptionally talented youth in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medical sciences (STEMM) through Global Talent Mentoring.

Since the launch of Global Talent Mentoring’s pilot round in April of 2021, over 250 outstanding participants from more than 30 countries have been benefitting from the international online mentoring program. Outstandingly talented and highly motivated students (about age 16) in STEMM located around the globe were nominated by Global Talent Mentoring partner organizations, completed a comprehensive application, and were selected among a larger pool of applicants by Global Talent Mentoring to participate as mentees. Each mentee has been carefully matched with an expert sharing the same STEMM domain to form a mentoring pair, or dyad. The program is designed for mentees to participate for up to ten years, with students following individual learning pathways that guide them on their individual paths to STEMM excellence. To facilitate one-on-one mentoring, the online platform offers different communication channels such as emailing, instant messaging, and videoconferencing. The platform also serves as a members-only community space where all participants can interact with one another.

Global Talent Mentoring supports its participants through close, regular monitoring of the participants’ activity and experience with the help of trained program representatives who are ready to address participants’ needs in order to facilitate a positive mentoring experience. Additionally, research-based training materials covering topics such as aligning expectations and goal setting guide participants through the main stages of building a lasting and successful mentoring relationship.

In order to offer participants the best possible experience, four years of exhaustive preparation went into the program that included thorough research on which the program is based, the careful creation of a unique online platform, and close cooperation with its growing network of 48 partners and collaborators from six continents. Global Talent Mentoring is also completely free of charge, thanks to its owner, the UNESCO-recognized Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance (Dubai, UAE). The preparation of Global Talent Mentoring has been funded by a four-year research grant by the Hamdan Foundation and has taken place at the University of Regensburg (Germany). Global Talent Mentoring program director Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger, Chair for School Research, Development, and Evaluation at the University of Regensburg, created the concept and, together with her team, built a global network of dedicated partners and custom designed an online platform that is now a meeting place for participants from around the world who are benefiting from this exclusive, evidence-based, long-term mentoring program. Global Talent Mentoring will start its second cycle of mentoring with new participants in the spring of 2022.

For more information about the program, partnering, and volunteering as a mentor, please visit

ETSN Youth Platform Summary

Zsuzsanna Szilágyi

What has the Youth Platform given me?

The establishment of the Youth Platform of the ETSN, goes back to the European Youth Summit organised in connection with the ECHA conference of 2016. This was the first time the youth from the ETSN Talent Centres met at a summit. Afterwards, Youth Summits were organised annually, the second one in Budapest, in 2017, in the frame of a talent support camp, the next one in 2018, in Dublin, on the sidelines of the ECHA conference and in 2019 in Dubrovnik, on that of the first thematic ECHA conference.

At these meetings, the participants can establish life-long friendships and international contacts, and their work in an international environment as well as opportunities to familiarise with other cultures and education systems is often an asset for their future career. In addition to meeting their peers, they also get acquainted with iconic figures of international talent support.

The young people active in the Youth Platform were hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic: they have had no opportunity to meet personally since the 2019 Summit. The 2020 Summit had to be cancelled due to the border crossing restrictions, and online discussions could not replace personal contacts for the Youth Platform participants, in particular since their time at the Platform is limited anyway by their age and life conditions.

Even in 2021, there will be no more than a single online Summit, that is  organised by the ETSN Centres together with the organising staff of the Porto ECHA conference. Programmes are being developed continuously until the beginning of the on-line Summit.

According to our plans, 47 students from 15 countries will take part at the international meeting in 2021. Lets listen to some students about their experience in the Youth Platform:

Summary of Csenge Földvári-Nagy

I am Csenge Földvári-Nagy, I am 23 years old, and I have just graduated in Social Policy and Sociology at the University of Birmingham.

The YP has given me a lot. First of all, I met my mentor, Vilmos Benkő, with whom I have been in contact ever since and who supports me on my journey, but the contact system I have established thanks to this programme is also most important. Contrary to the experience of my school years, during the YP events I have learned not to be afraid of others: I could get in touch with anyone more knowledgeable than I am, and request guidance and assistance. Just because someone is ahead of me, I do not have to fear that person, who is also a human being, just like me. As for the practical skills, such as presentation technique and mentoring, the programme gave me knowledge that I have been using daily ever since then.

My “career” has just started when I left the programme. I took on many tasks at university, such as helping other students with their learning tasks, representing my fellow-students to lecturers, organising events for the student circle of my programme as academic officer, evaluating teacher applications and promoting the integration of international students, to mention but a few. I have acquired the knowledge that made me capable of helping first-year students in their studies by answering their questions or guiding them to the answers at the YP.

What is my favourite recollection? Experience acquired at the European Youth Summit, including a visit to the 15th ECHA Conference.

Summary of Lilla Harangozó

I am Lilla Harangozó, a 21-year-old graduate of International Relations at Corvinus University of Budapest. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I will continue my studies in European and International Governance at Vrije Universitet Brussel.

I joined Youth Platform in the spring of 2017 as a delegate of my former school, Garay János Grammar School of Szekszárd. I have taken part in talent support since I was in lower grades, mainly in the fields of Hungarian and of foreign languages, and I continued my activity in secondary school. I have been an active member of the self-governments of my schools since Grade 5, and this has taught me to organise events of various sizes and to work in a community. All in all, I consider myself a very open, social and purposeful person who would do her best to achieve her goals.

The Youth Platform gave me a lot in the past 4 years. When I participated at the first meeting in Budapest, I was a complete stranger to everything and everyone, but we have soon found a common voice and I became the member of a small family. By the time of the 2018 Dublin Meeting, I was one of the five students who organised their own YP programmes. The last face-to-face meeting took place in Dubrovnik in 2019, and that was also a great experience for me.

During the few days of the meetings, we have always had opportunities for “entertainment” in addition to work: to tour Croke Park, then attend a reception, or just swim in the Adriatic in early October after a rich day. My fondest memory is also associated with Dubrovnik: on our last evening, we walked to the harbour of the old town and talked there for hours, looking at the sea and the wonderful city.

Through these meetings, I have learned a lot not only about myself, but also about others. Being a member of an international team helps you acquire the skills that will make it easy for you to adapt to others while also enforcing your own will. I have gained an insight into the opportunities available to the talented youth of other countries to unfold their abilities, something that we could also profit from.

Recently, I have placed most emphasis on my university studies as well as building my future. I spent half a year in Brussels on an Erasmus scholarship, and as intern in the European Parliament at the same time. In both places, I benefited from the qualities acquired through the Youth Platform, as I was not unfamiliar with the international environment at the university, and I was able to make full use of all my experience so far in my work.

Unfortunately, I haven’t met personally the people I’ve had these experiences with in a long time, but I’m sure if I needed anything, a message would be enough for someone to help me. I believe that once someone becomes a member of this team, it will have a place in it forever.

Tribal Mensa Nurturing Program

TMNP – Closing Gaps in Gifted Education

Vinayak Bhavan, 510 Sadashiv Peth, Pune – 411030, INDIA. |

The word ‘gifted’ is synonymous with enormous, naturally endowed talent or skill. However, for many underprivileged children, this giftedness is never identified or nurtured to reach its full potential. 

The Tribal Mensa Nurturing Program is a globally recognized, specialized program of Mensa India that identifies and mentors highly gifted underprivileged children in the remote rural areas of India. Since our inception in 2003, we have tested over 40,000 children and successfully nurtured nearly 4000 kids to become potential society leaders. Since 2017 TMNP is focusing on underprivileged gifted girls specifically as they are the nurturers of any family. 

This journey has not been a walk in the park. There are several challenges we face on an everyday basis while mentoring these children, especially girls. The reasons are many, ranging from rural mindsets to societal pressures. The traditional norms of generations are persisting that the role of girls to assist in their homes which holds more priority than education by itself. Secondly, education can be discontinued for various reasons by the parent if the girl child needs to be of assistance at home or to be married and beget children.

TMNP’s Approach: TMNP has always looked for solutions even in remote and harsh situations, creating activities and nurturing programs that have embraced challenges instead of fighting them to overcome hurdles. This would imply that TMNP has been able to take cognisance of the social norms of the rural area, the limitations of expanding nurturing beyond certain mindsets of girls in a conservative community. The kind of educational courses that girls should and can take may be gender specific and may not appeal to the intellect of the girl. Nevertheless, this leaves only few options open for them to pursue due to the disadvantaged background and community norms. TMNP has always worked around the geographical, social, and political fabric of that constituency. Farmer’s daughters can work towards being leaders in education, propagate health, awareness towards higher studies or sharing psychological strength towards other rural younger students.  The biggest challenge hampering the development of gifted underprivileged girls is the social mindset. Having never been exposed to global perspectives through education, rural communities are often reticent about sending girls to schools, let alone pursue higher studies or travel for jobs.

From the time we started, we decided to devise solutions that were non-academic and rooted in traditional Indian culture, such as our ancient Vedic knowledge. All our programs are based on ancient Indian philosophy and its precepts. This ocean of knowledge holds the key to developing strong, balanced, socially aware leaders who can transform society.

Challenges Faced by Gifted Underprivileged Girls in Rural Areas: Several challenges are created by the current educational, social, and economic systems that hold gifted underprivileged girls back from achieving their potential.

  1. Educational sector, evaluations based on performance in examinations instead of actual knowledge retentions,
  2. Social sector: Gender biases on the social front, preferences for boys than girls. Early marriage or dropouts.
  3. Economic sector: Financial instability due to agricultural hardships and priority towards housing, health and social customs like marriages and births which is more prominent financial liabilities than education.

Most of these children are first-generation learners, coming from low-income families who have relied on traditional professions for earning a livelihood. For many parents, investing time and effort in a long-term plan for their child when there is immediate work to be done at home seems like a waste of time, making it difficult for young girls to nurture their giftedness and pursue their dreams.

Conditioned by this mindset, the priorities of girls in rural areas are different as well. It is not that they are not ambitious; they just have never had the correct exposure to the abundant opportunities awaiting them in the world! Defying social norms is a challenge. Not all challenges are external, though; gifted underprivileged children have other internal sources of anxiety, fear of failure and achievement at any cost as money, time and learning is a constrain. These include low self-confidence, low self-esteem, peer pressure, personal insecurities, a high amount of self-criticism, negativity about self, and no goal setting. This results in poor physical appearance, disregard for self-care, and poor academic performance. 

Some cases at the other end of the spectrum result in students with extremely high expectations, different definitions of development, comparison to outside standards, and adoption of a Westernized lifestyle that creates a huge gap between their family professions and their perceived goals. Unrealistic academic goals that don’t match the socioeconomic position of the families, pilot, doctor, defence, nevertheless these goals are achievable financial and social fabric hinders this dream.

The lack of proper mentors and appropriate counselling keeps these gifted, brilliant young minds from realizing just how much they can contribute to society if only their talents were to be nurtured the right way!

TMNP addresses these root causes that erode the prosperity of rural civilizations and attempts to provide solutions that create self-motivated leaders of tomorrow. Instead of fighting every social barrier, we mould gifted students to adapt to the ecosystem and still create practical growth modules that will help the society they live in.

TMNP – Closing Gaps in Gifted Education: Rooted in the principles of Vedic Ecology, TMNP is an innovative endeavour to combine the principles of self-sustainability and empowerment of the youth at a grass-root level.

TMNP works to identify potential mentors and leaders from the underprivileged community at a young age and nurture them, focusing on making villages and tribes self-dependent rather than moving out to the cities for empowerment.

We make gifted tribal children aware of their high levels of intelligence and its potential uses, nurture that intelligence and foster a positive attitude towards societal problem-solving, which will lead to self-fulfilment and service/contribution to the country.

These are some of our unique giftedness nurturing programs, devised after careful thought and consideration, as well as the challenges they overcome.

1. TMNP VAMA Project: Conducted for gifted female students, TMNP Vama is the first and longest-running project for underprivileged gifted girls worldwide. We identify and nurture gifted girls in the age group of 12 to 15 years and provide complete financial support for their future educational endeavours. 

In addition, we also support and nurture their families to free them from the traditional responsibilities of the household.

Gender inequality and lack of resources force many girls to drop out of school, as they do not receive adequate financial support. VAMA helps gifted young girls to further their education without the worries of financial liability.

2. TMNP Sanskar-Chamu Project: Societal norms often restrict gifted married girls in rural areas from getting a job or travelling for work.

Sanskar-Chamu aims to empower these gifted underprivileged women who have to take up the responsibilities of a home and family after their education while maintaining propriety in society.

Designed to provide better financial stability and psychological and social well-being, Sanskar-Chamu is a project that furthers the noble work of teaching. The program helps young, gifted; married women set up study groups and playgroups to teach children about Indian morals and values along with academic inputs.

Being gifted individuals themselves, they are in a better position to identify the latent talents of other gifted children and create an ecosystem where they can thrive!

TMNP G-Class Project: One of the FIRST gifted exclusive class in a regular school was incorporated to nurture the brilliant, gifted children in the class. The G Class program for underprivileged gifted girls is the first of its kind at the national and international level. 

The Gifted Class (G-Class) comprises all the gifted girls identified in the school and sees the implementation of giftedness-nurturing activities, self-assessment, and self-development programs that inspire the young gifted girls to continue their education and pursue holistic brilliance.

TMNP Panchakosha-based Development and Nurturing: The Panchakosha based nurturing, and development model is TMNP’s first-of-its-kind giftedness nurturing module exclusively based on traditional Indian Vedic and Sanatana principles and philosophy. 

The Panchakosha Model is one of our most significant contributions to giftedness nurturing systems, with its indigenous, culturally embedded non-academic roots.

It is a holistic approach that establishes a relationship between the body, mind, nature, the soul, and the Supreme Being. All physical, mental, emotional, behavioural, and spiritual attributes are nurtured under the principles of the five Koshas, viz., Annamaya Kosha, Pranayama Kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Vidnyanamaya Kosha, and Anandamaya Kosha. 

It helps underprivileged gifted children realize their potential, enhance their confidence in their capabilities, and strengthen their emotional and social skills. 

TMNP-Learn and Earn: Another offshoot of the Panchakosha model, this activity empowers students to think of ideas with economic viability. The gifted students are encouraged to identify potential activities that can be monetized based on their assessment and identification of their strengths and dominant characteristics.

Tribal Mensa – Implementing Effective Modules for Giftedness Nurturing Tribal Mensa has developed these programs for giftedness assessment, identification, nurturing, and counselling after 15+ years of active work in the field. Rooted in traditional Indian principles, backed by scientific evidence and real-world data, they have been validated and proven repeatedly.

In the last 15 years, we have aimed to consistently contribute to nation-building through identifying, nurturing, and empowering every underprivileged gifted child in India so that no gifted child is ignored in our country.

Today, TMNP is working to establish a platform for underprivileged gifted children across India for developing & utilizing their full potential. With this dissemination of information, we hope to empower any educator in the world to understand and successfully implement these programs to develop gifted children in their society.

TMNP- Trigunatmak Jeevan Sankalp (Tripartite Life-Goal Setting): Gifted children have varied interests, diversity, and curiosity, making it difficult for them to focus on a single career in life and choose a life goal. 

TMNP conceptualized the Trigunatmak Jeevan Sankalpa, where information is gathered based on the giftedness characteristics, personality traits, and behavioural characteristics of the gifted student.

Based on a collective assessment of all these traits, the child can make an informed decision regarding his/her life goal.

TMNP- The Concept of ‘Daan’ (Donation): Indian philosophy advocates various types of donations as part of the final rituals of a deceased individual. TMNP proposes a radical take on the traditional concept of donations by encouraging people to think of this as an opportunity to help someone, not just an obligation.

For instance, instead of utilizing the money that would have been given for some rituals or death ceremony (that are currently not applicable) towards the departed soul can be spent towards someone who is living and can benefit. The person could contribute a bicycle to an underprivileged gifted child, enabling him/her to travel/commute faster. 

The intent is to promote awareness about the needs of these gifted underprivileged children so that affluent donors might think of empowering such students and hence contribute to educating and nurturing them.

TMNP- Trishakti Assessment: According to Ancient Vedic philosophy, three energies are required to perform any action or work. These are, Ichha Shakti or the power of desire, Jnana Shakti, or the power of knowledge and, Kriya Shakti power of action.

In Tri- shakti assessment, we find out why the gifted student unable to study well or perform academically. These are the questions we raise and discuss to facilitate efficient academic opportunities.

TMNP-Swadhyay (Self-study): Swadhyay or self-study is an activity where we give gifted students the tools, techniques, and training to study effectively on their own.

From lesson planning to self-assessment, we help them cultivate enthusiasm, energy, and motivation for self-study. These sessions also encompass pointers on overcoming challenges, understanding the scope of the subject, and developing a habit of studying by oneself, and maybe become lifelong learners which helps them become better students for life.

TMNP-Gatiman-Gatisheel (Accelerated Training Module): TMNP assesses gifted students for two types of performance – academic and non-academic. We have observed that while students may sometimes not perform well academically, they perform exceedingly well in activity-based exercises that demand creativity, diversity, and ingenuity.

Furthermore, to translate this non-academic performance into academic excellence, we devise creative ways of explaining academic concepts and use methodologies that can be different than just academic format like project based etc. It creates interest among students about the subject, leading them to understand essential concepts with ease.

TMNP-Ashtang Samupadeshan (Eight-fold Counseling): TMNP has developed an eight-fold counselling module that addresses every aspect of the gifted student’s nurturing. 

It includes giftedness assessments, pre-and post-nurturing counselling, self-awareness and self-identification, Panchakosha-based nurturing, mentoring based on Vedic and Puranic philosophies, coping strategies and mechanisms rooted in Indian tradition, and Sanatan teachings.

There is a great deal of emphasis on developing the proper thought process, habits, ideas, and guiding principles that hone the child’s overall personality at a very impressionable age.

TMNP-Bharati Program: TMNP’s Bharati Program is founded on the premise of empowering young girls to be active drivers of their future by planning life goals from a young age, after a due assessment of their skills. 

We provide the necessary financial help, mentoring, and networking opportunities required by the participants to achieve their goals. Based on the concept of the four D’s – Doer, Destination, Dedication, Device, the Bharati Program for nurturing underprivileged gifted girls is genuinely one of its kind in the world!

TMNP-Kapila Nari Program: There is a distinct lack of awareness about female hygiene and complex health issues in rural areas, leading to early deaths and a high mortality rate.

The Kapila Nari program intends to create awareness about diabetes and heart disease, in rural areas, especially with the help of gifted girl students from remote nursing colleges and medical schools. 

We conduct extensive workshops educating young women about these subjects and also provide international certifications of the workshops in which they have participated.

TMNP-Self-Identification: The Panchakosha model of assessing giftedness characteristics is based on holistic, non-academic testing principles, which identifies gifted children’s positive and negative characteristics. 

It assesses the physical, interactive, intellectual, psychological, emotional, creative, social, and spiritual traits of gifted children, which aids more personalized and nuanced counselling in the future. Put this in in point 4

TMNP-Assessment of Traditional Life Principles: This activity takes a leaf from Indian mythology, quite literally! Children are often told stories of gods and goddesses in Hindu mythology, encouraging them to accept these deities as ideal personas to be emulated.

Nevertheless, whom should gifted young girls look upto these ideals? Should their role models be from the modern era, or should they be the eternal ideals stemming from the Sanatana tradition? TMNP discusses these concepts and helps young gifted girls identify whom they should choose as role models.

TMNP has developed six giftedness workshop modules, of which four have been published. The 6th module is the workshop on the Assessment of Traditional Principles. This workshop encourages thinking about our Gods and Goddesses from various perspectives to analyze their traits and flaws and imbibe the divine qualities. This approach may be relatable as religious gods and goddess and their teaching are still relevant for this community.

TMNP-Study of Ethics and Morality: In a world that is gradually sinking into immorality, TMNP encourages gifted students to explore the thoughts and concepts of ethics and morality for themselves. Through stories, incidents, characters, poems, narrations, articles, and activities, we help students understand the true meaning of ethics and morality, eschewing the bookish definition. 

Dr. Narayan Desai,

Founder, Tribal Mensa Nurturing Program


Talent Management Practices for Children in Extreme Poverty and Risk

Summary of the “Talent Management Practices for Children in Extreme Poverty and  Risk” symposium of ECHA’s 2021 Thematic Conference on Closing the Achievement Gap in Gifted Education

János Gordon Győri

In the past decades, responsible and fair talent support striving to promote equality and justice gave special emphasis on the involvement and appropriate development of children labelled “disadvantaged” or “multiply disadvantaged” in the Hungarian terminology. A relatively large number papers, methodological recommendations and conference presentations has been dedicated to talent support and development for this group and, luckily, there are also many relevant best practices.

One group of gifted children, in an even more serious situation, however, remains practically unaddressed in the context of talent support: children living in extreme poverty and also vulnerability threatening their life and healthy development. The hungry, the sexually exploited or enslaved children, those who live in the streets, trying to survive on their own, and those directly threatened by the wars. Often, their vulnerability is not attributable to one or another of the specific risks or hindering factors, but to their complex and prolonged presence.

At the roundtable discussion that was part of ECHA’s 2021 Thematic Conference on Closing the Achievement Gap in Gifted Education, three internationally renowned professionals presented one talent education programme each targeting children living in extreme poverty and vulnerability, with Prof. Dr. János Győri acting as moderator. The participants of the symposium “Talent Management Practices for Children in Extreme Poverty and Risk” were Prof. Sheyla Blumen from Peru, Dr. Narayan Desai from India, and Ndondo Mulli Mutua from Kenya, who presented programmes driven by rather different philosophies each.

Professor Dr. Sheyla Blumen, University Professor at the Department of Psychology of Pontificia Universidad Católica Del Perú, highlighted the necessity of providing talent support to young people living under extreme conditions; in Peru, 20 percent of the population lives in poverty and 2-3% in extreme poverty. The COAR (Colegios de Alto Rendimiento; Residential Academies for High Achievers) centres present in 25 regions of the country have been active in talent support to the scientifically gifted in the social groups living in poverty and making up 20 % of the population since 2010. The programme which rejects the “one size (i.e. one type of training) fits all” approach builds heavily on the original culture of students coming from deprived environments and selected by a special complex talent identification method. They teach children self-advocacy skills and, at the same time, cultural sensitivity, inter-cultural cooperation, the ability to adapt to cultural diversity and commitment to social justice and equity, while enhancing their cultural competencies. This is all the more necessary since they generally come from cultural minority communities subject to disadvantages and prejudices on behalf of majority society. Concurrently, the programmes concerned develop also the research skills of the gifted, partly to make these underprivileged children able to pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD) examination. Further special components of the programme are discussed in more detail in Blumen’s publication of 2021, (Blumen, 2021).

Dr. Narayan Desai presented the Indian Tribal MENSA Nurturing Programme that he had founded and of which he has been a decisive professional leader to this day. Dr Narayan conducted the first MENSA test (internationally applied IQ test to identify those in the highest IQ brackets) in his Tribal School in 2002 and, to his great surprise, identified foul girls students who excelled at the MENSA IQ test. Talent identification among Indian children in extreme poverty and vulnerability has been using similar non-figurative IQ tests to this day. The test is conducted with children aged 11-12, and those in the highest, 95%+, brackets can be admitted to the talent programme. Since intellectually gifted students from deprived environments usually encounter difficulties in demonstrating high performance, due to e.g. social, not intellectual hindrances, efforts are being made to enhance their personality, motivation, via pull-out programmes with different foci by age group. Children are also provided career guidance in the same context. The driving principle of the programme is to support the skills/abilities, not the lexical knowledge of the gifted child. For further details, see the programme website at

Ndondo Mulli presented Mully Children’s Family programme founded in 1989 at the symposium. The foundation of the programme is associated with the name of Dr Ev. Charles Mutua Mulli from Kenya, who, from a wretched young child lift by his parents to the care of an aunt, became a prosperous businessmen , a practising Christian following the teachings of the gospel, a philanthropic public figure. Mully Children’s Family is a development centre targeting the most wretched, most exposed gifted children who meet a very high criteria set. The approximately 4 000 children currently selected there come from street children, orphans, abandoned, physically and sexually abused children, forced into child labour, physically disabled, HIV- / AIDS-infected, deprived children and child mothers. The purpose of the programme is expressed by the 3Rs: rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration. Children are provided quality education, training in technical and vocational and even agricultural fields, musical talent development and development opportunities in sports, up to the highest professional levels. The programme, however, goes beyond providing assistance to, and ensuring the social integration of gifted children: it covers also support and development for the communities from which they come. The children themselves are socialised to return, if possible, to their own community and put to use what they received at Mully Family there, by advancing their own community through their presence, socialisation efforts and support. (For more details on the programme see its website at

Although the programmes presented at the symposium have their critiques (Gordon Győri, 2021), this was the first time in the history of the ECHA when a symposium was dedicated to their efforts, work and absolutely commendable achievements, focusing specifically on the most deprived and exposed child groups of society, and on gifted children in an even harder situation than their disadvantaged or multiply disadvantaged peers. The programmes fulfil a mission both literally and in the abstract sense in the world of talent support, an environment that can often offer opportunities to the gifted in more privileged groups of society than to the children admitted to these development programmes.


Blumen S. (2021). Innovative Practices to Support High-Achieving Deprived Young Scholars in an Ethnic-Linguistic Diverse Latin American Country. In: Smith S.R. (Eds.), Handbook of Giftedness and Talent Development in the Asia-Pacific (pp. 223-238). Springer International Handbooks of Education. Singapore: Springer.

Gordon Győri J. (2021). Globális tendenciák a tehetségnevelésben: tehetséggondozó programok (Global trends in talent education: talent support programmes). Magyar Pszichológiai Szemle, 76(1). DOI: 10.1556/0016.2021.00015 (to be published)