WORDS FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Dear ETSN Family:
The Covid-19 pandemic has directly and indirectly led to creative alternatives to the way we communicate with each other. Despite the difficulties presented by the international response to the corona virus, the ETSN capitalized on opportunities for growth through persistent virtual communication among all of its members. Consider the following two examples in which I am involved.
Example 1: ETSN Council Meeting
Our ETSN Council meetings have always been held offline. Council members are typically very active within the gifted education community, and as a result, there are always opportunities through which to collaborate, for meetings and get-togethers. But these opportunities presented themselves in a rather sporadic fashion, and unfortunately, were not as frequent as would have been desirable. Now we’ve started to hold intensive virtual meetings on the first Thursday of every month. Moreover, there were certainly points of contact between Council members in the past – but these occasions were bilateral. Even if in-person contacts retain a special quality of their own, the regularity and frequency of communication with which the ETSN continues to operate in the face of an international emergency is indeed, a clear indication of progress within the network. For our members, the aforementioned consistency creates special advantages. One such advantage is that concerns and suggestions addressed to the Council can be discussed promptly. Members, please make use of this opportunity for swift communication!
Example 2: Talent Center—Talent Points—Networking
A Southern German Talent Center meeting with ETSN Talent Points had been scheduled for last week, far in advance of the lockdown situation. The meeting was cancelled because of university closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of in-person contact, we held this meeting virtually. Surprisingly, these virtual meetings spaces have allowed the network and its members to grow closer together and have even spurred several new initiatives. I strongly believe that both our Talent Centers and Talent Points can stand to benefit from such a positive and intimate approach to virtual communication. After all, aren´t virtual meetings and contact points a democratic and promising approach to professional growth and network collaboration?
In light of the rapid changes to our way of life and approach to work, can the two examples captured above illuminate a path for the ETSN’s future development? I think so.
Of course, I remain hopeful that we will soon have the opportunity for real, personal exchange. Nonetheless, to make the best out of a difficult situation, and toward continued and sustainable growth, ETSN members have created new and maneuvered existing opportunities for virtual communication anywhere in the world. As leaders, it is our job to build off of the groundwork that they and others within the field have laid. Thus, together with the ETSN Council, I would like to encourage all Talent Centers and Talent Points to take advantage of the novel situation and employ new communication channels to continue to develop a professional network. Let us remember the quote by Mary Anne Radmacher: “Even from a dark night, songs of beauty can be born.” Perhaps even in the midst of the darkness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, new connections and welcomed cooperation will be borne from our efforts.
I encourage you to visit the ETSN map: https://etsn.eu/map-of-etsn/. There, I am certain that you will discover points of contact, moments for collaboration and international cooperation. Before the pandemic, creating physical rather than exclusively digital spaces of opportunity had been unique to the ETSN. Why not go virtual?
Prof. Dr. Dr. Albert Ziegler, Chairman of the ETSN
In this issue:
Upcoming Event and Invitation to Collaborate: Hacettepe University Research and Application Center for Gifted Individuals