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.

The Charter on the Rights of the Gifted Students

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 ( ) 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

YOUTH SUMMIT of the European Talent Support Network 2017




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.