Towards a European Talent Support Network I

The Association of Hungarian Talent Support Organizations (MATEHETSZ), in cooperation with the European Council for High Abilty (ECHA) and the European Talent Centre – Budapest (EUTC) is organizing an international conference and a European Talent Day on 8-10 May, 2014, in Budapest, Hungary. The purpose of the conference is to build a European Talent Support Network, which serves as a basis to develop a talent-friendly society and effective talent support systems in the continent. The first step towards this is to learn how to cooperate, to share information, to make new contacts. In other words: networking is a necessity.

In order to spread this idea, we have asked some of our partners and supporters to write down their thoughts about the necessity of networking. All of the experts emphasize the importance of learning from each other, exchanging ideas, and sharing knowledge and capacity.

The first four answers can be read in this article, soon more of them will be published.

Claudia Resch (managing director of Österreichisches Zentrum für Begabtenförderung und Begabungsforschung (ÖZBF), Austrian Research and Support Center for the Gifted and Talented)

’A coordinated network of contact points helps to create synergies in talent support, and to avoid unnecessary duplications. Currently there is a lot of knowledge and expertise available all over the world and only networks ensure that this information is being shared, so that every institution in every country can build on already existing and well-working measures.’

Petra Summer (president of ECHA-Austria)

’Networking is very important in order to learn from each other by means of best practice examples, exchanging ideas, research results and experience. We have to encourage each other with all our efforts in supporting the talented and through networking we should be able to concentrate on a more systemic view on the topic. ‘ECHA International’ and ‘ECHA Austria’ are wonderful examples to show how networking can be successful and how organizations can learn from each other instead of inventing everything new by themselves.’

Stanislav Zelenda (project manager, National Institute of Children and Youth of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Prague, Czech Republic)

‘Networking is a way how to share. To share knowledge and capacity. There is a lack of knowledge, and poor data available in this field, however there are difficult problems to solve. Lot of countries are in the initial phase in this regard, so the sharing of knowledge is very important. The sharing of capacities is not only about money, it can be time, knowledge, or opportunities for children to participate to researches, or experiments. Another important message expressed by sharing is the ’we have the experience’, when encouraging someone to participate in this movement. If a teacher decides to pay attention to the gifted in school, it is an every-day hard task. Sharing helps to give him support when encountering problems with advices and friendships via electronic, but mainly personal networks.’

Mojca Jurisevic (associate professor at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education)

’I see networking as one of the right ways to improve gifted education. The processes linked to this networking like sharing, learning, and development lead to excellence.’

You can read more answers on necessity of networking in our second article.

Talent is a special kind of natural resource that is available in every country.