NWM -Thessaloniki was held from the 30th March to the 2nd April in Thessaloniki. It was one of the first couple of NWMs that opened the spring season this year. It was attended by 30 participants, Spyros Papadatos from NetCom, Réka Salamon from CD and experienced trainers, such as Damien Moon Latacz from MedCom and Lucia Gavulova from Summer University.
The title of this article, which was inspired by Spyros Papadatos’s motto “Make the impossible, possible”, sets the beat and describes in the best way this NWM. It was a united collaboration between the local organisers, that surpassed every obstacle, and the European contribution of NetCom, CD and the other participating commitees. The result was a well organised NWM in both the logistic and the content-related aspects.
The participants came from various parts of the Network. Even though the element of the antennae coming from the distributional area where the NWM was organised was not prominent, this enriched the opinions and practices that could be shared during the whole process. The sessions were held in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and some of them in the local youth council settlement. Specifically, the participants had the chance to learn about the structure of AEGEE, prepare and present a SWOT analysis for their antenna, work on FR, HR recruiting and team management. Apart from this, there were sessions about Agora preparation and “Democracy in AEGEE”, a discussion about the future of AEGEE which was presented by Réka. The highlight though, according to many participants, was the Best for My Local session in which each antenna had the chance to share the knowledge and their best practice for recruitment. It was very helpful and enlightining, especially if we consider the fact that our Network is more and more threatened with shrinking. Moreover, the Open Space Technology, which hosted different discussions, from the Brexit to specifying the Point System, was the one that everyone enjoyed the most, due to the fact that they could be involved and participate actively. Laslty, there were very interesting sessions about the youth carrers within EU, which were presented to us by a representative of Europe Direct.
Despite the hard working during the sessions and the commitment with which everyone handled with it, the social life was enjoyed by everyone. Thessaloniki is a city well known for its nightlife, tasty food temptations and hospitable people.
The participants had the chance to meet all of these through city tours, partying like superheroes in an alternative style pub, travelling back to disco times and tasting the local liquors in traditional tavernas, even when the NWM was finished. We couldn’t exclude the legendary European Night, which was mostly enjoyed by Spyros, our NetCom, Marios, the local representative, and Alperen from AEGEE-Istanbul, who won an Interrail ticket in the Best of my Local competition.
All these wouldn’t have become a reality without the amazing team of organisers from AEGEE-Thessaloniki and the main organiser, Stella Krokou. Within a hard economical situation in Greece, they managed to keep up to everyone’s expectations and hold an inspiring NWM. The have succeded in fundraising, covering all logistics, gaining the collaboration of the university (whoever comes from an antenna with a difficult collaboration with the university can understand how important this is). The quality of their effort was eminent from the fact that everybody had a wonderful time both during the NWM and after it. Personally, as a participant myself on this NWM, I would like to express my gratitude towards them and wish this NWM to reflect on them the same inspiration and create an equal motivation to them as they did for us all!
Written by Vasiliki Andrioti, AEGEE-Ioannina