3…2…1… We are starting our daily blog with countdown, just to bring you closer to the actual opening lines of our Darko Marković, who once again greeted us from the shiny stage of the Third European Academy of Youth Work.


We are finally here in Kranjska Gora, a community gathered around innovation and trends in youth work. More than 200 people with different roles and backgrounds: youth workers, educators, trainers, researchers, practitioners, decision makers, and for the first time this year, students of youth work with their special role and assignment.


Feels nice to observe the dynamics of the first day, people arriving – the lucky ones who had short and pleasant trips all fresh and ready to seize the day, and the other ones (author of this blog included) drained and barely standing from never-ending trips, and at the same time overly excited of what is ahead. Lots of hugs for old friends and colleagues, lots of getting to know each other and introductions, lots of “do I know you; I think we have met before but I am not sure, and there are more than 200 people here, please help me” looks. To be continued until the very end of the event… First time participants taking photos of the beautiful surroundings of Kranjska Gora (as Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot from the European Commission emphasized in her opening speech: a perfect location to meet and reflect), the returnees convincing them it is even more beautiful when sunny. 


And here we are, ready for the programme the start. And, oh, the programme…


As a warmup for the opening session, we had the opportunity to discover Kranjska Gora through the eyes of young people who live here or do some creative painting with Peter Gaber. Just for a glimpse of the “the things I want to attend are happening simultaneously and it is so difficult to decide” feeling that will keep following us through the next few days. 


Anita Silva and Darko Marković officially opened the third Academy and introduced us to the opening speakers who support the event. During the opening speeches, we heard important information from the interim evaluation of the Youth Strategy, views of young people and their readiness to face the challenges of the future, spoke about the Academy’s role in supporting quality youth work, and we learned more about the side project of the youth work students during the Academy. The main question of the day: How do we get future-ready?


After the opening speeches, the amazing Clearview window cleaners introduced the participants to the educational tool designed for the event, aimed to promote constructive conversations about the future. I can honestly say: IT DID! The tool sparked so many meaningful conversations, imagining scenarios, envisioning the future (sometimes optimistic, sometimes gloomy), discussing actions… The room was vividly glowing with energy from the discussions and reflections. For those of you reading and not lucky enough to be here, for closing of this article I will share a few preblisks from the discussion (*preblisk – a Slovenian word representing a huge lightning that makes everything clear):


“The future is hopeful, but we need to prepare for it”

“I never say no to the new”

“We need to get ready to be ready for the development of youth work”


With clean windows and a clear view, we are ready and excited for everything the Academy will bring in the following days. 


Interested to follow the Academy online? Join us on our live streams here!

Author: Ana Pecarski, EAYW participant