Connecting for Non-Formal Education 2023: Fostering Collaboration, Exploring New Frontiers – a Community-Led Event by eematico

Earlier in July, our member organization eematico invited to their Community-Led Event “Connecting for Non-Formal Education” in Bucharest. The purpose of this two-day event was to bring together various stakeholders from the non-formal education sector, fostering constructive dialogue, sharing best practices, and envisioning future directions within the field.

The event’s structure comprised two distinct segments. On the first day, participants engaged in a workshop format, designed to encourage individual introspection, small-group discussions, and plenary debates. To guide the discussions, five key questions were posed:

  1. What is non-formal education, and what does it mean for beneficiaries?

  2. What are the best practices in non-formal education?

  3. What opportunities does non-formal education bring for the development of children and young people?

  4. What are the challenges and pitfalls facing non-formal education now and in the future?

  5. What new directions does the changing context bring for individual organizations and cooperation between organizations?

The workshop discussions led to the creation of four discussion boards, which played a central role in the subsequent interactive public event on the second day. These boards focused on essential topics and served as hubs for further discussions during the public event.

On the second day, the now public event commenced with warm-up activities and opening remarks, followed by presentations from workshop participants, who shared insights into their respective work and organizations. Attendees were divided into four groups, rotating between the discussion boards. Short presentations on each topic provided context, and participants contributed their ideas, fostering rich and diverse discussions.

One special highlight of the event was the keynote address by Bethany Kaylor, Communications Manager of Girls Garage, who provided inspiration and motivation to the attendees.

The outcomes of the “Connecting for Non-Formal Education 2023” event were substantial. Participants gained a deeper understanding of the various facets of non-formal education, including its current state, potential benefits, challenges, and opportunities for future growth. The event also encouraged collaborations among organizations. Moreover, misconceptions surrounding non-formal education were addressed, and the event underscored the potential of integrating non-formal education into formal educational systems. The event’s congenial atmosphere facilitated the creation of a cohesive community, fostering the groundwork for future discussions and a robust network of support.

In conclusion, “Connecting for Non-Formal Education 2023” successfully achieved its objectives, providing a platform for stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue and explore innovative ideas within the non-formal education sector. The event’s impact has set the stage for meaningful collaborations and advancements in the field, emphasizing the importance of continuous efforts to empower children and young individuals through non-formal educational approaches.