On 20 February 2019 Kelly-Ann Fonderson, ACP YPN Policy Expert, attended the Projekt Hansa Youth Event hosted by the ECR Group at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. The aim of the youth conference was to strengthen and promote trade and cultural ties amongst European countries while equipping the next generation of young leaders with skills. Fonderson joined 16 participants representing eight Northern European countries including Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK.
Some of the notable panels and workshops included:
- Single Market and the euro – Ulrike Trebesius, MEP and David Hening, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
- Leadership Skills – ECR Chairman Syed Kamall, MEP
- Social media strategy – Kayla De Nardi
- Networking training – Dr Martine Alonso Marquis
Panels ranged from trade and the Single market, leadership, digital marketing and networking. Notable speakers included MEP Ulrike Trebesius who presented on the future of trade and the Single Market and the euro currency. In her intervention, she shared the possible effects that the UK’s departure from the EU would have upon the Single Market. Nevertheless, she optimistically concluded that the market will find its own way independently of politicians.
MEP Kamall led a leadership skills session. He emphasised the need to have a clear vision, communication built on understanding of your team members, and aligning common goals and ambitions to produce the desired outcome. He shared his journey of entering multiple elections and building resilience and perseverance in the face of unsuccessful elections and the importance of learning from each attempt.
The social media training session included expert advice on how to run effective campaigns and strategies to make an impactful message reach a targeted audience. Kayla de Nardi shared her experience and emphasised the importance of authenticity, keeping the audience in mind, and facilitating engagement.
As a young professionals network it is important to train youth with the soft skills they need to network effectively and foster meaningful connections. Dr Martine Alonso Marquis, Career Advisor & Trainer and Adjunct Professor at the Vesalius College, shared useful advice on preparation, body language and listening to improve soft skills and networking.
In conclusion, the first Projekt Hansa youth conference provided a promising platform to engage youth with knowledge and skills to strengthen both business and cultural ties within Europe.
By Kelly-Ann Fonderson – Get in touch via Linkedin
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