Two months ago the annual Leadership Summer School (LSS) took place in Slovenia. Despite not being an AEGEE event, a lot of members participate in this outstanding training for youth leaders, plus AEGEE is also involved in the organisation to some extent. This year 12 of 60 participants were AEGEE members, who told the Golden Times about their experiences.

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12 of the 60 LSS participants were from AEGEE

GT: What was the Leadership Summer School about?
The Leadership Summer School is a global, annual, intensive training event for inspirational youth leaders. During ten days, the project fosters skills of motivated participants from all over Europe and beyond, engaged in international organisations, and supports them on their path of becoming future leaders and active citizens. The participants, aged from 18 to 35 years, are students or young professionals from different countries, fields of studies, and paths of lives. Many are members of student or youth associations, others are fresh graduates or young professionals.

GT: How many AEGEE members were there?
There were 12 AEGEE members among 60 participants, which is the highest number of AEGEE members ever participated at the LSS.

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An amazing and inspired group

GT: Who organised it?
On the international level, the LSS is coordinated by the Supervisory Board. It consists of six people coming from Belgium, Greece, Poland, Russia and former members of the NGOs AEGEE, EMSA, BEST and IAAS. On the local level, the LSS 2015 was organized in Maribor by Bistri Um, “Smart Minds” in English, a Slovenian youth organization which focuses on empowering young people with active and entrepreneurial thinking in order to face the challenging job market of today.

GT: Who were the trainers?
The LSS 2015 Trainers Team consisted of 17 people: 12 Pathfinders, which are Senior Trainers, and 5 Junior Trainers, also known as Trailblazers. From AEGEE there was Greek AEGEE Academy trainer Lyda Michopoulou as trainer, facilitator and Art of Hosting practitioner.

LSS group2GT: What did you learn at LSS 2015?
The LSS program is very intense and has different topics. Some of the topics for this year were group facilitation, emotional intelligence, conflict management, teamwork, creative leadership, public speaking and integrated leadership simulation, where we had to carry out a long-term project in three hours. The LSS offered also quite a lot of personal development, which was fundamental for us to understand our values, goals and purposes in order to work properly and find our path in life, organization and society. In the LSS we learnt how to manage people, projects, tough situations and ourselves. It allowed us to dream big and find the right path to reach our goals. Every night after dinner we had Unreasonable Time, which was the space to develop our own projects with other participants and trainers. For instance AEGEE’s project “Europe on Track” was born in those sessions some editions ago.

GT: Can you tell a couple of highlights? What impressed you the most?
For sure LSS Dreams. We had the chance to listen to many inspirational speeches from some participants and all were very emotional. Also the Reflection Groups were for sure one of the deepest moments in our days. Every night before dinner we met in little groups, which were useful for debriefing and digging deeper in our emotions and learning process.

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Teamwork during the LSS

GT: Do you have an idea how and where will you use the new knowledge and skills you gained?
We already use those skills in our antenna or in our projects. After you come home from LSS you have no choice at all, because you have changed and you put everything you learned in practice on a daily basis.

GT: How can people find out more about LSS?
People can approach us from AEGEE: Alice Paoloni, Lisa Gregis, Lyda Michopoulou, Carina van Hoof, Erti Tershana, Fabrizio Bellicano, Giancarlo Nicolo, Gwen van der Wijk, Julia Roshan Moniri, Lorena Shalari, Marco Fortunato, Sabina Villani, Tessa Speelman or they can find more information on