From 26th till 29th of November AEGEE-Kraków will host one of the most spectacular events of 2015: the Network Meeting “Awaken the dragon”. 100 lucky participants will get the chance to learn about AEGEE in a sophisticated programme which is tailor-made for the needs of everyone – and a lot of fun. The GT asked Network Commissioner Marta Wnuk and main local organizer Grzegorz Górzyński why this event can’t be missed.

Grzegorz Gorzynski
Grzegorz Górzyński

GT: Why is your event called “Awaken the dragon”?
Grzesiek Górzyński: During the Network Meeting Kraków 2015 we are going to awake our inner dragons – we become leaders and show it to the world. The Wawel Dragon is also one of symbols of the city, so we want to link these two things.

GT: What makes the Network Meeting in Kraków unique?
Grzesiek: There are several things which make our NWM so unique. First of all: the big number of participants and a small fee – only 35 Euros for four days! Second, a splendid opening ceremony, with great speakers and an artistic part. And third: because of our beautiful, cheap and well-located city of Kraków!
Marta Wnuk: The approach to programme and the sessions is unique. You will not find it in any other of the Network Meetings. We aim at the inclusion of everyone in a structured way and an effective problem solving for the locals. Moreover, also the incredible atmosphere of the event makes it so special, which can only be achieved thanks to a big number of international participants, very special care of the local organisers and tons of buzzing AEGEE-Spirit, that is thus created.

Marta Wnuk
Marta Wnuk

GT: How many people can participate this time?
Marta: Traditionally, we are willing to welcome around hundred participants from all over Europe, no matter whether they are newbies or experienced board members.

GT: Isn’t such a big number difficult to handle in terms of programme and logistics? Grzesiek: It is indeed quite difficult, but still we are going to handle it as well as possible.
Marta: With a challenge there go also possibilities. Thanks to the big number of participants we can introduce profiled paths adjusted to the AEGEE experience of the members and provide more varied parallel sessions. This way our participants are not left without a choice, but everyone will find something for themselves, so that the Network Meeting will be more impactful and beneficial for all.

An amazing city is waiting for you!

GT: Is there a thematic focus this time?
Marta: Even though the main focus of each Network Meeting is always the improvement of the network, this autumn in Kraków we also introduce the motive of leadership. We believe that AEGEE is a perfect place to become more empowered and to gain leadership skills. With this topic we want to inspire people to become future leaders and draw attention to the importance of this aspect in AEGEE work.

GT: What kind of workshops do you prepare related to European level?
Marta: We give our participants the possibility to be included in discussions that concern current matters which are important for the further development of AEGEE. There will be three parallel slots concerning the following matters: “Agora & EPM – changes in Statutory Events”, “Cooperation on national or regional level – how it fits into our vision?” and “Summer Universities – let’s improve it!”. These create a varied choice, I believe , where everyone can contribute to one of the topics.

See the dragon and become one!

GT: At the last NWM in Poland, in Warsaw, it was interesting to see the specialised discussion for presidents, PR responsibles, FR responsibles and HR responsibles. What was the benefit of it and will you do it in the same way this time?
Marta: Yes, this is the newest change we introduced, and I am happy to say that it appeared to be largely successful. It will definitely be part of the next Network Meeting. These sessions allow all board members to gather together to discuss the situation in their locals, exchange best practices and look for solutions for the problems they struggle with. Board Meetings also consist of specialised smaller meetings for people who hold certain positions, so that the work can be more focused, structured and aiming at a more direct approach to challenges. They facilitate trust, common understanding and provide space for dialogue. This way the Network Meeting becomes more impactful and beneficial for the locals.

At NWM Kraków everyone will be a VIP

GT: Many participants will be for the first time at a Network meeting. Have you got any special programme for them?
Marta: There will be a whole Members Path for them, which will consist of sessions on the thematic work of AEGEE and leadership workshops with the best trainers.

GT: What else is special about the programme? What kinds of attractions are waiting for participants?
Marta: Sunday, the last day of the Network Meeting, will be quite special too. You can look forward to sessions that will boost your motivation and will leave you more inspired. More info will be revealed soon.

Aula Krakow
The location of thee NWM opening ceremony

GT: Will there be a special location for opening and closing ceremony, like the coal mine in Zabrze last year?
Grzesiek: The opening ceremony will take place in one of the biggest assembly halls in Kraków, in a building called Auditorium Maximum, owned by Jagiellonian University, which we strongly cooperate with during this event.

GT: That’s the place of the first statutory event ever in Poland, in 1992! Another question: AEGEE parties in Poland are absolutely legendary. Will there be theme parties
Grzesiek: We will not disappoint you this time as well. We are preparing a very interesting programme for you, including an AEGEE-Kraków Birthday Party, European Night and… one more, but I will keep it as a secret for now…

Netcom team Marta
Marta’s team is working hard in the content of the event

GT: AEGEE-Kraków is a very active antenna. How many members do you have and how many events do you organize per year?
Grzesiek: We have around 110 members in AEGEE-Kraków and we organise more or less 20 projects per year, including a few international.

GT: Let’s talk about your local team and your content team: how many people are working on the event? How is the atmosphere in your teams?
Grzesiek: Everyone is very excited about the Network Meeting, around 50 people help to organise the best event you have ever been participating!
Marta: As always my great team of subcommies helps in the preparation of the content of the event. Network Meeting Kraków will be the final achievement of our team this term, thus we want to build upon what was best in the previous Network Meeting and deliver an excellent programme, which will make our participants happy and that will leave a positive impact on the network.

Join the NWM! Apply now!

GT: Grzesiek, why did you decide to take this challenge and coordinate this event?
Grzesiek: This year I was already coordinating one project: Free Language Conversations for students. I wanted to continue my AEGEE path. There is a lot of work with organising such a big event, but I try to treat it more as a challenge than a problem. I hope that everyone is going to be satisfied after our event!

GT: Where can the participants find more info?
Grzesiek: You can find info at our website and also on Facebook: You can write also to our incoming responsible Dominika: Don’t be shy to ask! And see you in Kraków!